Prince Harry and Meghan have paid back the public money spent renovating their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, in full, a spokesman for the couple said today. The couple made a lump sum payment to the Sovereign Grant—the pot of public money the Queen receives each year for expenses including renovating official royal residences. The spokesman did not disclose the amount but confirmed to T&C that it covered all the renovations made to Frogmore. Accounts showed that £2.4 million was spent on the Sussex’s home during the financial year 2018/19, and it is thought that there may also have been a smaller additional amount spent in the following financial year.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said today: “A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by The Duke of Sussex. This contribution as originally offered by Prince Harry has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the UK residence of The Duke and his family.”
The public money spent on the cottage only applied to the structural renovations and the Sussexes had already paid for the fixtures and fittings themselves.
When Prince Harry and Meghan announced in January they were stepping back as senior working royals, they made it clear that they were adamant they did not want to receive any public funds. They described on their newly-created website how they wanted to “live a more independent life as a family by removing the supposed ‘public interest’ justification for media intrusion into their lives.”
They offered to pay back the public money spent on Frogmore as part of their move to free themselves from public funding and achieve the financial independence that would give them the freedom to run their work and media policy as they wished. The Mail on Sunday broke the story earlier this year that the Sussexes were paying the money back in installments. However, since the news was announced last week that the couple has signed a lucrative multi-year production deal with Netflix, they had received some criticism that they should pay the money back sooner.
It was confirmed to T&C last week they have signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce a range of programming including documentaries, doc-series, movies, scripted shows, and children’s content. Last month it was confirmed they have moved into a new family home in Santa Barbara with baby Archie.
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