Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have secured lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify since they stepped down from the Royal Family in March 2020. Republic is an organisation that campaigns for the monarchy to be abolished and Queen Elizabeth II to be replaced by an elected, democratic head of state.
Republic’s Graham Smith told Express.co.uk: “The taxpayer does not owe the Royal Family a living.
“Many years ago they should have all done what Harry has done and become financially independent.
“That is not a great sacrifice on their part, that is just what the rest of us have to do all the time.
“There is no reason why the taxpayer should be paying for any of them.
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“They should all follow Prince Harry’s example and stop costing the taxpayer millions of pounds every year.”
However, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams strongly disagreed with the view put forward by Republic.
Mr Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “It’s a very curious assertion that a head of state and his or her family should receive no money from the taxpayer as is common practice.
“It is also ridiculous to give Harry as an example as he is no longer a senior working royal so obviously the taxpayer pays him nothing.
“Also, any reasonable look at this area should stress that the taxpayer needed to pay for security and, in addition to that, for the upkeep of buildings used, for staff and for travel.
He continued: “The Civil List, dating from George 111 who handed over his income from the Crown Lands in exchange for it in 1760, lasted until 2011 and has since been replaced by the Sovereign Grant which sensibly covers these costs and, excluding security, it is estimated that the cost of the monarchy is £1.24p per person per year including the cost of refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, the core cost is just 74p per year.
“This excludes the benefits from the Duchy of Cornwall which pays for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and the Cambridges.”
“Also, the Duchy of Lancaster from which the Queen pays for the other working royals. The taxpayer is not involved.
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“There is no mention of the benefits from having the world’s most high profile monarchy as we do, in which there is such vast media interest, the revenues accrued from tourism, from royal trips abroad for British business and for charity given the 2000 engagements which, in a normal year, the royals undertake and the over 3,000 organisations which have royal links and value these greatly.”
The royal commentator added: “I think Harry and Meghan will undoubtedly keep their royal titles which are in the gift of the Queen, though not use the HRH as agreed.
“It is important to remember that Harry is 6th in line to the throne.
“It is because they are royal that they are in such demand as is clear and it is important to remember Harry’s charitable activities such as founding the Invictus Games and also Sentebale and his work to help those who suffer from mental illness which show how important royal charity work is.”