The Sussexes are still technically ‘paying upfront’ to lease Frogmore Cottage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit Auwal Mosque in Cape Town

The Windsors are BROKE! No, they aren’t. Queen Elizabeth has an enormous amount of private and public wealth, from real estate to jewelry to artwork. But because of the weird scheme of how the Windsors are “funded,” the pandemic has wrecked the Windsor finances short-term, and cost-cutting measures are already being implemented. That includes widespread layoffs among royal staff. Apparently, there will be a £15 million budget shortfall for the Sovereign Grant over the next three years. The Sovereign Grant has been around £48-50 million per year in recent years, and with that money, the Queen finances office staff, international travel, palace upkeep, renovations to publicly owned properties, etc. In what amounts to a light audit of just how the pandemic has affected the royals’ finances, many details were revealed about what various royals “cost” when they were doing this or that. And now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s repayment for Frogmore Cottage is making news again too.

Prince Harry and Meghan have paid an undisclosed upfront sum for the rent and refurbishment of their UK home Frogmore Cottage, royal accountants have disclosed. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who quit as full-time working royals and relocated to the US, had already announced paying back the £2.4 million spent renovating the Windsor property after they signed a £112m deal with Netflix.

The developments emerged as the palace showed a potential £35 million shortfall due to Covid-19 pandemic. A senior palace source said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a substantial contribution to the Sovereign Grant that covers refurbishment and rental obligations for Frogmore Cottage. The reporting method for this contribution has yet to be determined and will have to be agreed by the National Audit Office before appearing in next year’s accounts.”

As the royal accounts were released, details emerged of a £15 million shortfall expected over the next three years that supplements the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen due to Covid-19. It also emerged that £369 million re-servicing programme to update essential electrical cabling, plumbing and heating at Buckingham Palace over a 10-year period is expected to be £20 million short.

Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, stressed the royal household had no intention of asking for extra funding, but would “look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies”. A pay freeze for royal staff was implemented in April and there is also a halt on recruitment, with only business-critical posts being filled.

Harry and Meghan’s official visit to southern Africa cost almost £246,000, the report revealed, while a two-day visit by the Prince of Wales to Oman to pay his condolences following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said cost £210,345. For a trip to Pakistan, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s travel costs were £117,116.

[From The Evening Standard]

Estimating the costs of tours and trips is a bit tricky because some of the costs are offset by the countries being visited by royals. Like, that’s why the Cambridges’ tour to Pakistan is relatively low – because the bulk of their tour was not financed by the Sovereign Grant, it was mostly picked up by Pakistan and, I would assume, the Foreign Office. As for the Sussexes’ repayment for Frogmore Cottage… I have no idea why this is making news again. We all knew about the repayment weeks ago. We all knew that the money went back to the Sovereign Grant. And yes, we knew that Harry and Meghan still legally “lease” Frogmore, because they NEVER owned it – it was a lease gifted to them by the Queen, with the understanding that they would renovate it using public funds. Now Frogmore is sitting there, mostly empty, as a symbol of how the Windsors are trash.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge  called on The President of Pakistan  Dr. Arif Alvi  at the Presidential Palace,

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pay a visit to Johannesburg

Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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135 Responses to “The Sussexes are still technically ‘paying upfront’ to lease Frogmore Cottage”

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  1. Mignionette says:

    I feel like it would be best if they just walked away from any Crown properties as it will always spark outrage amongst the UK gammons.

    It’s shocking that they’ve funded the refurbishment of a Crown Property but I’d rather cut my losses and run.

    Just buy a lovely secluded farm in oxfordshire that can be run sustainably and live there when they visit the UK. Give Charles and his DUCHY brand a run for his money. That would really put the Cat amongst the Pidgeons and bring in even more income.

    • Bibi says:

      This report feels like their asking for money from the sussex because of their neyflix deal to help out the Crown. lol Very cheap. Sell that gold piano. So did the sussex pay all the tenos to help them out because they are so poor?

      • Mignionette says:

        The bitterness of UK gammons to these two is just astounding. They are now trying to institute a black tax against Meghan for (1) daring to marry their Prince (2) being successful and wealthy.

        If I were advising H&M, I’d tell them to cut loose any RF property ties. Mark down the cost of refurbishment as the cost of freedom and walk away.

      • Becks1 says:

        It definitely has that vibe to it – “the BP renovations are going to be 20 million short, oh no, where can we find that money……?”

        Does the government have any control over how the sovereign grant is actually spent, or does “the queen” have full control over it? (saying the queen but realizing that there would be other people in charge of the budget, but I guess I’m asking if they work for the queen and have full autonomy separate from the government?)

      • Nyro says:

        A “black tax” is exactly what it is. This is naked racism, no way around it. And watch his beloved granny and his dad sit back and let this racist harassment snowball and become even more dangerous than it is. They could put out a statement today, shutting down this mess. But they won’t. They are going to beat this drum and continue to whip the idiotic British public into a frenzy. I legitimately fear for Harry and Megan’s safety when they step foot on British soil again.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        I’d be quite happy to buy that piano actually. For £5.

      • Molly says:

        Meghan and Harry CAN NOT own Frogmore. It belongs to the Crown. It’s not the Queens private property like Sandringham or Balmoral. Having said that, it’s not unusual for a Royal to have a lease on property owned by the Crown. Andrew has a 100 year lease and Edward has a 150 year lease on their homes. I’m not sure of the arrangements the Sussex’s made on Frogmore.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Molly, I wrote of that below. Right now, the situation at Frogmore is in limbo. Unless they have a legal lease, paid by them and approved by C. E. authorities? They can be thrown out any time. So what do people want? For them to have paid millions for upgrades to that house, not get their money back, and then not be allowed to stay there whenever they’re in the UK?

        A legal lease, prepaid, on similar terms to Andrew and Edward? That protects Harry, Meghan, and any children from being thrown out of that property by William.

      • Molly says:

        Notasugarhere: I don’t know why the Sussex’s arrangement has not been made public. I’m sure the agreement has to be similar to that of Andrew and Edwards. Otherwise it would be a huge mistake to have invested millions into a property that they don’t have a long term lease on. I’m hopeful that the fact that the Press hasn’t asked them to leave Frogmore is a clue that they indeed have a long term least.

      • anonymous says:

        I thought it was only me reading it that way…….

      • equality says:

        @Molly My understanding is that Edward and Andrew have a much better deal on their properties concerning the rent.

      • notasugarhere says:

        equality, we don’t know that because we have no idea what Harry and Meghan’s lease agreement is.

    • Myra says:

      At some point, the Sussexes should drown out all the unnecessary noise in the press. They don’t have to do anything else to please these people as nothing will please them. Next they will ask Harry to give back his blue blood. Let them worry about their finances. Harry has already paid for the lease of the property and he should keep it for as long as he wishes or at least until his brother ascends the throne.

    • notasugarhere says:

      They’re looking at an additional 80 million to restore just one side of the exterior of Clarence House in London, Charles’s vanity home in London. Not a peep from the RRs about that.

    • Mocie says:

      Your post is very logical up to the point where you say “the Windsors are trash”. That’s pretty harsh and doesn’t follow from the m information presented. Makes no sense.

      • Becks1 says:

        The Windsors are trash because they should not have accepted the money from H&M, and they should have shut down this narrative about how H&M “need to pay back Frogmore” 6 months ago. Hell they should have shut down the criticism over the cost of the frogmore renovations 18 months ago. They should have done something to protect Harry and Meghan, and they threw them to the wolves.

        trash.

      • anonymous says:

        No, no, trash is the correct word. It exactly describes the type of person who wants a couple to refund the wedding gift they received.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Nope. It’s the perfect word to describe them. QE is trash for stripping Harry of his military titles and allowing the the press to smear him and his wife for three years straight. Charles is trash for sticking his head in the sand. Will is trash for being a jealous petty boar and Catherine is trash for essentially being a Karen. And don’t get me started on the family pedo…so yes…the Windsors are TRASH

      • The family were quiet as the odious vile British media ran a disinformation campaign against Harry for not marrying a white woman like his mother and against Meghan for being a biracial American.

        People with integrity don’t behave this way in the face of racist and misogynistic bullying. People with integrity do not encourage a hostile toxic workplace and then attempt to blame the targets for the problem.

        That probably informed Kaisers descriptive of them being trash.

    • Kalana says:

      @Mignonette. At which point the BRF will tacitly approve helicopters being flown over the property and the rooms photographed. The Royal Rota including the Times was given permission to run stories about that. It never would have happened to the Cambridges.

      Make no mistake about it, Harry and Meghan were forced back to living near the Windsors. When they turned down being neighbors with Will and Kate, they were given the servant’s quarters.

      • Mignionette says:

        Never thought of it that way. But now you put it like that it makes perfect sense and it’s sickening.

        This is why Meghan said ‘you can’t thrive’, being shackled like that in a gilded cage.

        And to think Eugenie runs a charity against modern slavery…. these people are sick.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Harry and Meghan were given two choices. Apartment 1 next to W&K which would not be ready before their son was born or Frogmore Cottage which would be ready before the birth. They could have chosen to stay at NottCott until Apartment 1 was ready. They chose Frogmore Cottage.

        If Philip wasn’t still with us, they might have been offered Wood Farm at Sandringham.

  2. Nyro says:

    They’re going off about the cost of the tour because they are desperate to make it kook like Harry and Meghan still “owe” them something. If I were the Sussexes, I’d donate $249,000 to a South African charity as a “eff you” gesture to these psycho stalkers who refuse to accept that they’re not coming back.

    • Britt says:

      They are desperate because they want access to the Sussexes. It’s been clear to the media despite all their shit talking, they know where their bread is buttered. The problem now is that no one is falling for the nonsense anymore and everyone is being called out including the Queen. It’s actually quite pathetic and desperate to still be obsessing and targeting a couple that is wants nothing to do with you.

    • AMM says:

      That’s about what was raised for Camfed. And a fraction of what Disney gave to Elephants without Borders for Meghans voice over.

  3. janey says:

    where do I sign to get rid of these people?

    • Sarah says:

      Let me know when you find out please.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Join RepublicUK and get to work.

      • Olenna says:

        Gonna have to disagree on joining RepublicUK. They (Graham Smith, in particular) put a bullseye on Meghan’s forehead quite a while ago, foregoing targeted criticism of anyone else but her and Harry. They were particularly nasty and relished the abusive comments directed at the Sussexes after the couple left England. IMO, the organization has been presenting itself as a total sham and welfare program for the staff. And, I will add, when an organization likes and retweets a racist like Christopher Wilson, they’ve lost their credibility.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Then give a suggestion for another org, rather than just saying, ‘No’ to one I mentioned.

      • Olenna says:

        If I learn of another organization like the Republic UK, I’ll post about it here. But, I don’t know of any nonpartisan ones at this time. On the political side, there’s The Green Party of England and Wales, as well as Scotland’s. I’ve read they are pro-republic and against hereditary governance.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Then at this point, RepublicUK is her option, even if you don’t like 100 percent of what they do. Change from the inside or form something else.

    • BodegaBay says:

      Please define “these people.”

  4. Sofia says:

    This is what I have been saying ever since they paid back Frogmore – no Briton was going to get a cheque in the mail saying “Refund for Frogmore”. It went back to the Sovereign Grant (and presumably HM) and is now going to be used on the other royals.

    As for tour costs, they went on one of the longest tours out of everybody else and went to 4 different countries. On average it cost around £24.5k a day which is in-line with the other royal tour cost if you break it down per day.

    • tolly says:

      Charles’ 2-day trip to Oman was the wildly expensive one, especially considering that it was a condolence visit (mostly private meetings in very secure buildings).

  5. RoyalBlue says:

    The south African tour was more than a week long and spanned 4 countries right? It can’t really be compared to the Pakistan tour. In addition, I assume there is a budget committee that meets to approve this expenditure before it occurs, and I find it to be so silly to criticize it so long after the fact.

    • Becks1 says:

      And it wasn’t like the south Africa tour was some super fancy tour. I don’t even think there was a formal dinner. Meghan wore less expensive clothes, no fancy jewelry than I can recall – I imagine most of the expenses were for travel since Harry left SA and went to Botswana (I think he may have gone to another country as well but cant remember at the moment) and obviously its a long flight from SA to the UK.

    • JT says:

      Right. I think H&M gave South Africa a lot of bang for their bucks considering the price of W&K’s 3 day Pakistan tour. Remember how much their said Ireland tour cost? H&M are worth the money.

    • HeatherC says:

      These are the people who continually bring up the cost of H&M’s wedding as proof that H&M “owe” them something.

  6. Pink says:

    The overall cost of the RF travel is more of the story here in the UK today rather than the lease on Frogmore. It always shocks me how much they spend on travel. If they were just normal celebs spending their own money I wouldn’t care but they are funded by us, and right now with so many people facing unemployment, it just feels so out of touch. The RF needs to go.

    • Jane says:

      Prince Andrew’s £16,000 charter so he could go to a golf tournament is way more offensive to this tax payer than Harry and Meghan’s continent-spanning tour of Commonwealth countries.

      • Pink says:

        Oh 100%. Even if he was technically associated with the club at the time, it was quite clearly a jolly for him rather than ‘work’ (not that any of them really work but you know what I mean).

      • notasugarhere says:

        How’s about Kate spending thousands on a helicopter for her ‘packing supplies’ stunt a few weeks ago? When she could have driven to another of the charities locations within 30 minutes of Anmer Hall.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Nota and we were talking about it a few days ago – I don’t know if you were on that day – Kate and William’s activities in London ,but I’m assuming they’re still based in Norfolk with the kids, so they’re using the helicopter to go back and forth when they could just relocate to London while they’re “working.”

      • notasugarhere says:

        Have they taken their kids back to school, or are they defying that government suggestion? I expect Kate to be in London with kids, William in Norfolk with any number of other women.

      • Becks1 says:

        @nota – I’m assuming the kids haven’t gone back to school, or else we would have gotten the obligatory “first day of school” pic for PR, even if there isn’t a photographer there when they arrive (like what they did for Charlotte’s nursery school pics a few years ago.)

    • Becks1 says:

      I want to hear more about the costs of the Ireland tour….

      • Dropbear says:

        @Becks1, according to initial reports, the Doolittle’s 3 day Irish cosplay tour/vacation cost $1M….I’m waiting with bated breath for the RRs to loss their shit over this…

      • AMM says:

        That should be on next years report right? Since it was 2020. I can’t wait til next year when they don’t have HM as a scapegoat. Who will they blame the spending on then?

      • RoyalBlue says:

        I demand a breakdown of that $1mn. Like, really? A flight across a narrow strip of sea for what amounts to a long weekend, to watch Cain juggle, make fun of coronavirus and go on a fake romantic walk for that much money.

        Now that’s when people should be demanding their money back.

      • Nic919 says:

        Yes why is the 1.3 million price tag for a 2 and a half day tour in Ireland not being included here? That’s the one with a crazy cost especially since Ireland is next door.

        I don’t think 10 days in various countries in Africa is going to cost nothing logistics wise, especially since there are significant distances travelled to some more remote areas.
        The Pakistan tour was mostly two major cities and only one more remote location. And very few events as well. The South Africa tour was far more packed.

        In any case this was a tour set up by the Foreign Office… it wasn’t put together so William could get his trip to Jecca’s wedding paid for by someone else.

      • Becks1 says:

        @AMM – oh that makes sense, 2019 vs 2020. So we’ll see it next year. 1 million. yeesh. Especially since it was such an obvious “how can we both distract from and avoid the Sussexes?” ploy (didn’t work, but they tried.)

      • S808 says:

        Yeah $1M for a 3-day tour sounds outrageous.

    • Jezebel says:

      This. When the Perv Prince is still shown to have had a publicly funded jet joyride to a golf tourney, and Princess Anne got one to a sports event, focusing on the Sussexes small and Actually Benefiting expenditures is just more grossness and racism.

  7. Noki says:

    I dont believe the Queen is as liquid as they claim,ofcourse she has a tonne of assets. The Royal family are notoriously tight fisted and live off the tax payers. Maybe they simply dont have the money to break free and remain in the manner they are accustomed to EVEN if they wanted to.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      Not liquid. It’s all tied up in things. Maybe someone from UK can correct me but she hasn’t paid for Buckingham renovations for decades, ignoring her duty on keeping it repaired. I thought I saw complaints about this some time ago.

      • Becks1 says:

        @bluemoon – I think that’s right and its why NOW the cost of repairing BP is so steep, a lot of the general maintenance over the past several years has not happened, so now it needs major work.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Becks1 – I wonder what QEII spent the money budgeted for Buckingham Palace general maintenance & routine repairs on? The money had to spent or it would still be there. Where did it go?

      • tcbc says:

        @BayTampaBay

        Payoffs to keep Andrew out of jail?…

      • RoyalBlue says:

        bailing Andrew out of paying for the swiss chalet?

    • notasugarhere says:

      The Queen doesn’t own Crown Estate property, just as Charles doesn’t own Duchy property. The Windsors own Balmoral and Sandringham privately, and have piles of private wealth. But the Palaces and CE properties belong to the People.

      Yes, the taxpayer money (Sovereign Grant) for the upkeep of taxpayer properties (Buck House), have been mismanaged for years. Yet the government approvated nearly 400 million MORE to fund the restoration of Buckingham Palace. Now they’re looking for 80 million more to restore the exterior of one wall of Clarence House.

      • lucy2 says:

        Those costs are so exorbitant. I realize the places are huge and old and historic, but someone is making bank off of those contracts.

    • Nic919 says:

      The Panama Papers revealed that the Queen has significant investments that go beyond ownership of land. She downplays just how rich she actually is because she knows the reaction. Even without the Crown Estates equity she has a lot of money.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        yes, for sure the master of the purse ensures she has investments offshore. the thing is, she is a public servant. working for the people of the kingdom, and yet her financials are beyond question and do not have to be disclosed. which is why there is speculation whether she is worth half a billion or several billion pounds.
        For transparency this absolutely needs to be public even if for anti-corruption purposes, as officials in high positions are very likely to be bribed even though it may sometimes pass as pay to play. (cough cough Andrew)

      • notasugarhere says:

        Crown property vs. what Lizzie Windsor owns privately. Those are different things. From what I understand, a lot of the Panama Papers were about the Duchy of Lancaster things, which Liz doesn’t own. I’m sure they’d try to claim those privately should the monarchy be ended, but I don’t think the Windsors would would that legal fight.

  8. Lucylee says:

    Harry has paid all he needs to pay. Now, he just needs to go on about his business and watch the main characters turn on each other.
    He needs to keep his money in his pocket because those people will always have something to complain about.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I have re-read the article twice and I am not clear on what it is stating. Is this article stating that Meghan & Harry have paid addition money above and beyond the original 2.4 million for a “lease” on Frogmore Cottage to the Sovereign Grant? Would for a UK CBer to chime in and explain all to this befuddled Yank.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I wrote about it below but post hasn’t posted. What this lease does is clear away the gray area about this. Right now, Harry and Meghan do no have any protections regarding Frogmore Cottage. They’ve paid millions for restoration, but if they do not get a legal lease agreement? They can be thrown out at any time and not get their money back. Paying up-front for a legal, long-term lease? That protects them, sets up a situation like Andrew and Edward where 1) they cannot be thrown out and 2) their children inherit the lease.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @nota – Was the 2.4 million the up-front payment for a lease on Frogmore Cottage? I am still Lost in Space.

      • Amy Too says:

        I think what’s being said is that they paid the 2.4 million for the refurbishment and we know that amount because it’s been reported, but they have also paid an additional undisclosed amount for a lease and that this money will actually go a ways towards making up the shortfall in the Sovereign Grant. The amount of money they’ve paid for the lease is undisclosed right now while they figure out how to report it and will likely be included in next year’s accounting (probably because the lease money was paid in 2020 and this is 2019’s report.)

        The way I read this whole article wasn’t as shady as how others have read it. It almost sounds like they’re saying the Sussexes’ rent and refurb payments are going quite a ways towards making up the difference in the soveriegn grant. Like they’re the wealthy relations with their Netflix deal bailing out the poor cousins (the Windsors). I know people are reading things into the reports of the tour costs, like the RRs are trying to demand that the Sussexes pay that money back, too, but I think that was just included because it was one of the most well known tours that happened in 2019 and therefore one of the most “newsworthy” items in the accounting. If anything I found it kind of shady that they included Charles’ condolence visit that was mostly private, much shorter, required protection for only 1 Royal (as opposed to the 3 Sussexes), was not nearly as well known or remembered as the South Africa and Pakistan trips, and yet still cost nearly as much as the South Africa trip.

        Overall I find the particular excerpts here to be neutral, veering towards positive on the Sussexes. The reporting was basically that they’re the most financially successful this year and their ability to pre-pay their rent and to pay their refurb costs all in one payment is going to really help the RF in the coming years to deal with their soveriegn grant money shortfalls. Of course because they didn’t provide context for why the various tours cost different amounts (length of tour, number of countries, number of events, number of traveling royals to protect), some people will just glom on to the fact that the Sussexes tour was the most expensive and be fussy about that, but that’s not how it’s written. There were no “The Sussexes tour cost this much as opposed to the frugal Cambridges who, despite being much more important to the monarchy, manages to spend a fraction of the cost.” There wasn’t a lot of negative editorializing here.

      • Becks1 says:

        @AmyToo – that’s a good take on it. I think sometimes we can be a little over-sensitive when it comes to british coverage of the Sussexes, so your more level-headed view is a good way to look at it too.

        Something I was thinking too about the Netflix mention – not that the Sussexes should bail out the sovereign grant, but you could also see it as a “the Sussexes left and are financially independent AND are making major deals AND are paying back what the sovereign grant spent on them” – and then the follow-up question is, “what are the other royals doing? Well Charles spent a quarter of a million pounds on a 2 day trip.”

        I’ve said several times on here but I’ll say it again – the Sussexes being successful IS a problem for the royal family, because its going to show what royals CAN do outside of the sphere and protection of the sovereign grant* and as time goes on I think more and more members of the public are going to look at the Cambridge kids and ask, so what about them? (not now, but in 10-20 years.)

        *Now I’ll admit that there are unique circumstances that make Harry and Meghan so popular and successful – their charisma, Meghan’s past work experiences, Harry’s past military experience and charity experience – certainly I think if William were to walk away he would not get a 100 million+ Netflix deal within months – but even so, it still proves that the public does not have to fund the royals and the royals will be A-OK.

  9. Britt says:

    It’s clear the media are trying to use that South Africa tour expenses as a new stick to beat Harry and Meghan with ala Frogmore Cottage. The lack of control and bitterness is through the roof and it’s clearly not sticking because everyone can see through the nonsense. They are so are bitter and angry that they were rejected and shutdown.

    • Harla says:

      Agreed! they also aren’t mentioning the trade agreements signed due to the South Africa tour.

    • equality says:

      If the media wants to preserve the monarchy, they need to rethink constantly attacking Harry and Meghan over tour costs and property expenses. That will get citizens thinking and wondering how much all the rest are costing if just one couple over only a couple of years cost this amount. How much more have all the rest on the payroll cost for many more years.

      • Harla says:

        @equality! I wonder though if the editors of the tabloids are aware of this and that is their goal? As much as they might want to preserve the monarchy, a breakup of the monarchy would generate quite a bit of column space and bring in tons of revenue.

    • ABritGuest says:

      They are. I just watched a tv news report that said they were facing criticism for the cost of the Southern Africa tour. clearly journalists have asked if they will be paying costs back because BP had to make a statement.

      seems that BP woke up to the potential precedent of royals being expected to dip into their pockets and have pushed back on idea they would cover cost of trip & said it was government requested trip with lots of engagements.

      Sussexes need to draw a line on repayments now because already hear people say they want rebate on wedding costs. Soon it will be on her or Archie’s clothes. It shows that money would have always been weaponised against them by press & the Firm so can see why they were proposing to do duties but not accept public funds and make their own money. They would have always been front and centre on these reports whilst others have their costs brushed under the carpet.

  10. Chartreuse says:

    Oh, lordy, these people. Why on earth has any of this to do with H and M? They’re gone, right?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      The courtiers can not get it through their thick foggy heads that the Sussexes have left the building.

    • lucy2 says:

      Gone and completely self sufficient, yet will always be dragged into this nonsense.

      • Lady2Lazy says:

        @ Lucy 2, yes, they are constantly dragged into the nonsense as if it’s their responsibility to help TQ with her financial shortfalls. They are gone, they have repaid the restoration to Frogmore. To which I would like to add that the renovation to Frogmore Cottage had been approved a year or two before Meghan came into the picture, which makes no sense to me as to why they were left holding the bag for the renovation. It seems that the RR’s and the British media have no intent on leaving H&M alone and now that they have created a new life for themselves, they are still being drug down the road of harassment and intimidation just to support their twisted sense entitlement and racist agenda. Leave H&M alone, but they will never do that and they are the most disgusting and deceitful bunch.

  11. Jaxonmeh says:

    The RR needs to stop trying to find money for these two to repay. Those tours were official business where H&M were representing the Queen. They did the job even though they were pregnant for one and then had a young baby with them on the other if I remember right. Were they supposed to say no to the Queen then too?

    If the RR actually isn’t happy with the Queen sending representatives to the Commonwealth on a goodwill tour, you go after the Queen. For every instance of it. Not just…oh it’s only H&M their getting upset about? Hmmmmmm, me thinks it’s not the tour they’re mad about.

  12. S808 says:

    H&M are not gonna payback a cent for the Africa tour, nor should they have to, so everyone can forget about that. As for Frogmore, I’d give it back and buy a home that I own. I wouldn’t even be comfortable staying there cause I wouldn’t be certain it’s been untouched.

    Anyways, taxpayers payed £1M to move and renovate the Gloucester’s newer, smaller place. Be upset about THAT if it’s the money you really care about.

    • Shelley says:

      The RR keep saying how beautiful it is inside Frogmore!! Have they been peeping inside the windows??? These folks really don’t want H and M to have any kind of privacy.

      • Britt says:

        They want to see inside Frogmore. I think that’s why that rumor of giving Beatrice getting the cottage was making ways because then she could possibly spill the inside details to one of the tabloids. They’ve been trying to get invited for tea to Frogmore for the longest time.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Britt – I honestly think that’s part of why Harry and Meghan repaid the costs, so that Frogmore remains “theirs” more or less and the queen cant give it to Beatrice or Eugenie.

    • Harla says:

      Or for the few times a year that they’ll return to the UK, they could just rent a place and not have to worry about maintenance costs, etc.

  13. mess says:

    With the layoffs and pay freeze, I would be worried about potential leaks to the RR if I were part of the BRF. Present and ex-staff would be looking to cash in but hey the Windsors sans Sussexes have nothing to hide, right???

    • Shirley Gail says:

      I keep coming back to the reason for Wm being “incandescent w/rage”….because Harry and Meghan were getting more engagement requests than him and his wife. Pure jealously. One of the seven deadly sins. How many others are they breaking? Let’s see Sloth-yep, greed-yes, wrath (incandescent w/rage)-yup, envy-in spades, lust (rose bushes?) and the only one that could be argued either way is gluttony, which often refers to food, but could just as well be applied to his addiction to travelling in the most expensive manner possible. So … an argument can be made that Prince William of the United Kingdom is a prime example of practicing the 7 deadly sins. Huh. Thinking about that now……..

  14. Mina_Esq says:

    Reference to Sussexes in this context initially feels positive. They’re saying that the “donation” (ie repayment) came at the right time due to the Covid-related shortfall. They don’t even know how to report it in the books because no royal has ever paid back the costs. BUT then they throw-in the Netflix reference, almost to underscore that it was a drop in the bucket for H&M…and then they talk about the hiring freeze and wage freeze for the poor staff and it almost turns into a “how dare they not give us more of their $112 million”. Weird.

    • Amy Too says:

      I read it how you did, as almost positive towards the Sussexes. Their rent and renovation payments are going to help make up the Sovereign Grant deficit at a particularly difficult time financially for the royal family. I think they mentioned the Netflix deal as the reason why Harry and Meghan were able to make these big, up front payments. It’s almost like they’re highlighting that during the pandemic, the BRF lost money and has to belt tighten and make sacrifices (or their staff will) while the Sussexes made so much money they’re able to pay their bills in full and up front.

  15. Merricat says:

    If you give a mouse a cookie.
    Really, it’s always going to be something. Maybe Harry could advise the RF on how to make their own money.

    • Abena Asantewaa says:

      @ Merricat, If you give a mouse a cookie, it will ask for milk… There is always something else. Harry and Meghan have spent a lot on Frogmore, and renovated it to their taste, especially all the interior fixtures. It is also secluded, so the reporters and nosy parkers can’t get to it. It is beyond the long walk, and they don’t have to pay for security, with hundred acres of parkland, for a nice private walk, so it is wise that the sussexes paid a few years upfront, checkmate! I just love H&M.

  16. equality says:

    Unfortunately, the royal family tightening “their” belts sounds more like tightening down on staff people who probably need the job and money worse than the royals need fancy living.

    • Kalana says:

      This is what I don’t understand! If the government is making up the difference, why are people being laid off?

      Queen Betty is greedy and irresponsible with money. Buckingham Palace is a wreck. The Windsors are destructive and self-absorbed and then send the bills to the taxpayers.

      • Amy Too says:

        It doesn’t seem like the govt is making up the difference though. The queen decided to “tighten her belt” by way of freezing hiring and staff pay to make up the difference. That’s how it read to me. That the royals weren’t making as much money for the sovereign grant as they had in previous years and as they projected because of the pandemic, so they’re going to have to budget and work with the money that they do have, but it will be less than in previous years.

        I think the extra money for Buckingham Palace is something different and separate that has run over budget so more money needs to be given for that specific project.

      • Sid says:

        Amy, if my understanding is correct from news reports, the government will be increasing the percentage of the Crown Estate profits that the Queen gets as the Sovereign Grant, so that the actual Grant amount will not decrease from previous years even though profits dropped. That is how they are covering the difference, with the percentage increase. Also, the Buckingham Palace renovation is coming from the Grant money. The percentage was increased substantially a few years ago specifically to cover the reno. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “Queen Betty is greedy and irresponsible with money. Buckingham Palace is a wreck.”

        This is true but surprising to me as I never saw QEII as irresponsible with money and as one who would let Buckingham Palace become a wreck through a lack of regular and preventative maintenance. QEII dies not strike me as this type so there must be much more strong tea to this story than is being served here.

      • Amy Too says:

        Sid, I was going off of this part of the article:

        “Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, stressed the royal household had no intention of asking for extra funding, but would “look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies”. A pay freeze for royal staff was implemented in April and there is also a halt on recruitment, with only business-critical posts being filled.”

        Is this some kind of weird word play where they didn’t technically “ask” for extra money to make up the difference, but they’re going to be given it anyways by the government? I guess I’m still confused because this makes it seem like they’re going to rework their budget to work with the smaller amount of money they have rather than try to have the taxpayers/government/whoever pay them extra to make up the difference.

      • Sid says:

        Amy, I think it is definitely word play. Try Googling “sovereign grant top up” and there should be an article from The Independent that has info.

    • Lady2Lazy says:

      @ equality, exactly! I don’t see TQ or Keen and Unable downsizing or tightening their belts! I am certain that they have no intentions of tightening their belts as they have probably increased their spending as if money grows on trees! It truly burns my butt how those two do the least and are the most expensive to taxpayer. I feel tremendously fearful once Keen and Unable ascend to the throne for the British taxpayers, as they are the least self conscious as to their actions and their blatant disregard for their obligations to the monarchy. They will truly rape the taxpayers with their greed and their delusions of grandeur. Cane and Unable may destroy the monarchy within their lifetime!

      • Shirley Gail says:

        Maybe Prince William will become King John. And Harry may have to save the day and be Robin Hood, and Meghan may need to change her name to Marion.
        It’s the only way I see these guys as King and Queen consort….

      • Lady D says:

        They could force W&K to pay for their own security while on vacation. That would save taxpayers a few million a year.

  17. notasugarhere says:

    Trying again with clarification about C E leases.

    ‘it was a lease gifted to them by the Queen’

    @Kaiser, the Queen doesn’t get to just hand over leases of Crown Estate property. C.E. property doesn’t belong to her personally. The last time she got away with that was her cousin Margaret Rhodes (Garden House) decades ago. If she tries to hand Garden House at Windsor to Beatrice or Eugenie without a legal lease agreement, there would be a public fight.

    With whatever is released in the financials next year, it solidifies Harry and Meghan’s lease and right to Frogmore Cottage. Makes it legal, approved by the authorities, pre-paid for decades in advance, with a clause that their children inherit the lease.

    It is the same situation that Andrew and Edward have for their C.E. properties. They shared the refurbishment costs with the Crown Estate, and have legal leases (for decades) as a result. If Harry and Meghan are going to maintain Frogmore Cottage as their UK residence? I welcome this lease agreement, because it takes it out of the gray area. William cannot kick them out of that property once he’s king. Any children Harry and Meghan have will inherit the lease and get to live there, rent free, for decades. Just like Royal Lodge (Beatrice and Eugenie) and Bagshot Park (Louise and James).

    • Sarah says:

      Yep – I feel this constantly gets lost in the reporting here about how these properties work, who owns them and how the transactions in relation to these properties are scrutinised.

      What I am sure has happened is that the amount they paid back in renovations will be deducted from their long term lease.

      Maybe the reason why this is constantly misunderstood is that there aren’t long term leases in America? In the UK it is not uncommon to pay upfront for a long term lease of over 50 years. It is especially common with C.E property that cannot be sold or gifted.

      These leases are legal and binding. This is also the reason why unless Prince A. gives up Royal Lodge voluntarily, there is absolutely nothing the Queen can do about it. It’s his for 75 years from the beginning of the lease and can be passed to B&E.

      I am not sure why Frogmore wasn’t originally set up like Bagshot and Royal Lodge but it may be because they were both full time working royals (so the renovations could be expensed) and they didn’t otherwise at that time have the cash to set up a long lease.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Andrew was a working royal at the time he purchased the Royal Lodge lease. Edward and Sophie were not working royals at the time they got the Bagshot lease, so it was questioned more heavily.

  18. Mads says:

    Grazia has a good breakdown of the costs per day in comparison to other royal trips. The Africa tour cost £24,500 per day but Charles trip to Oman was over £55,000 per day. Same for the Cambridge’s trip to Ireland. There’s a Twitter account, DMReporter, showing how truly awful the DM and their readers are. He’s giving it up because the work is so toxic.

  19. anonymous says:

    What burns me is that the lease and refurbishment of Frogmore cottage was suppose to be a wedding gift to Harry and Meghan. So, in effect, they have paid the queen back for the “thoughtful’ gift of the cottage. The problem, beside the obvious, is that I don’t think Harry and Meghan would’ve chosen that property to throw down that kind of cash. I agree with many that I would cancel the lease and chalk up the experience as a lesson in trust, or, sub lease the property to recoup some of the money lost in the refurbishment and leasing fees. Edward and Sophie sublet outbuildings on their estate of Bagshot. If you want to see the discrepancy in the esteem held by the queen between her son and grandson google Bagshot Park. It’s quite the eye opener.

    • notasugarhere says:

      What the tabloids might have spun as ‘a wedding gift’? It was never the Queen’s to give because she doesn’t own it. She doesn’t control Crown Estate leases. The issue was that the specifics of the lease were never made public, which kept it in the gray area. With a formal lease, approved by the authorities, things are much better for the Sussexes.

      There aren’t that many Crown Estate properties, on already secured royal grounds, left around to be leased out to the Sussexes. That’s part of why W&K ended up at Anmer Hall on Sandringham (private property). If Harry and Meghan had been offered a C E lease on Frogmore House, people would have gone ballistic at the size and cost. Fort Belvedere at Windsor is already leased out to a friend of Charles, and if they’d ended up there, the Wallis comparisons would have been even worse. Royal Lodge, Bagshot, Thatched House, Belvedere. Most of the big C E estate properties were already leased out to other working royals by the time W&K or Harry and Meghan married.

  20. Le4Frimaire says:

    I’m just so over this whole thing. The South Africa tour was on behalf of the Crown as senior working royals, coordinated with the Foreign Office. The fact is that British public so begrudged every single thing the Sussexes did on behalf of the crown shows it is in no ones interest for them to return as working Royals. I’m just so disgusted with how everyone is over there and how they continue to lean so hard on their racism and mean spiritedness. I’m just glad that H& M are no longer there in their former role because they are constantly vilified for “ taking from taxpayers “while the others coast by and spend what they want with way less accountability. I’m sick of the baseless attacks and scapegoating.

  21. Mariane says:

    I call bull*** on this report. No way did the keenbridges Pakistan visit only rack up £117,116 knowing that they shipped in land rovers and used private jets and extra security to pay for their rural visits especially the mountain. And notice how they left out costs for the Ireland tour and billy and keenkates separate visits recently. This is clearly by the keenbridges because I saw days ago that express and sun ran stories asking what they are doing .

    The firm is in a predicament. They chased out the money makers and scapegoats and now cant even complain about them using Frogmore (which the sussexs already pay rent for despite it being a gift!!!!!!). It’s true that the firm has wealth but that’s tied up in assets and due to covid they are not getting much profit from them. Look at how little intrest Beatrice’s wedding dress display is getting.

    • Amy Too says:

      I wonder if it’s like Kaiser said and that Pakistan actually paid for a lot of that tour. Maybe this is just the cost that got billed to the Sovereign Grant, not the entire cost of the tour?

      • ArtHistorian says:

        That would be plausible because the security for that tour would have been extremely expensive.

      • Nic919 says:

        I can see Pakistan paying for the security as a commonwealth country, since Canada covers their security when they visit here (don’t ever come here again thanks). Meanwhile Ireland is not a commonwealth country and made them pay for security, which was 1.3 million for two and a half days. (Remember they arrived in the evening the first day so it wasn’t a full day). I can only imagine the cost of a 5 day trip in Pakistan where terrorist threats are even higher and the territory they covered was more expansive.

  22. Mignionette says:

    These two need to draw a line in the sand between them and the rest of the family.

    The bitterness had already set in but the Netflix deal has all but solidified it.

    It’s full steam ahead now to success and they cannot have anything that makes them financially vulnerable to the rest of the family. The gammons will continue to scream and shout and the rest of the family will continue to brief against them. But their continued success will anchor them and give them an outlet to emotionally remove themselves from this messy family.

    Anyone with half a brain can now see that whilst Meghan was born into the Walmart version of the Markles, Harry’s family are no different. They just have more money and know which knife and fork to use at posh dinners. The Windsor’s are the real Markles. Already the knives are out for Meghan and Harry’s money.

    I hope Meghan sets up some sort of organic farm to table business in the UK and fux up the Duchy brand.

    • A says:

      The Netflix deal highlighted the fact that Harry can, and will, make his own way in the world. Which is obvious to literally everyone with eyes, but not to the worst people in and surrounding the royal family, because they have a vested interest in Harry failing. He didn’t. And now he has 112 million pounds in the bank, while the Windsors are 35 million pounds short.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I just think that the BRF and their senior staff truly believed that Harry and Meghan would be like Wallis and Edward, idle and always looking to the BRF for money. However, Meghan and Harry aren’t snobbish idlers and the world is a very different place. The BRF didn’t foresee this.

      • Nic919 says:

        I agree. They had no idea that Meghan could make it in the real world, even though she had been in it her entire life. And Harry unrestrained by royal protocol will be able to do more than he ever has.

  23. A says:

    The way this article is written, it makes me feel like there’s a minute shift in tone. The Windsors are the ones expecting the shortfall, but the Sussexes are relatively making bank. They’re the ones paying the royals, who are instituting pay freezes and pausing on hiring. The way it’s portrayed is not how the narrative usually goes, which is incoherent screaming about how the tax payers are bankrolling the Sussexes.

    The Sussexes earned 112 million pounds of private money. That is theirs, not the tax payers’, not the royal family’s. They own their own property in Montecito, whereas none of the Queen’s official residences, save Balmoral, are her personal property. She has to rely on public funding much of the time to renovate those properties, even though its stated here that she won’t be using that. But still. The way things are framed in this article is…interesting. Although, nice try to whoever cited those figures at the end, which put the Cambridges on better footing than both Harry and Charles, lmao. Funny.

  24. Vanessa says:

    Of course the Cambridge’s are made to look good as if they don’t cost the taxpayers as much money as the Sussex’s. The royal family will doing anything to continue to make Harry and Meghan look bad their no way in hell do I believe that the cost for Meghan and Harry especially Harry the six in line to the throne cost more to protect than William the second in line to the throne . The Royal Family are losing favor with the public with Meghan and Harry successful being Financially Independent within months of them leaving the royal family they payed the cost of Frogmore cottage back . The royal family no longer have people to throw to the wolves to keep the other royals protected the press is getting desperate for stories that why they going crazy over Meghan and Harry voting speech they have nothing to attack them the money for Frogmore is payed back . Now their trying to cause trouble with the cost of sending too former senior royals on trip on behalf of the queen to another country. The Royal reporters are becoming really desperate they have no access to the Sussex’s anymore no more leaks the Cambridge’s have no one to competition against no one to throw under the bus .

  25. Janie says:

    If I were Harry & Meghan I would say you can keep your Frogmore etc we don’t want it or you and send a DETAILED Cease and Desist Order on the constant harassment and bellyaching and never set foot in London, ever! The constant pettiness, greed and jealousy, why pay them a red cent. I would be so over it. They paid for a refurbishment because of the craziness they endured so I’d just be like no thank you peace out!

    • Nyro says:

      This!! These people are acting like a potentially violent crazy ex- boyfriend. The Sussexes owe them nothing so now they’re bringing up the cost of tours. The BRF and the BM have no access so now they’re making up stuff out of thin air and claiming that M wants to be president. It’s never ending lies and harassment. I wouldn’t step foot in that country for a long long time.

  26. MJM says:

    Far too much of the Royal Family’s expenditures and costs are not public and it’s shady as hell.

    Also “Now Frogmore is sitting there, mostly empty, as a symbol of how the Windsors are trash. “
    Great line!

  27. Jenn says:

    Ah, I see… the Windsors aren’t “liquid,” because their wealth is tied up in assets. Makes sense. That’s how it usually goes with inherited wealth.

    It’s incredibly hypocritical of anyone to criticize the Sussexes for making their own money, while simultaneously holding them accountable for money they honestly didn’t spend themselves (the Frogmore renovations would have eventually occurred with or without them, right?). Keeping them on the hook for all these “microtransactions” is why they had to sign with Netflix in the first place. Sigh… they’re here in the U.S., making their own life, yet the Crown still controls their every move from a distance. They aren’t really “free” at all.

    I hate this for them.

    • Jenn says:

      P.S. I generally try to NOT comment on these “royal gossip” stories, because — apart from the fact that I don’t know the first thing about “royal gossip” — I genuinely find these accounts triggering.

      As I’ve stated here before, I attended undergrad with Markle (but did NOT know her), so I feel really defensive of her as a peer. In addition, I myself have a messy family history, and I also have living relatives that, after my adoption, either I stopped communicating with or never met at all. So when Markle’s wedding was first in the tabloids, it was easy for me to imagine one side of my own family emerging from the woodwork to humiliate me, or to shake me down, for either notoriety or financial gain.

      When I got married in my 30s to a slightly-younger man, I felt like he was *excited* that I had so few living relatives, because he figured I’d be welcomed into his own large-ish, tight-knit family: He believed I’d effortlessly find the family I had never had. But right away there was a lot of friction, owing partly to actual cultural differences, partly to my history of trauma, and partly to my anxiety at my MIL’s own penchant for gossip. I felt that I was being characterized behind-the-scenes as “difficult,” and at points I even believed my MIL and SIL were agitating for our breakup. I felt paranoid!

      I also felt like my new family would accept nothing less than my entire identity being subsumed — like we had to live with them, to cater to them… or else.

      I know this is all TMI, and what I am describing also *no longer reflects reality*. My relationship with my extended family is actually pretty good now! We understand one another. I’m also aware that my husband’s family just wants the very best for him, and sometimes that drive is unstoppable. I think it was tough for them to understand that I DO love them all; I just can’t support living right next door to them for the rest of our lives. Finding our healthy stride required my setting boundaries (plus! asking my husband to loosen his own boundaries with his family), as well as adjusting my own hopes, expectations, and goals. I will never find a “family replacement,” and that’s ok; it’s silly to expect otherwise.

      So… I do struggle to read about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex without becoming unusually emotional. I do not contest that the way Markle is treated in the British press is racist and classist, and I don’t purport to understand it… but I do enter a painful headspace anytime I read about what the Sussexes continue to endure.

      Anyone else have a crappy personal history that unexpectedly made marriage difficult in the beginning? This “royal gossip” is really, really upsetting, right?! The demonization of the Sussexes can feel really personal!

      P.P.S. My husband read this comment before I posted it, and he okayed it. But “I wasn’t *excited*,” he maintains. “I WISH. I so wish.” Wow. I guess he is still experiencing grief over this.

      • L4frimaire says:

        At this point it’s obvious that the goal here is to erase the Sussexes. It’s not enough they leave, step back, not use the titles, pay Thor Frogmore renovations, etc. That’s why they are complaining about the cost of the Africa tour and calling it a “ family jaunt”, and now not only do they want the Sussex titles, they want a Harry stripped of being a prince, to deny who he is as. Harkens and a Diana’s child. I’m not exactly sure at this point in the public hysteria want exactly the British want that will satisfy them. Harry and Meghan can’t unlive and unsee what they experienced as working a Royals and how they were, abd continue to be treated. What will haooen next year when the Sussexes are no longer on these financial lists and they can’t be criticized about how they cross their legs on some official royal appearance? What then? They weren’t happy with them as working royals and wanted them to leave, and not happy now that they’re gone. Harry and Meghan aren’t obliged to pay one more red cent to the “ British taxpayers “ and if anyone has a problem with it, they can either sue or file a complaint with the official entities. It’s pointless anger at this stage.

      • yinyang says:

        Wow it’s clear how they’ve treated her child, the Birtish people didn’t care on bit about Diana. She was their cash cow, selling magazine and making their country look good, they didn’t love her, it’s pretty evident now.

  28. Jenn says:

    Why is everything always about Harry and Meghan?! When can we have a conversation about the pedophile Prince Andrew and the money he has leached from the British taxpayers his entire life? My God, these people.

    • MissySnow says:

      I think the topic of PA is so vile and disgusting, that the media and those in power use H&M as a distraction and nothing else.

    • yinyang says:

      He’s out of bounds for discussion like the rest of the royal family, too bad Harry and Meghan can’t be given the same immunity.

    • Tessa says:

      The Meghan and Harry critics excuse Andrew and proclaim innocent until proven guilty. They also make it sound he met this woman at a bar instead of at Epstein’s place. Then go on to act like Harry and Meghan committed crimes. Dreadful.

  29. Merricat says:

    Kate’s too bougie to be frugal. What’s the point of sacrificing personality and potential to marry a narcissist prince if you don’t get to buy a lot of expensive clothing and jewelry?

  30. yinyang says:

    Dailymail article “The sky-high cost of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big tour of Africa that tore the Royal’s apart” Wow these people are so toxic as a collective– eww, don’t want any of their hate-filled lives rubbing off on me.