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Now that the Sussexes' English home, Frogmore Cottage, has been cleaned out in the dead of night and apparently rented to Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie, it looks like the Duke and Duchess' move to the New World is one they're 100% committed to. In the words of the British tabloid press, "Megxit" is complete.


The two have started their new life in the States, recently signing a deal with Spotify for their podcast to come out next year and launching their audio company, Archwell Audio. Moving across the pond, announcing a new podcast, it seems they've taken control of a new life. So now the question begs to be asked, what else is in store for the royal couple?

There's absolutely no reason, not even a shred of a rumor, to think the Sussexes are contemplating a move to the Lone Star State, or its capital city. But they wouldn't be the first to scrawl GTT (Gone To Texas) on their front door, hitch up the wagon and depart for greener pastures like multi-millionaire dollar podcast Joe Rogan recently did.

Here's why they should.

Money

Harry's blood may be blue, but his household runs on the green stuff, and it always seems like there's never enough—even for the rich.

Harry's net worth is an estimated $40 million and Meghan's at $5 million, according to a wealth tracking site. That may be so, but it's possible to be worth a lot on paper while also short on cash. Much of Harry's worth is tied up in royal trusts that payout over a period of many years.

Montecito, California (CC)


Take real estate for example. Everyone knows about their $14.65 million home purchase in Montecito, California, a small town on the edge of Santa Barbara. It's a favorite of Hollywood types like Ellen, Oprah, Rob, Gwyneth, Katy, and George (Lucas).

But did you know the former royals took out a mortgage to buy the place? $9.5 million of borrowed money, reportedly. And the Daily Mail estimates the property may cost them over $4 million a year to maintain. Wow. You don't have to be a mathematician to figure out that their estimated combined $45 million isn't going to last long unless they come up with some sort of side hustle. Meghan used to make beer money doing calligraphy, but there aren't enough hours in the day to address $4 million worth of wedding invitations for wealthy brides who will pay for perfect penmanship.

Taxes

So they'll find Netflix deals and speaking engagements and other ways to make a buck, but making it is one thing and keeping it is another. That's where Texas shines. The state's zero personal income tax compares favorably with California's big-and-getting-bigger tax bite.

The Golden State's top rate is over 13%, and a cash-strapped state government is considering an extra "millionaires tax" and possibly a "wealth tax" on assets, in addition to possibly raising the base rate. The Sussexes, in a hypothetical $10 million income year, would pay a minimum of $1.3 million in taxes to California. In Texas, they'd pay nothing.

With $1.3 million in yearly savings, that's enough to finance regular private jet flights to visit friends in LA, with enough left over to establish a college fund for their son, Archie.

More Taxes

The bigger problem for the Prince is that if he becomes a California resident, the state may try to impose its high tax rates on all of his income, even income earned from his royal trusts in England. There's no hard-and-fast rule for determining residency, but a detailed analysis can be found here.

Enough of that. Let's get to the fun stuff.

Nicknames

California's not a nickname place. Sure, some people have names like Moonbeam and Dweezil but those are their actual names.

In Texas, lots of people go by acquired monikers, from the nickname-dispensing former President George W. Bush ("43" or "W") to beloved homeless Austinite, known simply as "Leslie," a wandering, cross-dressing activist.

(CC)


Why does this matter for Meghan and Harry?

Because their names are not really Meghan and Harry.

Meghan's name is Rachel. Rachel Markle. Meghan is her middle name, which she utilized when she became an actress.

Prince Harry's name is more complex. He's known by various names in various capacities:

  • Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor (his given name)
  • The Duke of Sussex
  • His Royal Highness
  • The Earl of Dumbarton (in Scotland)
  • Baron Kilkeel (in Northern Ireland)
  • Captain Harry Wales (British Army)

History

History is on Meghan's side. Not the English kind, dating from 1066 and all that, but her history of good times and fitting in, in Texas. Check out her 2017 Austin airport arrival for the Suits 100th episode cast party.

Meghan is pitch-perfect Austin—stylishly torn jeans, sandals, casual white shirt, perfect movie star sunglasses, easy hairstyle and hat in hand. She could be on her way to the Four Seasons, the Oasis or Rainey Street in her attire. Joe Rogan and even Matthew McConaughey could learn some things from Meghan Markle, like how to look effortlessly casual while showcasing taste and style.

Sports and Outdoors

Harry follows the royal tradition of loving sports and the outdoors. If Netflix's "The Crown" is a credible source, even the Queen is nowhere happier than wandering the misty hills of her 50,000 acre Balmoral Estate in muddy "outdoor shoes," stalking deer and shooting grouse. There's talk that, to please Meghan, Harry has sold his guns and stopped hunting, an activity that's generally not accepted in California's coastal culture.

(Shutterstock)


But it may be hard for Harry to give up a sport he's pursued all his life. He's hunted throughout Britain, Europe, South America and Africa, and, like most of the royals, was a fox hunter until the sport was banned in England in 2005.

If Harry wants to pick up the sport again, he'll fit in perfectly in Texas, where hunting is a traditional activity. The Texas Hill Country, adjacent to Austin and San Antonio, is packed with hunting ranches offering native and exotic species. With the similarities between African and Texan terrains and climates, many African species can be seen throughout Texas, including endangered species that are bred and sold on exotic game ranches.

Weirdness

It's debatable whether Austin is really weird anymore. It's unique, with a culture of its own that's distinct from other cities, but how weird can things be in a land of $15 hamburgers and a median Central Austin home price of $625,000?

Still, weirdness is tolerated here and even embraced, perhaps as a treasured symbol of what was. A dying ember of our central civic archetype.

Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie, as perfect and utterly conventional as they appear, are definitely weird—walking away from a life of effortless privilege, universal fame, vast wealth and access to anyone or anything that interests them. They've left it all to wallow, although at the top levels, in an ordinary world where we have to figure out how to pay the bills, find friends and create meaning in our lives.

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