Meghan Markle has cost the royal family — specifically, her father-in-law, Prince Charles — quite the pretty penny since joining them, the Telegraph is reporting. Specifically, the Prince of Wales has spent £1.43 million (about $2 million, give or take) more on his family’s activities this year than he did last year.
Royally speaking, Prince Charles is responsible for providing money for his two children and their wives; that is, Prince Harry and Princess Kate (or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to be specific), and Prince Harry and now Meghan Markle (or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex). And provide he did: last year, he spent £3.52 million (about $4.62 million) on the two princes and one princess. This year, he spent £4.96 (about $6.5 million) on his extended family, an increase of £1.43 million (about $2 million).
There’s an obvious reason for that, of course: the number of adults for whom he provides has increased from three to four. But there’s also a less-obvious reason: the young princes and their families are taking on more royal duties in light of Queen Elizabeth’s cutting back on her own royal duties due to her advanced age (she’s 92).
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Royal Ascot pic.twitter.com/DM2z5YxD0R
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Those figures don’t include the cost of travel to and from royal engagements: that’s borne by the Sovereign (that is, Queen Elizabeth), from a fund that’s paid for by the British taxpayers (more on that in a few paragraphs).
Clive Alderton, Prince Charles’ private secretary, says his boss isn’t at all mourning the amount of money his adult children are costing him. Indeed, in light of the banner year his family has had, he’s glad to have spent the money.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex became engaged, their wedding itself seemed to me a day when not just the sun shone but Britain itself shone – and right round the world. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that they were expecting another child and the Prince of Wales’s third grandchild Prince Louis was born in April.”
The royal family’s money comes from a mix of sources, according to Business Insider. Some of it comes from the British taxpayer, the vast majority of it comes from private sources, including centuries-old land holdings. Prince Charles, for example, gets the majority of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall, a swath of 130,000 acres set aside to provide income to the heir to the Throne (whomever holds that title) in the 1300s.
The British taxpayer’s share of the cost of the royal family mostly goes to things like security, staff, and the upkeep of royal residences. That costs the average British taxpayer about £.65 (about $.85) per year, according to the Boston Globe.