Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have repaid the renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, their UK residence that they moved into before the birth of their son, Archie. The property in Windsor cost the taxpayer £2.4 million to upgrade last year, but was promised to be reimbursed after the Duke and Duchess stepped back as senior royals. Sky News’ Royal Correspondent Rhiannon Mills explained how the couple’s new Netflix deal may have “forced their hands” with how quickly they paid back the Queen.
Last week it was announced the pair had signed a multi-year deal with the US streaming giant.
Harry and Meghan, who live in California now, will be producing and possibly starring in documentaries, feature films and children’s programmes.
Ms Mills said: “I think the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s hands have been forced this week after it was announced that they’d signed that enormous deal with Netflix.
“Neither Netflix nor Sussexes have said how much money they’re making from that deal but it’s estimated it could be around £100 million.”
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She continued: “So if they’re bringing in that money, it makes sense that they’re going to pay this money back to the taxpayer for this home that they still want to keep here in the UK.
“Every year when we try to unpick the royal finances, there are often a few things that raise eyebrows.
“Last year, the big thing that stood out was that £2.4 million bill to refurbish Frogmore Cottage.
“The reason that people again started talking about just how much money it cost to refurbish it was because at the start of the year Harry and Meghan announced they wanted to step away from royal duties.”
The statement goes onto say that this contribution, as originally offered by Prince Harry, has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of the Queen, and will remain the UK residence of the Duke and his family.
The sovereign grant is the package of money that is used to pay for the official work of the monarch and her family, and also the upkeep of their properties.
The grant money comes from some of the profits that are made by the Crown of State, which is a huge portfolio of land and properties which are in the gift of the monarch.
Most of the profits go to the Treasury but a percentage goes to funding their official work.
That is why it is often referred to as taxpayers’ money.