Meghan Markle Refers to Royal Family as 'The Firm' — Here's How the Infamous Term Was Born

Laura Beatham
Mar 13, 2021
06:40 P.M.
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Duchess Meghan Markle used the term "The Firm" for the royal family during her tell-all interview - Here is a history of the term and how it was born. 


During the Duke and Duchess's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle called the Monarchy "The Firm," but it is not the first time the term has been used for the royal family. 

Queen Elizabeth II's father, King George IV, referred to the House of Windsor as "The Firm" first during his reign from 1936 to 1952, as Penny Junor explained in her book, "The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured at the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equitation Sports, 2019, Rabat Morocco.


In the 2010 "The King's Speech," King George was played by Colin Firth. One of Firth's lines in the movie is that they "not a family, we're a firm." In 1996 it was reported that George had said that about the family. 

The Queen's own husband, Prince Philip, has been credited with creating the term by royal biographers. Junor wrote in the blurb for her book:

“Prince Philip calls it ‘The Firm,’ and all the royal executives and their powerful associates are supposed to make every effort to avoid... scandal.”


Junor explained that a great effort was made to avoid a scandal that could diminish the family business's reputation. It seems members of the family view it as a business. 

Even the Queen apparently uses the term to refer to the family's working members, but she does so in private and not in public. This is the first time a royal family member has publically referred to the family as "The Firm."

In 2020 Harry and Markle stepped back from the crown and relocated with their son, Archie, to California.


During the tell-all interview, Harry and Markle share their experiences while living as working family members and the pressure Markle faced entering the family. 

The pregnant Duchess referred to the family as "The Firm" when Winfrey asked her about how they would feel about her not remaining silent. She said:

"I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing."


The Firm now consists of 8 family members. The Queen, her eldest son, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla. As well as the Queen's other children, Prince Edward, his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Anne. 

Prince Philip stepped down from his duties in 2017. Prince William and Kate Middleton make up the last two members as Harry and Markle are no longer working family members. 

In 2020 Harry and Markle stepped back from the crown and relocated with their son, Archie, to California. Their family home is now based in Santa Barbara. 

In February this year, Buckingham Palace announced that the Sussexes would not be returning as working royal family members. Harry and Markle are expecting their 2nd child this year.