Prince Charles may turn to his multi-million pound inheritances from King George VI and the Queen Mother to bankroll Harry and Meghan‘s Canadian adventure – but experts in royal finances fear taxpayers could still end up picking up the bill.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are worth up to £34million between them but have to pay back the £2.4million of public funds spent refurbishing Frogmore Cottage and are expected to buy or rent a gated mansion in Canada.
Charles has historically paid his son around £2.3million-a-year from his £1.2billion Duchy of Cornwall estate – which is considered a public asset because it has been gifted to the heir to the throne by every British monarch since 1337.
Clarence House sources say Charles will now tap into his own wealth and share investments to fund the Sussexes for at least the next year.
But critics fear the money will come indirectly from the public purse because most of Charles’ wealth comes from the Duchy because he was ‘taken to the cleaners’ during his divorce from Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Prince Charles was in Ayrshire yesterday and put on a brave face on the day his son Harry left for Canada – as it was claimed his own finances will be stretched to pay for them to settle in Canada
The Duchess of Sussex looked in good spirits as she walked through the woods just a couple of miles from the oceanfront home on Canada’s Vancouver Island and Harry arrived last night to see his wife and son after a fortnight apart
Charles is understood to have inherited millions from his grandfather King George VI, who died in 1952, and from the Queen Mother, who died in 2002. The royal couple are pictured on their Silver Wedding Anniversary in 1948
Charles is understood to have inherited millions from his grandfather King George VI, who died in 1952, and a significant sum from the Queen Mother, who died in 2002.
David McClure, the author of Royal Legacy, told The Times: ‘Charles is facing a significant outlay over a short period of time and may have to use private sources of income’, adding: ‘The Duchy of Cornwall is a cash cow for Charles so he is likely to have been able to use some of that money to build up a private portfolio of shares. Historically there has been a blurring of what is official spending and what is private.’
Former Lib Dem MP Norman Baker is an expert on Charles finances after writing his book And What Do You Do? What the Royal Family Don’t Want You to Know’ and claims Charles has banked £100million.
Who pays for Meghan and Harry’s lifestyle, where does their cash come from and how much could they make in North America?
Who pays for Harry and Meghan now and will this continue when they move to Canada?
The government department covers Harry, Meghan and Archie’s 24/7 Met police security – estimated at £600,000-a-year. With overtime, travel and accommodation expenses this would likely reach £1million.
However experts have said that this could reach £3million – with British taxpayers expected to pick up some or all of the bill despite the couple living in Canada.
The details have not yet been agreed but sources expect the Home Office to pick up some or all of the bill when their royal duties end in the spring.
Harry receives up to £2.3million annually from his father’s royal estate, the Duchy of Cornwall.
It is understood that Charles will continue to fund his son for the first year at least, either via the Duchy of Cornwall, the estate which provides him with private funding, or more likely from his own personal investments from income such as his bequest from the late Queen Mother. No public funds will be used.
Harry inherited around £20million from his mother, Princess Diana, who died when he was 12.
The Queen Mother also left him up to £7million.
Much of his cash is tied up in trust funds with some of the money kept from him until his 40th birthday
Meghan has a personal fortune of £4million, mainly from her acting work and property in Canada.
She also earned six-figures each year from blogging, fashion and modelling.
Where could they make money from and how much?
The path taken by Mrs Obama after her time as First Lady – and indeed the career Hillary Clinton has carved out – may well be an inspiration to Meghan as she looks to her future.
The former Suits actress is likely to be highly sought after by publishing houses who would see dollar signs at the prospect of a revealing memoir.
Recent books written by Mrs Obama and Mrs Clinton topped bestseller lists and were accompanied by tours where they filled venues like rock stars.
Experts have claimed that US TV networks could be willing to pay the Sussexes £38million [$50million] book deals, £20million [$25million] for US TV interviews and £470,000 [$600,000] based on the amounts secured by the Obamas since they left the White House.
As a former lifestyle blogger, another option would be for Meghan to resurrect The Tig blog and become an a-list influencer, perhaps teaming up with brands, signing sponsorship deals, and getting paid in return for posting about brands on her blog and social media.
It is thought that this route may be unlikely as it could be argued that it does not fit in with upholding the values of the Queen.
Another possibility for Meghan would be to return to her role as paralegal Rachel Zane in Suits, which was filmed in Toronto, and would therefore be convenient if the couple settled in the Canadian city.
The show has ended now but executives may be tempted to bring it back if they were to have a duchess among the cast.
In April 2019, Kensington Palace announced that Harry was working with US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey on a mental health documentary series.
Harry and Oprah will be co-creators and executive producers of the project for Apple, with the multi-part documentary series focusing on both mental illness and mental wellness.
Away from TV, Harry could turn to the well-paid lecture circuit where he could depend on his confidence and charisma to bring in big bucks.
With his Army training in leading others and experience of appearing on stages across the world, Harry could well become an in-demand motivational speaker.
He said: ‘He [Charles] does not pay for anything if he is able to find someone else to foot the bill. He is the tightest of the royals’, and said: ‘He’ll support them [Harry and Meghan] through the Duchy of Cornwall. What he will then do, based on previous experience, is claim that as a legitimate expense and he will use that to reduce his tax liability and therefore the public purse will continue to support Harry indirectly.’
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said today there must be a ‘line of delineation’ over who funds the security costs of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie.
Mr Buckland told Sky News: ‘I think there is an issue about how public money is spent. Quite clearly there have already been arrangements made about how that family are going to live and how they are going to be able to get private income but there clearly has to be a line of delineation.
‘I think we all want a family like that to be safe, but at the same time I think what really needs to happen is they need to understand how their lifestyle is to adapt and what their needs might be.’
Pressed on whether the UK taxpayer should fund the Sussexes while they are in Canada, Mr Buckland said: ‘I don’t have an easy answer to that, I don’t know at the moment what precisely their arrangements are going to be.
‘I am, of course, concerned to make sure that taxpayers’ money is used effectively in order to provide protection to people who are offering a service to the British public.’
Prince Charles privately owns the Duchy of Cornwall estate – but it is considered a publicly owned because of its links to the Crown going back to when it was established by Edward III in 1337. Its special royal status also gives the heir to the throne an exemption from corporation tax and capital gains tax – but Charles voluntarily pays around £4.8million in annual income tax. It will be passed to William when Charles becomes king.
The Duchy has 52,760 acres of land worth an estimated £931million and commercial property valued at £291million including at Charles’ prized Poundbury estate in Dorset, most of Isles of Scilly, vast swathes of Devon and Cornwall and areas of London.
The assets cannot be watered down because they are for the ‘benefit of present and future dukes of Cornwall’ – and if sold the cash has to be reinvested – but Charles is entitled to any surplus revenue from the Duchy, although his true wealth is unknown.
The Prince of Wales is said to have had to rebuild his wealth after his divorce from William and Harry’s mother Diana.
In 2004 Geoffrey Bignell, Charles’ former personal financial adviser, claimed that Diana ‘took every penny he had’ to pay her £17.5million settlement.
He told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘I was told to liquidate everything, all his investments so that he could give her the cash. He had no personal wealth left. She took him to the cleaners’.
Charles continued financial support for the Sussexes came despite claims they could amass a billion dollar fortune – but taxpayers could still be picking up the couple’s £3million bodyguard bill because of fears they won’t be kept safe in Canada.
The abdication agreement with Her Majesty has cost the Sussexes their HRH titles – but it will allow them ‘complete and absolute’ freedom to secure tie-ups with Silicon Valley giants such as Apple and Netflix or US TV networks while avoiding ‘dodgy’ commercial deals that would upset the Queen.
Experts have claimed that US TV networks could be willing to pay the couple £38million [$50million] book deals, £20million for US TV interviews and £470,000 [$600,000] based on the amounts secured by the Obamas since they left the White House.
And Prince Charles is expected to pay his £2.3million annual payment to his son for at least another year while they set up in Canada, despite the couple having an estimated joint net worth of £34million [$44million].
Harry has his own wealth, including an estimated £20million inheritance from Princess Diana and £7million from the Queen Mother. Meghan is thought to be worth £4million, accumulated mainly from her seven years on Suits.
The couple are predicted to have such incredible earning power they could build a $1billion brand having spent part of 2019 secretly trademarking the Sussex brand on items such as pyjamas, hats and hoodies – but this is expected to be impossible without angering Harry’s grandmother and father.
But despite the Megxit deal being hammered out at the Sandringham summit hosted by the Queen this month, there are still a number of unanswered questions about who will fund the couple once they settle abroad – and how they will make money.
There is a row brewing because the British taxpayer could pick up the couple’s estimated £3million security bill because an American private firm would be ‘woefully ill-equipped’ to protect the high profile couple.
Harry and Meghan have significant personal wealth but their decision to quit as frontline royals and move to Canada will increase the earning potential for them and their charities. But it is inevitable they will become richer themselves
Prince Charles was ‘hurt’ by the Sussexes’ decision having reportedly been paying Harry and Meghan more than William and Kate to support them in married life
Dai Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, said: ‘Ultimately I think the British public will still be paying for it.
‘The private security firms simply cannot cope with the professional demands that protecting Harry and Meghan would put on them.
‘By moving abroad they are making it harder to set up adequate protection.’
Buckingham Palace has delayed the final decision over whether to ban the couple’s use of the ‘Sussex Royal’ brand on Instagram and on their personal website until later in the year – but the Queen has warned them not to use it as a trade name in business deals.
A final ruling on what is allowed will be made after further negotiations, but the brand would refer to the couple’s soon-to-be announced charitable foundation and not commercial activities, an insider has said, adding: ‘They have promised they will not bring the Royal Family into disrepute through any dodgy deals’.
Harry and Meghan want to use their Sussex brand to make huge amounts of money for the charities and good causes they support in the UK and around the world – but is inevitable they will become richer themselves.
Aides are said to have warned the couple they could be forced to change the name of their charitable foundation and social media profile if it damages the Royal Family.
But sources have suggested something this ‘extreme’ is unlikely with the couple losing the HRH title, perks and having top pay back the £2.4million of taxpayers’ money spent on Frogmore Cottage.
And with Harry set to fly out to Canada imminently after completing some of his final royal duties, the couple are able to continue building their brand and business opportunities with their Sussex Royal brand intact.
Talent manager Jonathan Shalit, who has struck commercial deals with a host of stars, tweeted last night: ‘Meghan and Harry will become a billion dollar brand’, adding cash would roll in from ‘Fashion and consumer product ranges, endorsements and advertising. Books, TV and film, paid public appearances, company directorships in return for shares.’
He added in an interview with LBC: ‘The Duchess of Sussex is one of the most famous people in the world. The phone is going to be off the hook. Never before has someone that close to the queen been available for commercial opportunity.
‘My guess is [an Oprah Winfrey interview would pay] around $25 million. Imagine how many people are going to watch that. Let’s say it goes out on Apple or Amazon, imagine the advertising around that. The commercial opportunity is extraordinary.
‘The Obamas book deal in the US was around $50m. The real value when it comes to fashion is Meghan. She’s been on the front cover of glossy magazines all over the world. Any brand in the world. It would be phenomenal in terms of her income.
‘You mention wellness, there’s a TV actress in America… Jessica Alba had a company called The Honest Company that’s worth over a billion dollars. [Meghan] could in theory make billions of dollars if she got involved with the right company in terms of being a shareholder.’
Netflix‘s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in LA on Sunday the streaming giant would like to work with Harry and Meghan, adding: ‘Who wouldn’t be interested?’
Harry has also worked with Apple – and US TV networks are ready to work with the Sussexes, who are close to Oprah Winfrey.
Currently their bodyguards cost around £1million-a-year – but experts claim this could reach £3million if they spend most of their time in Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had intimated that his country would pick up some of the expense – but a poll of 1,154 Canadian adults found last week that 73 per cent do not want their government to pay for the couple’s security costs.
The Queen and Prince Charles decided not to strip Prince Harry of their HRH titles and Duke and Duchess of Sussex rank to avoid looking ‘petty’, it was claimed today.
Her Majesty is said to have considered stripping the couple of their most prized titles and instead referring to them as the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton – putting them at the same level as Edward and Sophie, Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Megxit: The unanswered questions about Harry and Meghan’s personal and financial future
With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex quitting royal life completely, there are many issues that remain unanswered or that are still to be decided upon.
– When will the changes take place?
There is no exact date for Megxit yet.
Buckingham Palace said it will be in the spring of 2020, following a period of transition, so Harry and Meghan’s final days as working royals could be in March, April or as late as May.
The couple, who will in the future be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are, as such, still using their HRH styles and the titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
– Who will pay for their security?
This is one of the most problematic areas. Buckingham Palace is not commenting on the couple’s security arrangements.
But it has said: ‘There are well-established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.’
The Duchess of Sussex is escorted through a market in Suva, Fiji, during an official tour (Ian Vogler/PA)
It is not known whether taxpayers will continue to fund Harry and Meghan’s personal protection officers, or whether the couple will eventually finance their own security and what Canada will have to pay.
– Where will they live in Canada?
Meghan has been staying on Vancouver Island, but the family will be looking for a permanent home.
They could remain in British Colombia or head to Toronto where Meghan lived while filming Suits, but their exit plan means they have the freedom to live wherever they want.
– What about Meghan’s citizenship?
This is still unclear. At the time of their engagement, Kensington Palace said Meghan would be applying for British citizenship.
At the time of their engagement, it was announced that Meghan would be applying for British citizenship (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
But it was not specified whether she would hold dual American citizenship.
It is not known what stage the process was at or what will happen now.
– How will they make money?
Quitting royal life means the couple are free to seek employment.
No commercial deals have been signed so far, but their financial independence means they could seek out fashion lines, sponsorship, become involved with Netflix or Disney, write books, or Meghan could resurrect her lifestyle blog or acting career.
But the Palace said the couple have vowed that ‘everything they do will continue to uphold the values’ of the Queen.
The Sussexes have pledged to uphold the Queen´s values in their new life (Joe Giddens/PA)
– What about the Sussex Royal Foundation and can they still use the Sussex Royal name?
This has not been decided yet. It is difficult to see how Harry and Meghan could continue to use the word Royal after their departure from royal life.
A date for the Foundation’s launch is still to be confirmed.
– How much will they pay back for Frogmore Cottage?
The total amount of taxpayers’ money Harry and Meghan will pay back for the renovation of their Windsor home is not yet known.
Harry and Meghan´s UK home, Frogmore Cottage (Steve Parsons/PA)
It will include the £2.4 million of Sovereign Grant money spent on Frogmore Cottage listed in the 2018-2019 royal accounts.
But this did not include the cost of exterior painting and landscaping which will appear in this year’s accounts, so the final amount will be higher.
– When will we next see Harry and Meghan together at an official royal engagement in the UK before the changes take place?
Who knows? No engagements have been announced so far.
The royals at the Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey in 2019 (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)
The Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 10 is a big royal event so royal watchers will be waiting to see if Harry and Meghan attend this alongside the Windsors.
– Where will Archie go to school?
The family will be spending most of their time in North America.
If this continues, it is more than likely that Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will not have a British education, but nothing has been confirmed.
– How much will the Prince of Wales give Harry and Meghan?
This is unlikely ever to be revealed. Charles will continue to offer private financial support to his youngest son and Meghan.
It could come from his £21 million-a-year private income from the Duchy of Cornwall landed estate, or from his own private investments.
The Prince of Wales with his youngest son, Harry (Paul Edwards/The Sun)
– What will happen in 12 months’ time?
Impossible to tell. There is scope for the Queen, Charles, Harry and the Duke of Cambridge to review the arrangements in a year.
But they might decide there is no need for a meeting if all is going well.
Topics up for discussions might range from security and whether Charles’s financial help will continue, to whether Harry and Meghan still retain Frogmore Cottage as a UK base or whether they make a complete move to North America.