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Meghan Markle, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, have cleared their debt to the British public and paid back the £2.4 million taxpayers money spent on renovating their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage since signing a multimillion-pound deal with Netflix. A royal expert has pointed out another huge advantage to the deal.
Meghan and Harry’s decision to leave their royal roles behind was in part motivated by their wish for a more peaceful life.
Their time in the royal bubble was marred by moments of public outrage over what critics deemed to be hypocritical behaviour from the royal couple.
Arguably one of the biggest controversies to affect Meghan and Harry was their decision to keep their son Archie Harrison’s christening private around the same time it was revealed they had received more than two million from the Sovereign Grant to renovate their home.
Asked about the significance of Meghan and Harry paying back this amount following their royal exit, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “The fact that Harry and Meghan received £2.4 million from the Sovereign Grant to refurbish Frogmore Cottage was always seen as a sign that they owed something to the British taxpayer.
Mr Fitzwilliams added: “Hence the intensity of criticism over their decision to have a private christening and not reveal the names of Archie’s godparents.
“The Sussexes made decisions regarding their privacy which appeared arbitrary, even if the original expectations about them acting with the Cambridges as ‘the Fab Four’ were wholly unrealistic.”
According to the royal expert, the Sussexes will continue to attract huge public interest despite repaying the money.
The expert said: “It would be a mistake to think that paying this off will have any bearing at all on the level of public interest that they will continue to attract and that will be reflected in the obsessive press fascination which accompanies everything they do.”
However, he did flag that another huge advantage to the deal was that not only has it made Meghan and Harry financially independent from the Crown but it means they will no longer depend on Prince Charles for money either.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “Although the money has been paid from their private funds, it is also highly significant that they will not be receiving further financial support from Prince Charles.”
According to Mr Fitzwilliams the Netflix deal which is estimated to be worth up to £75 million, will allow Harry and Meghan to focus on the projects they had always dreamed of.
He said: “Their highly remunerative deal with Netflix will, at a stroke, make them financially independent which was always their aim.”
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Mr Fitzwilliams added: “For Harry and Meghan, this represents an opportunity to make documentaries and feature films and children’s programmes which is also a chance to campaign for the causes they believe in such as diversity, gender equality, the environment and mental health.”
Nest Tuesday Harry will mark his first birthday since stepping down as a senior royal.
Since announcing their plans to withdraw in January the Sussexes have undergone huge changes in their lives.
From relocating to America, to buying a home and gaining financial independence, it seems the couple have finally found the freedom they were after.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “Harry’s 36th birthday is next Tuesday and this deal and the freedom it brings, has given him and Meghan a very great deal to celebrate.”
Meghan and Harry could return to the UK with Archie for a stint next year.
The family were due to the visit the Queen at Balmoral this summer but had to cancel the trip due to coronavirus.
Harry is expected to attend the Invictus Games in the Hague in March and may stop by Britain afterwards.
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