Friday, 18 Sep 2020

Prince Harry ‘relieved’ to pay off Frogmore after Netflix deal sparks ENORMOUS meltdown

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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry used £2.4million of taxpayers’ money from the Sovereign Grant to refurbish their Windsor home. But the couple stepped down as senior royals earlier this year which led the public to question whether the Sussexes would return the money.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were originally paying back the funds through monthly instalments.

They paid £18,000 a month which also covered rent for the Windsor property.

But since signing a multi-year deal with the online streaming giant Netflix, the Sussexes have decided to pay the money back in one go.

A source close to the Duke and Duchess said they are “very relieved and very pleased” to be able to pay off the cost of Frogmore Cottage’s renovation.

They added: “This has been a pro-active step and something they wanted to do from the outset.”

The anonymous source also insisted “There was no requirement” from the Queen for Harry and Meghan to pay the money back.

However, they added “it was important to them that they did, and after the Netflix deal they were in a position to do so.”

They said: “I think this is quite a significant moment for them.

“They’re now in their forever home, it’s the start of their new life and they’re very much looking forward to everything that’s about to come.”

In a statement, the Sussexes’ spokesman confirmed the couple had repaid the money in full.

He also said the pair would keep the property as their UK base.

The statement read: “A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex.

“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 UK residence of the Duke and his family.”

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With their new Netflix deal, the Duke and Duchess plan to produce TV series, documentaries and children’s shows for the online streaming site.

The couple hope to create content which “informs but also gives hope”.

Prince Harry was reportedly “hurt and upset” by reports that he had ended a TV project to raise funds for the Invictus Games.

The project would have been streamed on the rival site Amazon.

A source told Vanity Fair: “There was a proposal being drawn up for a live concert in the Hollywood Bowl but there were quite a few holes in the proposal, and it wasn’t all done and dusted.

“The suggestion that Harry has chosen himself over Invictus, which he’s given so much time to is really quite egregious.

“He was hurt and upset which is why he reacted so strongly.”

The Sussexes’ lawyers said: “The true position is that the format of the event was no longer viable in light of COVID-19.

“These factors were separate to and independent of our client’s deal with Netflix.”

A spokesperson for the Invictus Games also said the event was “shelved” due to the pandemic.

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