Prince Harry and Meghan voluntarily abandoned up to £8.4million of funding and services when they stepped down from Royal life, but last night complained of being ‘literally cut off’.
The couple had been receiving a combined pot to help them fulfil their roles before they activated Megxit last year.
It included an estimated £1m protection detail as well as money from Prince Charles and the Queen for a role in public life.
But in the couple’s Oprah Winfrey interview this morning Harry said they had to go for Netflix and Spotify deals – worth an estimated £80million – to pay for his security after his family cut him off. It is the Home Office who decides levels of funding for protection of Royal family members.
The comment came despite the Sussexes deciding themselves to release the ‘financial tie’ of the Royal Family and announcing it on one of their websites last year.
A MailOnline audit of public information available on their money suggest they received around £5million funding for their Royal roles.
Harry said they had to go for Spotify and Netflix deals after Royal Family ‘literally cut me off’
Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, former renovated home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
This included £2.5million from the Sovereign Grant and £2.5million from Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall private estate.
Large renovation costs of one of their homes also cost £2.4million, which was funded by the Sovereign Grant.
On top of this was their security detail which when in the UK cost £1million a year, with paid for a team of at least six highly trained bodyguards.
Those protection costs are believed to have rocketed when they decided to leave the country, with the pricetag for safety costed at around £20million.
At their peak Harry and Meghan’s combined wealth had been estimated to be worth around £33 million.
The now-abandoned Sussex Royal website gave a window into the finances of the Duke and Duchess when they said they would
Spotify and Netflix signed up the couple for a deal reported to be worth up to £80million
The Sussexes had said last year they had chosen to release themselves from Sovereign Grant
What is the Sovereign Grant?
The Sovereign Grant is a funding mechanism of the monarchy.
It is an annual sum which covers the work of the Royal Family.
The grant includes expenses to maintain workspaces and official residences.
The Queen gives up the revenue of the Crown Estate and in return the funds are granted to the Queen for expenditure.
In the 2018-2019 fiscal report, the Queen gave up around £329 million from the Crown Estate to the government.
In exchange for £82 million to cover the costs for official expenditure.
The Sovereign Grant for 2020-2021 is £85.9 million.
In January last year it said they would ‘work to become financially independent’ as they stepped back.
They said 95 per cent of their income had come from the Duchy of Cornwall, an amount known to total some £2.5million.
The couple had said the remaining 5 per cent had come from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, although it has previously been stated that they got £2.5million from the fund.
They also committed to pay back the £2.4m cost of renovating their home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, a bill initially footed by the UK taxpayer.
In a statement on their old website they said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take great pride in their work and are committed to continuing their charitable endeavours as well as establishing new ones.
‘In addition, they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing. For this reason they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence.
‘Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally. While the contribution from The Sovereign Grant covers just five percent of costs for The Duke and Duchess and is specifically used for their official office expense, Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie.’
The Sovereign Grant is money the Crown earns which is given back to Royals by government
As well as the Netflix and Spotify deals Harry was estimated to have earned as much as £700,000 to speak at a star-studded JP Morgan summit in Miami in February last year.
Papers for their now in liquidation Sussex Royal Foundation also showed it was owed £200,000 from an unknown source.
But the couple said they had been left little choice to pursue commercial endeavours after the money from the Royal Family dried up.
Harry said members of his family suggested Meghan ‘carried on acting because there was not enough money to pay for her’ when they married.
He added: ‘There were some real obvious signs, before we even got married, that this was going to be really hard.’
Harry said his family ‘literally cut me off financially’ in the first quarter of 2020 and he went for the Netflix and Spotify deals to pay for his security.
He said he had what Diana left him and ‘without that we would not have been able to do this.’
Princes William and Harry received most of a £13m fortune left by their mother Princess Diana. Harry is also thought to have had millions left to him by the Queen mother.