Prince Harry faces ‘huge hurdle’ as Duke could be slapped with huge California wealth tax

Meghan Markle and Harry: Tax expert discusses rules in California

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face “huge hurdles” in the coming months, according to a leading US immigration and international tax consultant. David Lesperance warned that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could find themselves slapped with a huge wealth tax later this year. Meghan and Harry have struck a deal understood to be worth £30 million with Spotify.

The pair also agreed a “mega-watt” deal with Netflix, which is estimated to earn the Sussexes more than £100 million.

Sky’s royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills said: “Talk to experts on American tax and immigration law and the couple still have significant hurdles to overcome.”

Mr Lesperance said: “It will be very interesting as they start to implement and execute these projects, what the deal is.

“As I am for a lot of my clients in Silicon Valley, we are watching what California is going to do with their wealth tax proposal.”

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Mr Lesperance, who advises wealthy individuals including some in Silicon Valley, told Sky News that Prince Harry will need to address his immigration status within the next nine months.

He explained: “There has been some relief given by the IRS for people who are effectively trapped in the US because of COVID-19.

“It is something that I’m sure, I hope that he and his advisers have been turning their mind to over this past year.

“It is certainly something that he needs to deal with before the clock kind of runs out, which will be later this summer.”

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California’s Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators are expected to enact a large state tax hike in the Golden State in 2021.

On December 7, California Assemblymen introduced legislation that would impose a personal income tax hike on earnings above $1 million.

The bill would also hike the state’s corporate income tax, generating more than $2.4 billion in annual revenue.


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Today marks a year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping down as senior royals.

On January 8 2020, they released a lengthy statement on their now-defunct Instagram account Sussex Royal and a newly-created website,, in which they outlined what they wanted for their future.

The Queen was initially said to have been left “completely blindsided” by their statement.

The royals are expected to reconvene in March this year, at the end of the 12-month review period agreed in Norfolk, to verify whether all parts are happy with the terms in place or if the so-called Megxit deal needs to be changed.

The idea of stepping back as full-time working royals to create a new role for the Sussexes within the Royal Family came from Prince Harry, a source close to the Duke has claimed.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, the source said: “It came to the point where he wanted a different way of life.

“Meghan was simply a catalyst.”

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