Friday, May 7, 2021

Prince Harry, Meghan surprise UK taxpayers with multi-million-dollar repayment

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have repaid some £2.5 million forked out by British taxpayers to refurbish the home allocated to them which they abandoned early this year.

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Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, ditched the British royal family and bolted to California early in 2020.

They spent months “couch surfing” at borrowed mansions without any sign of a paying job between them.

The only income they had to show was regular donations from Prince Charles, Harry’s father. Many felt these payments flew in the face of the couple’s avowed intention to stand on their own feet financially.

Among the many gripes the British public kept repeating after they fled, one of the biggest was when or if they would pay back the £2.5 million (RM13 million) British taxpayers forked out to refurbish Frogmore Cottage, the home the queen allocated them and they subsequently abandoned.

Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit California particularly badly, has not helped them in their search for a permanent home and the kind of income to which they are accustomed.

However, things now seem to have taken a turn for the better for them.

They recently bought a mansion in Santa Barbara, California and last week signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Netflix to produce a range of films and series for the streaming service.

Prince Harry has now repaid the £2.5 million to the UK.

A spokesman for the couple said on Monday that Harry has made a contribution to the Sovereign Grant, the public money that goes to the royal family. He said the contribution “fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage”, near Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle home, west of London.

He said the huge property will remain the home of Harry and Meghan, also known as the duke and duchess of Sussex, when they visit the UK.

The couple agreed to pay back the money and start paying rent as part of the plans drawn up when they quit as senior working royals in March.

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