The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been spotted driving around California in a £170,000 Range Rover – just like the ones favoured by royals from the Queen and Prince Philip to the Cambridges.
However, while the company has a lease agreement with the royal household which allows them to use a fleet of brand its new vehicles, it is not known if the couple still make use of this given they are no longer working royals.
An Invictus Games source told the Mail On Sunday that the couple are not entitled to a freebie vehicle via the car manufacturer’s sponsorship of an upcoming event, planned for The Hague next year.
This calls into question how the couple are financing the luxury vehicle and whether they had to pay for it with their own cash.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s £170,000 Range Rover, which they have been driving in near their home in Los Angeles, California, is similar to models favoured by the royal family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey
The air of mystery comes after Prince Harry and Meghan said they had been ‘cut off’ financially from the royal family after stepping down from Royal life last year.
In the couple’s Oprah Winfrey interview the Duke of Sussex 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.
Asked about the money-spinning partnerships, Harry told Miss Winfrey: ‘My family literally cut me off financially and I had to afford security for us.
‘But I’ve got what my mum left me and, without that, we would not have been able to do this.’
Before he stepped back from his royal duties, Harry received the vast majority of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall – a portfolio of property and financial investments managed by Prince Charles.
A MailOnline audit of public information available on their money suggested they received around £5million funding for their Royal roles.
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 price tag for safety costed at around £20million.
The Queen drives her Range Rover as she attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2019
The Duke of Cambridge drives his Range Rover as he arrives to the Jerudong Park Trophy charity polo match at Cirencester Park Polo Club in 2017
Prince Anne (left) leaves The Blue Cross’ Animal Adoption Centre in Burford, Oxfordshire in her Range Rover and Prince Charles (right) drives a model in north Warwickshire
The Duke of Edinburgh stands By Range Rover after competing in the carriage driving competition at The Royal Windsor Horse Show
In January last year the now-abandoned Sussex Royal website gave a window into the finances of the Duke and Duchess.
It 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.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020
‘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.’
Earlier today it was revealed that more than 90 minutes of unseen footage from the Oprah interview could be aired to the public by ITV.
A source told the Sunday People: ‘There is a lot of interest in showing the interview in full.
‘The original programme was the biggest show of the year so far in the UK and was bought by firms around the world.’
They added: ‘Oprah’s production company know they’re sitting on a goldmine so it’s possible a deal could be done.’
It comes after CBS presenter Gayle King said she had spoken to the Sussexes who told her that conversations between Prince Harry, his brother and their father Prince Charles were ‘not productive’.
She told CBS This Morning: ‘Well I’m not trying to break news, but I did actually call them to see how they were feeling, and it’s true, Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too.
‘The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation.
CBS presenter Gayle King said she had spoken to the Sussexes after their interview this month
‘And I think what is still upsetting to them is the palace keep saying they want to work it out privately, but yet, they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan, still.
‘No one in the Royal Family has talked to Meghan yet, at this particular time.
‘And I think it’s frustrating for them to see that it’s a racial conversation about the Royal Family when all they wanted all along was for the royals to intervene and tell the Press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant.
‘And until you can acknowledge that, I think it’s going to be hard to move forward. But they both want to move forward with this and they both want healing in this family. At the end of the day, that is Harry’s family.’
The Cambridges have not discussed the rift the interview has caused, although a week ago Prince William was forced to speak out at another royal event and publicly hit back against Harry and Meghan’s race claims, insisting, ‘We’re very much not a racist family’.
It came after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said racism drove them out of Britain in their two-hour CBS interview.
Prince Harry also said he felt let down by his father and wanted to heal the relationship but ‘there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened’.