When the Sussexes announced plans to step back as working members of the royal family earlier this year, the couple made it clear that they also wanted complete financial independence from The Firm.
And now, just five months since their March 31 departure, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have achieved exactly that after Prince Harry fully repaid the £2.4 million ($3.1 million) spent converting Frogmore Cottage into a family home.
A representative for the couple tells BAZAAR.com, "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, and will remain the U.K. residence of The Duke and his family."
Buckingham Palace also confirm that the amount was recently repaid in full to the Sovereign Grant, the British government and tax-payer supported purse that funds the royal family and their professional endeavors.
"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 close to the couple tells BAZAAR.com. While instalments may have been an option, the duke, adds the source, was eager to repay the money in full.
The £2.4 million costs spent in 2018 covered the structural renovations needed to turn Windsor Estate’s Grade II-listed Frogmore Cottage back into a liveable family home, after it had previously been converted into staff apartments several decades ago. All interior refurbishments, including appliances and decorative elements, were already privately covered by the couple.
Prince Harry’s repayment means that the Sussexes now have full financial independence. Despite offers from Prince Charles to provide financial support from his Duchy of Cornwall estate, a separate source close to the couple tells BAZAAR.com that they are "not taking anything" from the Prince of Wales. "They want to be completely independent."
Just last week the couple—who purchased a $14.65 million family home in Santa Barbara, California, this summer—signed a landmark multi-year production and development deal with Netflix. Harry and Meghan’s unnamed production company will see the couple make documentaries, feature films, scripted shows, and programs for children.
"Our lives, both independent of each other and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection," the Sussexes said in a statement. "Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope."
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