Two-thirds of Britons says Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s funding from Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall estate should STOP as they step down from senior royal role
- Poll found 63% of Brits think couple’s funding from Prince Charles should stop
- The YouGov survey also found almost half (45%) support decision to ‘step back’
- Prince Charles’ £1.2billion Duchy of Cornwall estate pays Harry £2.3m a year
- Duke and Duchess announced they wanted to ‘financially independent’
Almost two thirds of Britons believe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s funding from Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall should stop, a survey has revealed.
The YouGov poll found 63 per cent of the public believe they should stop receiving the income after the couple announced they were stepping back as senior royals and planned to be ‘financially independent.’
It also reveals almost half (45 per cent) of Britons support the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals.
Prince Charles £1.2billion Duchy of Cornwall estate pays his youngest son around £2.3million-a-year and Harry and Meghan said last night it covers 95 per cent of their office expenditure.
Prince Harry and Meghan (pictured) announced they will be ‘stepping down’ as senior members of the Royal Family and will ‘work to become financially independent’
Almost two thirds of Britons believe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s funding from Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall should stop, a survey has revealed
The YouGov poll found 63 per cent of the public believe they should stop receiving the income after the couple announced they were stepping back as senior royals
The poll also revealed that 45% of Britons supported Harry and Meghan’s decision to ‘step back’ from their royal duties
After announcing they planned to leave their role as senior royals, they declared they no longer need any of £82million-a-year Sovereign Grant – the money taxpayers allocated by the Queen to fund the royal family – claiming it covers the remaining five per cent.
Prince Charles privately owns the Duchy of Cornwall estate – but it is considered a public asset because it has been gifted to the heir to the throne by every British monarch since 1337.
Its special royal status also gives Charles an exemption from corporation tax and capital gains tax – but he voluntarily pays around £4.8million in annual income tax.
Harry and William share a handout from Prince Charles’s (pictured) Duchy of Cornwall estate, which last year came to £4.9million for both princes
Harry and Meghan even shared this graphic showing how the royals are funded – but experts have questioned how Harry and Meghan can say for sure they won’t use the Sovereign Grant
But their plans to ditch the funding from the Sovereign Grant was branded a ‘fallacy’ by royal commentators because if they kept their royal titles, royal duties, Windsor home and lavish lifestyle they will continue to drain public funds – even if they move to California or Canada.
What is the £82m Sovereign Grant – and will Harry and Meghan REALLY stop using it?
Harry and Meghan say they will become financially independent from the taxpayer – but critics have claimed that if they remain serving royals this cannot be true.
The royal family’s work is partly funded from the Queen’s personal wealth and the rest from the taxpayer.
The total Sovereign Grant for the last financial year was £82.2million.
This was made up of a core grant of £49.3million – plus extra £32.9million to help pay for the 10-year £369million refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.
No one knows how much exactly the £49.3million is worth to Harry and Meghan but it is likely to run into millions.
In forfeiting it they claim they will have liberated themselves from most accountability to taxpayers over their spending.
But this is not clear cut. The Sovereign Grant is also used to pay for Harry and Meghan’s official royal travel, and their website said they ‘proudly’ carry out official overseas visits in support of the Queen, suggesting they will still continue to do so – and claim those costs.
In the last financial year they claimed £130,000 for travel costs, including £80,000 for their trip to Australia, New Zealand and Pacific islands such as Tonga and Fiji.
This public money, known as the Sovereign Grant, was valued at £82.2million this year, and is comprised of profits from the Queen’s property portfolio – the Crown Estate – which are paid to the Government.
Twenty-five per cent of these profits are paid to the monarchy to fund the upkeep of its property, travel, security and staff.
While the Sovereign Grant isn’t taxpayer money, it is considered to be public funds, belonging to the state.
It will rise to £85million next year.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday evening, the Sussexes outlined their plans for an independent future, dividing their time between the UK and North America.
The research suggests 26 per cent of the public are opposed to the decision, while 30 per cent did not express an opinion.
However, only 13 per cent of people think they should stay in receipt of the Duchy of Cornwall money.
Despite the surprise announcement on Wednesday – described by royal sources as a ‘bolt from the blue’ – almost half of people do not think it will have an impact on the wider reputation of the royal family.
A total of 49 per cent of people questioned thought the decision would not have an effect, compared with 32 per cent who think it will.
The duke and duchess, who have only recently returned from a six-week stay in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie, said in their statement: ‘After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
‘We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen.’
Meanwhile the Queen was photographed today for the first time since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they were stepping down as senior royals as crisis talks continue within the Royal Family.
Her Majesty was pictured leaving Sandringham in Norfolk in her Land Rover at lunchtime today before driving along local country roads to a shoot in a field, which was attended by guests including her grandson Peter Phillips.
The Queen, who spent Christmas at Sandringham with her family and usually stays at the estate until February, is embroiled in a full-blown crisis as senior royals including Princes Charles and William ordered their teams to find a ‘workable solution’ to Harry and Meghan’s future roles.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced through a bombshell Instagram post on Wednesday that they would ‘step back’ from their senior roles to become financially independent and spend more time together in North America – in a move that has ‘simply astonished’ aides as the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William called crisis talks to hammer out a deal to keep them in the royal family.
Who pays for Meghan and Harry’s lifestyle – and how much money do they have?
No one knows how much the grant is worth to Harry and Meghan because it is not published in the Queen’s accounts – but some estimates have placed it at around £2million.
The £82million pot also covers travel costs for royal duties are also covered by the grant. On the royal register, which reveals all claims over £15,000, there are three claims by the couple totalling £130,000.
The £2.4million refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage was also paid for by this pot. More works are pencilled in Windsor Castle’s five-year plan meaning costs could reach £3million.
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.
Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall estate
Harry receives up to £2.3million annually from his father’s royal estate.
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.
Scotland Yard will review Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s publicly-funded protection officers
The Met is to review its protection of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after they demanded they keep their £1million-a-year bodyguards despite quitting as full-time royals, it was claimed today.
The armed police provided by Scotland Yard are estimated to cost £600,000 in annual salaries and up to £400,000 in flights, accommodation, expenses and overtime.
Harry, Meghan and Archie each have one officer and are understood to have a team of six protecting the family in any 24-hour period.
A statement on the couple’s website yesterday said they are classified as ‘internationally protected people’ which means they must have an armed security detail anywhere on the globe.
But a senior police source told the Evening Standard: ‘That stays in place for now. But as the circumstances have changed there will now be a full review.
‘If the Sussexes intend to live abroad, and not just carry out international official visits abroad, it will involve far more resources. This will have to be reviewed and signed off by the Commissioner. There is no guarantee it will be granted’.
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