Prince Harry and Meghan created quite a stir by announcing they would be stepping down as “senior members” of the royal family. That means earning money on their own rather than relying on some help from grandma, Queen Elizabeth. Although it’s an unprecedented move on Harry and Meghan’s part, they won’t be the first members of the family to earn their own cash.
First, let’s breakdown who exactly counts as “senior” members of the royal family. Obviously, Elizabeth is number one in that ranking. According to Royal Central, she’s then followed by her husband, Prince Philip, their son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, then Charles’ son Prince William and wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The line would continue from there to Harry and Meghan, but they’ve taken themselves out of the running (but not the line to the throne).
The couple is essentially on the same level as Harry’s cousins now that they’ve taken a step back. Here’s how those “non-senior” members earn money:
Peter and Autumn Phillips
Princess Anne’s son is also Elizabeth’s oldest grandchild. He and his sister, Zara, were never given any royal titles, leaving them completely free to earn money however they’d like. Peter is currently the Managing Director of a company called Sports and Entertainment Ltd (SEL). More surprisingly, he also recently appeared in commercials for milk in China. (Maybe that can open the door for Meghan to pick her acting career back up!)
As for his wife, Autumn, Town & Country claims she previously worked a range of industries, including model, bartender, and management consultant before settling down with Peter.
Zara and Mike Tindall
The daughter of Princess Anne is married to former rugby star, Mike. Like her mother, Zara is a champion equestrian and won a silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012. Without a royal title, she’s able to pivot that to brand ambassadorships for companies like Land Rover and her own line of equestrian-inspired jewelry from Calleija.
Her husband has appeared in several reality competition TV shows, like The Jump, which pitted celebrities against each other with a variety of winter sports. Mike addressed his royal in-laws in a 2015 interview saying, “They don’t give us any money. We look after ourselves — we don’t get anything for free.”
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie
We’re used to seeing these royal sisters at events like the Trooping the Colour (when the whole fam gathers on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch planes fly above them), but they still aren’t considered senior members. Beatrice earns her paycheck as the Vice President of Partnerships and Strategy at an artificial intelligence software company called Afiniti.
As for Eugenie, she is a Director at Hauser & Wirth, an art gallery. She told Harper’s Bazaar back in 2016, “I’ve loved art since I was very little. I knew I definitely wouldn’t be a painter [laughs], but I knew the industry was for me.” Both princesses shed their royal titles at work and go by the last name York.
Harry’s youngest cousins on his father’s side — Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severen, 12 — aren’t quite old enough to earn their own money, yet. Their parents, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess Wessex, however, have been showing up more in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s exit.
There seems to be no shortage of options for Harry and Meghan to forge their own path and earn their own income. Whether they follow in one of his cousins’ footsteps is anyone’s guess, but we’re definitely excited to see whatever they decide to do next!