Like most offices, the talk around the water cooler at Darnell and company has all been about Harry and Meghan’s upcoming nuptials -who doesn’t love the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding?
Actually, most of the chatter in our lunchroom hasn’t been about what Meghan’s wedding dress will look like, or whether Harry’s stag night will feature naked billiard playing, but rather has been about what their pre-nuptial agreement might look like. After all, crafting complicated marriage agreements for high wealth individuals is exactly the sort of work we like to sink our teeth into!
Young Harry has a personal fortune in excess of $90 million (CDN), so our standard advice to the lad would be to insist on a pre-nuptial agreement, just for the sake of certainty, in case things don’t work out. Interestingly, his father Prince Charles didn’t bother with one for either of his marriages, nor did his older brother, the future King, but then, they weren’t marrying an American.
Meghan has her own fortune, of course, only $7 million (CDN), but still enough to want some protection for, so her advisors should be whispering in her ear about getting the contract inked as well. What really complicates matters though is her income tax status as a US citizen. The tentacles of the US Internal Revenue Service extend globally, so a US citizen cannot escape paying US income tax just by marrying a charming foreign prince and moving into a castle in another country.
Marriage agreements can deal with many matters besides the standard ” If it doesn’t work out I get to keep the assets I came into the marriage with “. Who pays for what, housekeeping allowances, and so forth can also be dealt with, and the happy royal couple would do well to pay some attention to those financial arrangements.
The source of their income as a married couple will be complicated, including income from their estates, allowances from the Duchy of Cornwall, stipends from the British Government, royalties from Meghan’s acting days, and so forth, and there is a goodly chance that some of it will be taxable by the US government, courtesy of Meghan’s citizenship.
Then of course there is the issue of children, always a thorny issue in a marriage agreement. Consider that any children born to the couple would be in line for the throne. Should then the couple make provision now for the non-removal of potential heirs to the realm, from the realm?
Yes indeed, Harry and Meghan’s marriage contract would be a delightful file for any lawyer, and we would love to to get our hands on it. It would be fun to have a royal warrant – “By appointment to his Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales ” to add some class to our website. While we wait for the call though, we would like to keep out pencils sharpened and our skills honed, so we welcome inquiries from anyone closer to home who has just bagged their prince charming or their raven haired princess. We need to chat about that marriage agreement.