For those of you who’ve been keeping tabs, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have now fully repaid the $3.1 million of British taxpayers’ money used to renovate their Frogmore Cottage home. When the couple announced in early 2020 that they would be stepping down from their royal duties, they made it clear they wanted to be financially independent of the royal family. And thanks to a lucrative Netflix deal, it would seem they’ve taken the first major step toward that benchmark.
On Monday, a representative for the couple confirmed that Harry made a sizable contribution to the Sovereign Grant, saying, “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.” Buckingham Palace also confirmed that Harry and Meghan repaid the Sovereign Grant, the public funding provided to support the royal family. The Sussexes’ rep further noted that Frogmore Cottage will remain the U.K. home of Harry, Meghan and their son Archie.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, Harry and Meghan took it upon themselves to pay off the debt as quickly as possible. “There was never any expectation or request from the Royal Family or the Crown Estate to repay this but they have felt it was important to do so and this is why they proactively offered to repay as soon as the move was announced,” a source told the outlet.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are now “financially independent” from Prince Charles and have repaid the $3M for their Frogmore Cottage home renovation costs. @JamesAALongman reports. https://t.co/qb4P8xPkvi pic.twitter.com/6du7JRJYUC
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 8, 2020
While much was made of the renovations at Frogmore Cottage (read: trolls had a field day), it’s worth mentioning that the $3.1 million largely went toward structural repairs. Previously converted into apartments for royal staff, the 18th century home was in a state of dilapidation after being uninhabited for several years. Harry and Meghan’s Sovereign-Trust-funded refurbishment included re-converting it to a single-family home, along with new wiring and new flooring. All of the interior refurbishments, such as appliances and decorative elements, were privately covered by Harry and Meghan.
Coupled with reports the Sussexes are no longer accepting any financial help from Prince Charles, their debt repayment suggests they may have reached their goal of financial independence sooner than anticipated.
So, how could Harry and Meghan afford to recover their refurbishment so fast? One word: Netflix. Last week, the pair signed a lucrative landmark multi-year production and development deal with the streaming giant to produce documentaries. “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the Sussexes said of the deal. “As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.” In announcing the deal, the pair also point out that Netflix’s “unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.”
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