QEII paid Prince Edward & Sophie £250,000 to get them to quit their jobs

So much of the insanity coming out of the Windsor clan and the British media (working in concert) about the Sussexes is simply about control. Prince Harry and Meghan cannot be controlled by the UK media or the royal family. H&M make their own money, they don’t give a sh-t about titles, and (most importantly) they can afford private security. The Windsors lost their ability to control and contain the Sussexes using their conventional methods, methods which “worked” on other royals… like Prince Edward and Sophie, the current Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. Edward and Sophie both used to have “real jobs”… until they didn’t. Until their wings were clipped. This compare-and-contrast is part of a new documentary, and none of these royal experts are talking about what they think they’re talking about.

A new documentary has explored the similarities between the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Prince Edward: Will He Change the Royals?, looks at Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son’s journey to becoming one of the most senior members of the British Royal Family. The couple have become hard-working, valued senior royals, but it wasn’t always this way; they had series of scrapes after they married that saw Sophie boasting to the News of the World’s ‘Fake Sheik’ about her PR firm’s royal connections.

Edward’s film company, Ardent, then made attempts to get around a ban on filming his nephew, Prince William, at university in St Andrews. There was also his disastrous appearance on It’s a Knockout at Alton Towers in June 1987. Both were lambasted for trying to cash in on royal links. But unlike Prince Harry and Meghan , Sophie and Edward wound down their businesses and dug in to royals duties, rebuilding their reputations within the Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh reportedly received a one-off payment of £250,000 to end their controversial business careers in 2002. It was said to be passed off as ‘ compensation’ for loss of earnings.

Speaking on tonight’s documentary, journalist Emily Andrews said: ‘The Queen effectively asked Edward and Sophie to give up their careers and become full time working royals. As an effective sweetener, she gave them £250,000 in compensation, if you like. There are parallels between Sophie and Edward and Harry and Meghan. I mean Sophie and Edward were the forerunners of trying to balance their royal career with actual money-making careers.’

Royal commentator Katie Nicholl echoed this suggestion, adding: ‘I think you can draw parallels, absolutely, with the Sussexes. Harry also wanted to strike out, do things a little differently, and just as Edward found, these parameters are quite rigid, they don’t really budge and kick against them too hard and you get badly wounded in the process.’

In March, after Prince Edward was handed his late father’s title, the Duke of Edinburgh, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline: ‘This rewards hard work and dedication to royal duty. Since they have decided that their children should have the option of titles, Harry and Meghan might take note that, in the face of initial adversity when they too had problems and bad press, Edward and Sophie have done remarkable service to the Royal Family. They deserve this reward.’

[From The Daily Mail]

This carrot-and-stick approach to Edward and Sophie “worked” because they had few other options – Sophie and Edward’s businesses were not successful, they were embarrassing the Firm, all while they lived in Buckingham Palace and had royal security. Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan simply had other options, they could leave and make their own path. More than that, the Sussexes HAD to make their own path because the Firm chose the “all stick, no carrot” approach. The Windsors were on the war path and they’re all still trying to devise punishments for the Sussexes – strip them of their security, no, they can’t even pay for their own security, not like that! They need to pay for their own lifestyle, no, not that way, we’re going to smear their business deals! Where is the “offer” to buy the Sussexes out of their private businesses? Oh, right, it never happened. It’s all about control, and Sophie and Edward getting a relative pittance of $250K as a payoff is hilarious. That’s all it costs to get a lifetime of service from Sophie and Edward? There are rumors that they can’t even afford the upkeep on their giant, 120-room mansion, Bagshot Park.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Instar.

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45 Responses to “QEII paid Prince Edward & Sophie £250,000 to get them to quit their jobs”

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  1. Izzy says:

    Wait, so titles are earned by working for the firm and not making waves and not earning your own money? So then, this royalty thing… not by birthright. Right?

    As for buying Harry and Meghan out of their business deals, at this point, KFC has to spend money shutting up Pedo Andy and Edward and Sophie, who all know where some of the bodies are buried, so perhaps buying out the Sussexes, who have done very well for themselves, isn’t such an attractive option regardless.

    • Chloe says:

      If harry and meghans netflix deal really is worth within the 100 million then buying them out would be a hard task. Give up that amount of money just to receive not even 1 million from your pa and be financially dependent on your jealous brother and his witch wife for the rest of your life?
      Oh and let’s not forget the shack they’d have to return to. If they would even get frogmore cottage back because i can see the windsors give them some room in windsor castle instead.

    • Lux says:

      Not only did Charles NOT offer to buy out the Sussexes, he wanted Meghan to keep working because they can’t “afford” to support another royal. It’s the RF’s version of “keep your day job” because none of them wanted her to actually fulfill royal duties. And Meghan ended up quitting of her own accord, with nary a $250k “sweetener”…what’s that? Like, five episodes of “Suits”? Once and for all, protocol, schmotocol.

  2. Brassy Rebel says:

    In return for letting you appear in public with us, here’s $250,000. We know you’re just desperate enough to accept this offer. The British media really thinks it’s an honor to be called “royal” and that the Sussexes are eager to get back in this meaningless institution.

    • Thera says:

      So meaningless they made sure their kids have titles!

      • Bee says:

        Their kids have the right to those titles. It’s written into the law.

        Harry and Meghan offered to give up their titles and the offer was not accepted.

        Messing with anyone’s titles to do anything other than promote them is a can of worms that the palace knows much better than to open.

  3. Wow they sold out for cheap. I would have asked for a lot more to stop the embarrassment of the so called jobs. I guess they had to take what they could get. I don’t feel any sympathy for them.

    • TheFarmer'sWife says:

      Being the third boy (essentially the spare’s spare), Edward’s options would always be limited. He should’ve become an academic, eventually a professor at one of Britain’s better universities. He could’ve been the “elusively private bachelor prince.” At least then, he wouldn’t have to upkeep an enormous pile of bricks! Where do they come up with these names for houses? 120 rooms for what? It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that KFC only gave his youngest brother the title promised to Edward by his parents (remember them, Chuckles?) because he’s unwell.

      • Christina says:

        That’s assuming he is smart enough to be a professor. Remember the inbreeding. There are so many smart, talented filmmakers who could have chosen to become professors, but they wanted to share to a wider audience. Edward doesn’t appear to have much to say.

      • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

        No chance of him becoming any kind of academic. I have a workmate who was at school with him when he spent a couple of terms at Wanganui Collegiate in NZ, and he says that he’s nice enough, but unbelieveably thick.

  4. girl_ninja says:

    A $250K payoff is not enough even back then!

    Why are these royals living in castles that are in need of such upkeep? Just find a smaller spot and live there. I don’t get how these people live. Meghan and Harry renovated the Frogmore cottage and from the looks of that kitchen alone, did a great job of it. I think they knew that they didn’t want to deal with the draftiness of an old castle and that’s why Harry turned down on the larger option QEll offered.

    • BeanieBean says:

      $250k is a pittance for two people who were at an age where they could have worked an additional 20-30 years before retirement.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    The Royal Family believed that Harry and Meghan would fail just like Edward and Sophie hence they felt there was no need to offer them a carrot. They thought that Harry and Meghan would come crawling back within a year thus they put in place the one year review. I’ve always believed that Charles worked with the press to ensure that Edward and Sophie would be forced to give up their jobs. Harry and Meghan moving to the US meant that Charles lost the ability to do the same to them.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Was there even really a one year review? Cause I think that was made up BS. I’m pretty sure that was just a story to make it seem like the Sussexes might return. Like, the BRF consoling itself with “maybe they’ll come back”

      • Amy Bee says:

        We’ll only know if Harry tells us. But the Palace wanted an excuse for the press to keep the focus on Harry and Meghan rather than the royal family. Putting it out there that they might come back was to stay in the press’ good graces after they lost the golden goose.

  6. Snuffles says:

    Maybe it’s the American in me, but it seems like these people will give up their freedom, break rules, ethics and morals for such paltry sums of money. Just so they can be a part of the royal fold or adjacent to it.

    The salaries of royal employees are complete shit. The payoffs are terrible. 250K? I would have demanded MILLIONS. Or an ANNUAL payment of 250K for the rest of my life.

    And I don’t think these journalists are raking it in either. Victoria Arbiter torpedoed her career for $360 dollars. That’s how much those pranksters paid her to lie on camera. I think that Christian Jones got 4K to leak on the Sussexes. Michael Fawcett got 250K to fall on his sword for Charles over cash for honors.

    Are these people that broke and desperate? I wouldn’t destroy my reputation and career for such paltry sums.

    • Concern Fae says:

      I think some of it is that the RF don’t have a sense of how much this all costs. They see the moneys they are giving out as huge sums, when the reality is that they barely cover a year’s expenses for the lives they lead.

      So they just get caught in this trap of living like a royal “should” and constantly running out of money.

    • Eurydice says:

      And it’s the American in me that wonders what kind of “reward” is the title of Duke of Edinburgh. No income or land comes with it – just a better seat at the table?

      • Snuffles says:

        Exactly! What are the secret perks beyond being slightly higher up in the pecking order?

      • tamsin says:

        Within the royal family, his pecking order remains exactly the same: third son of the late Queen, youngest brother of the current king. He was already HRH as a child of the monarch. His mother would have given him a ducal title at his wedding as per tradition if they had not come up with the Edinburgh title business. His place in the line of succession continues to go down as everyone ahead of hims has children.

      • Eurydice says:

        @tamsin – True. I was thinking about the articles at the time that said he could now attend the coronation as a duke – which made me wonder how was this any different than before.

    • bisynaptic says:

      You’d be surprised how little it takes to buy a US Senator or Supreme Court Judge. It’s not just the royal-adjacents.

  7. VivaLasVirgos says:

    I’m not wealthy, but that would not be enough for my wife and I to quit our jobs. It’s a sad indication of how badly those two sucked at their chosen employment.

  8. tolly says:

    They speak of Edward’s “journey to becoming one of the most senior members of the British Royal Family” as if he rose up through the ranks with hard work and perseverance. Nope. He just popped out of a queen’s body and didn’t die. That’s how he got where he is, which is actually much lower in the line of succession than he was before Charles, Andrew, William and Harry had kids.

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      Eddie hasn’t done much that couldn’t have been taken care of by a golden retriever.

  9. Nubia says:

    I wil try this question again. Do the senior working royals get an ACTUAL salary ? Do they get a debit or credit card, all their basic expenses have to go through BP ? I hope these grown folks have some sort of financial freedom of their own.

    • May says:

      I am not sure if there is a uniform system now but in the past, yes, they did get funding to run their offices. This was not a huge amount though, just enough to keep them beholden to the Queen and under her control. I think the working Royals’ income was supplemented by the queen, much like she was paying extra money to Andrew and how she was paying the rent for some of the Royals when they needed to start paying market rent for the properties in which they lived. Why I say I’m not sure that there is a uniform system is because I get the impression that with KP, the then Cambridges did not seem to be constrained under a particular set budget. It just appears as though if they needed something they got it. Technically, Meghan should have received funds to help her to run her office but they were either not offered or declined. Would appreciate some insight from someone who knows how all this works!

      • May says:

        To edit my post, I remember that the then Cambridges were supported by Charles’ funds and not the Sovereign Grant (?), so the specifics of the monies they received and exactly how they were spent are less clear. Just what the other Royals received to run their offices, and whether or not they received any funds for personal use, is best answered by someone else. In any event, I think they only received enough money to keep them financially dependent upon the Queen.

    • BQM says:

      Idk how it is with Charles but working royals did get an allowance from the queen. (William and Harry fell under Charles’s responsibility) Their offices, staff and working expenses were paid through the sovereign grant. The queen gave them money privately but I don’t think anyone knows how much.

      Edward and Sophie also rent out the stables at bagshot to a Canadian firm. Brings in about $200,000 a year I think.

  10. Haylie says:

    Nope. Sussex is their title and they should use it. If the UK wants different, let them take it away. Then they can show how racist they truly are while letting a sex/trafficking pedo and the wife he divorced keep their castles and titles. All while selling honors to foreign autocrats with briefcases full of tax free cash.

  11. sevenblue says:

    Didn’t Queen also pay their debts as well? I remember reading something like that.

    • Mary Pester says:

      @sevenblue, yes the Queen did! Isn’t it funny how the British rags love to gloss over the millions in debt that Edward have, or the fake Sheik episode with Sophie sop, they didn’t even mention how Sophie’s partner offered the fake Sheik drugs! And you can bet your house that Charlie is paying for the upshot of their massive mansion (mmmm British press how come your not room counting at Bagshot?) this is your typical white wash job, but an awful lot of people have very long memories and we won’t fall for all of this bullsht.

  12. HeyKay says:

    $250K is not that much money these days.
    Look at housing costs.
    IDK, Ed and Sophie filled in the ranks of working royals.
    They are short handed, Anne can not keep up her schedule at her age.

    What difference does it make who shows up to cut ribbons or hand out awards?

  13. MsIam says:

    Yes, even though Edward and Sophie had a best selling memoir, a record breaking documentary and an award winning podcast, they gave it all up for £250k and the right to be “working royals”. Oh wait…

  14. s808 says:

    A lump sum of $250K in exchange for financial freedom is chump change imo. As someone who else said I would’ve demanded $250K per year at minimum. And yes, this is all about control with H&M. I also think racism & classism is what prevented Charles from doing more or really anything to keep them. They’re needed, badly but 1) they never ever believed Harry would go, just the mixed race actress and 2) they never thought they could do better than the BRF. It’s why to this day the press is desperately still trying to lay H&M’s success at the BRF’s feet. Thank goodness they had the foresight to leave and strike while the iron is hot to set up their new lives.

  15. Mary Pester says:

    Let’s all keep in mind those words made famous by princess diana and Princess Margaret, those which they cannot control they seek to destroy, and if they can’t control you, they control how others see you. Those words are echoing down through the years now

  16. Duch says:

    I saw the headline and thought it was $250k per annum. There must be more that hasn’t been disclosed for how else can they afford upkeep of their estate?

  17. QuiteContrary says:

    Edward clearly is as good a negotiator as he was an actor.

  18. Ameerah M says:

    250k? That’s how little it took to buy them? How embarrassing.

  19. Renae says:

    What does one do with a mansion of 120 rooms?
    Do you visit each room every few months?
    How many bathrooms does it have?

    • Libra says:

      I read years ago that they live in a small portion of Bagshot; they rent out or otherwise put the remainder of the rooms to other uses, conferences, meeting rooms etc.

  20. HamsterJam says:

    “journey to becoming one of the most senior members of the British Royal Family”

    I’ll save you reading – the journey started when he left the uterus and ended when he exited the birth canal.

  21. HennyO says:

    What this story is not telling, is that Sophie’s company was in major financial problems at the end – the queen’s handout was basically a lifeline. She closed the company with £1.7 million of business debts, which she never paid off (speaking of ‘been there before’, when talking about the Middleton’s bankruptcy mess). When you Google ”Sophie Wessex business debt”, you will see the headlines, but the royals eventually have managed to smash this story off of the internet.