Stowe Family Law Senior Partner Julian Hawkhead has been quoted in popular US magazine US Weekly, discussing the possibility that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might sign a prenuptial agreement before their forthcoming wedding.
US Weekly is a celebrity and entertainment-focused publication with a circulation comfortably exceeding two million.
Writing for the many fans of the Royal Family on the other side of the Atlantic, where prenups are much more commonly used, reporter Sarah Hearon notes that “despite [Prince Harry’s] royal worth, it’s unlikely there will be a prenuptial agreement in place” when the couple marry next spring. She goes go to quote extensively from Julian’s thoughts on the issue, describing him as a “U.K.-based family law attorney”.
Asked whether he thought the couple were likely to sign enter a prenup, Julian got straight to the point.
“No I don’t think they will. If there was any drive to do so it would have come from the senior members of the royal family. There has been absolutely no such direction to do this and in fact, I’m reminded of when Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged to be married, the Palace made it quite clear that they had no expectation that there should be any such prenuptial arrangement made.”
Julian went to explain the differences between prenups in the UK and the type widely used in United States which could be familiar to readers of US Weekly: they are little used, they are given less weight in divorce proceedings and they do normally include penalties for bad behaviour.
“The English courts rarely consider the behavior of the parties as relevant when dividing up assets.”
In the event of an eventual divorce, Julian said he thought it unlikely Meghan would receive half Harry’s assets, although her claims would normally become larger the longer the marriage lasted.