Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, chats with Disney CEO Robert Iger as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, embraces singer-songwriter Beyoncé as they attend the European premiere of the film The Lion King in London. Picture: Niklas Halle/Pool via Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

London - Long before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced plans to become "financially independent", it seems Harry was touting his wife’s talents.

Collaring Disney chief Bob Iger at The Lion King’s London premiere in July last year, the duke was filmed apparently trying to drum up voiceover work for Meghan. A clip of the encounter has been viewed online more than 1.3million times.

Gesturing to the Duchess, Harry says: "You do know she does voiceovers?"

Mr Iger replies: "Oh really. Ah."

Harry persists: "Did you know that?"

Mr Iger says: "I did not know that."

Prince Harry continues: "You seem surprised, but yeah, she’s really interested."

After an inaudible moment, Mr Iger finally says: "Sure, we’d love to try. That’s a great idea."

The footage from July 14 emerged at the weekend as Harry and Meghan face questions over whether they will turn into "rent a royals" to fund their ambition to become self-sufficient.

The Duchess of Sussex has indeed landed work as a Disney voiceover artist, suggesting Harry’s efforts as a Hollywood-style fixer may have paid off. Meghan’s deal with the entertainment behemoth will involve her doing voiceovers in return for a donation to Elephants Without Borders – an organisation which helps to track and protect the animals from poaching.

The Lion King’s star-studded premiere raised funds for Harry’s conservation projects in Africa, particularly raising awareness of the dwindling numbers of lions in Kenya. During the conversation with Mr Iger, who initially seemed surprised at the Duke’s suggestion, Mr Iger’s wife Susan Iger wore a fixed grin as her husband discussed Harry’s idea. Meghan stood a few feet away chatting to Beyoncé, one of the film’s stars.

If the duchess’s voiceover deal is deemed a success, there is no reason why future commissions might not involve payments direct to the royal couple, who face a future trying to commercialise their status as they cut financial ties with the monarchy.

In their bombshell statement last Wednesday announcing that they will "step back" from being senior members of the Royal Family, the Sussexes said they would "work to become financially independent".

Meghan recorded her Disney voiceover before the royal couple left for their six-week Christmas break to Canada in a £10.7million mansion on Vancouver Island.

Friends say Meghan is keen to try her hand at directing too, as she wants to keep her ties with the film industry – but is not ready to have her face on the big screen again just yet.

Daily Mail