Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have paid an undisclosed sum of money to the British government to cover rent and expenses they incurred while living at Frogmore Cottage before moving to Canada and, ultimately, the United States, The Independent reported.
For a while after their marriage, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex lived on the grounds of Kensington Palace, a property that had been in the Windsor family for centuries. Indeed, the pair lived practically within feet of Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton, before striking out on their own and into Frogmore Cottage, another monarchy-owned estate.
It was during this time that the couple’s relationship with the U.K. public began to sour, as the pair reportedly spent £2.4 million (about $3.05 million) on renovations to the property with British government funds. Though the money was provided by U.K. taxpayers, it came from the so-called “Sovereign Grant,” a set of monies intended to fund the monarchy. Nonetheless, the property had already been scheduled for renovations even before Harry and Meghan moved in, as The Independent noted.
After Harry and Meghan resigned as senior members of the royal family and moved across the Atlantic Ocean, the matter of the bill for the renovation costs became a point of contention between the Sussexes and the British public. Earlier this month, Harry paid off that bill, according to a report from The Independent at the time.
It has since been reported that they gave an undisclosed amount of money to the Sovereign Grant, this time for back rent as well as renovations, according to an unidentified royal source.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a substantial contribution to the Sovereign Grant that covers refurbishment and rental obligations for Frogmore Cottage,” the source said, adding that the specifics of how the contribution will be accounted for will be worked out when next year’s accounts are revealed.
That’s not good enough for Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, a group keen to see the monarchy abolished. He believes the U.K. taxpayers deserve to know what’s actually happening rather than taking Harry and Meghan’s word for it.
“They’re working out their own finances, doing their own books and then reporting their own finances – there needs to be independent scrutiny,” he said.
Frogmore Cottage will remain Harry and Meghan’s U.K. home.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Harry and Meghan have signed a multi-year deal, worth an undisclosed amount of money, to produce content for the streaming service Netflix.