In her interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markel referred to ‘The Firm’. So, who is it, what is it, and what’s it mean?
‘The Firm’ is the public face of a £20 billion+ empire – 90% of which is the ‘Crown Estate’ – that costs about £550m a year but generates revenues of in excess of £2.7 billion each year for the UK economy. So, believe it or believe it not, ‘Monarchy plc’ is actually a profitable business delivering a very nice return for the UK taxpayer – mostly through tourism. The televised wedding of Harry and Megan alone netted over £1billion. However, unlike the Kardashians, the Windsors don’t personally profit from the business.
So, who is ‘The Firm’? Since she took up the throne in 1952, you could think of Queen Elizabeth as its President and CEO – even though she doesn’t have the final say on how the business is managed. Having ‘lost’ Prince Philip to retirement, and both Prince Andrew and now Prince Harry to resignations, the Firm is left with eight senior royals: herself, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles & Camilla, Prince Edward & Sophie and Princess Anne.
Their decision to step down from royal duties now means that Prince Harry and Meghan Markel are now free to make their own income. There’s every chance that will net young Archie a better inheritance than he might otherwise have got.
However, that’s not the point. Paying more attention to the motivation for Harry and Meghan to resign is something that needs to be focused on right now. The reason being that if the monarchy was nothing but a net positive to the UK taxpayer then why leave? As we heard in Oprah’s interview with the couple, it appears that the flagrant and closed-off lifestyle of the royal family allows for some extremely negative behaviours and motivations to develop.
From almost undeniable paedophilia from Prince Andrew to racist ideology from unnamed royal members, it seems like now more than ever requires a change. Whether that means the monarchy is going all together or simply reform how it operates and who benefits from it, we will have to wait and see.