Palace insiders say Prince Harry refused to sign a prenup


A few months ago, we discussed the rumours that Harry and Meghan might become the first royal couple to sign a prenuptial agreement. Now they have exchanged their “I dos” in front of a worldwide audience of 11.5 million people. But before they signed their marriage certificate, did they sign something else?

The answer is that they did not, despite advice from close friends and advisors that it would be the sensible thing to do, in order to protect his £30 million fortune. Meghan has significant financial assets of her own, although her wealth is thought to equate to around £3 million. Given these factors, and the increased divorce rate in the modern era, it is easy to see why the couple’s advisers were keen on a prenup entering the picture.

Harry insists on tradition

It is possible that Harry took advice from his close family – his father, Prince Charles, was vehemently opposed to any prenup when he married Camilla in 2005. And this in spite of the mess that surrounded his divorce from Diana. When that happened, she had to fight for a settlement that was ultimately worth £17 million, plus £400,000 per year.

William and Kate also married without a prenup, so it is possible that Harry just went with the flow. However, we all know that is not really his style. Perhaps the more likely explanation is that he went into the marriage with the slightly blinkered perspective that nothing will ever go wrong and his and Meghan’s love will last forever.

Keeping it real

There’s nothing wrong with thinking like that – in fact, if he was thinking anything else, we would wonder why he is getting married in the first place! But the fact is that if we can safely assume that 99 percent of couples enters into marriage with the full expectation that it is going to last forever, we know that 42 percent end in divorce.

Pragmatically speaking, none of us know what the future holds, and when you live a life in the public spotlight like Harry and Meghan, any small problem can rapidly escalate into headline news. Bearing all that in mind, there is surely plenty to be said for taking an approach of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Prenups are for everyone

It is also worth remembering that prenups are not just for royalty, famous actresses, or a combination of the two. You never know what assets you might suddenly acquire in the years to come, for example through setting up your own business, or perhaps from a legacy.

There is also the question of debt. Maybe both parties enter a marriage with nothing, but one has significantly less than nothing, for example thousands of pounds of credit card debt. Strictly speaking, premarital debt should remain with whoever incurred it, but as time passes, the debt might be refinanced, and the distinction becomes blurred. A prenup can be as useful for defining what’s not yours as well as what is!

Drawing up a prenup

If you are planning on tying the knot, it is well worth protecting yourself and your intended with a prenup. Right now, there is no doubting the love between you, and the fact that you are looking out for one another’s best interests. And that is the time to selflessly and objectively plan for any future eventuality, side by side.

At Hylton Potts, we can help you create a prenup, post nup or cohabitation agreement to fit your needs and your circumstances. Give us a call on 020 7381 8111, or email us at law@hylton-potts.com to find out more.

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