If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle truly want out, the royal cash cow ends here – give us back our millions – The Sun

MEGA-RICH Harry and Meghan have more money sloshing around than most of us could ever dream of.

Harry’s wealth is upwards of £30 million, much from his mother’s legacy. Meghan has over £5 million in her own right from her acting career, not to mention her 91-piece jewellery collection worth £600,000, with its 26 rings and 35 pairs of earrings.

And still the money rolls in. Harry pulls in £4 million a year from his dad, money siphoned off from the Duchy of Cornwall.

Add in another £1 million for security, and another £1 million for travel, clothes, and staff to support them. You're looking at £6 million a year, over £16,000 a day, or around £700 for every hour of the day.

Nice work if you can get it. Even nicer if you can get it without working.

If the Sussexes want to be private citizens, then that’s fine. It is their right to opt out of the royal family and pursue a different path.

If the Belgian King Albert II can abdicate, and even Pope Benedict can stand down, then there is no reason why Harry and Meghan can’t.

We have too many royals on the payroll as it is. The cover of my book, And What Do You Do?, has a picture of the royals on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. There are 44 of them. Why do we need all these people and why should we pay for them all?

But what Harry and Meghan can’t do is to have one foot in and one foot out. It looks like they want to have their cake and eat it.

They want to keep their HRH titles, keep their free royal residence, and keep the taxpayer support that funds their travel and their security.

At the same time they want to become private people, dipping into the royal family only when it suits them.

Sorry. That simply won’t wash. If they want public funding, they need to do a public job and carry out royal duties like the rest of the family. As with anyone else in the country, if they don’t do the work then they shouldn’t get paid.

We, the taxpayer, have just spent around £2.4 million on tarting up Frogmore Cottage to their extravagant specifications.

And that was only necessary because the pampered pair rejected the palatial apartments they had at Kensington Palace – where another £24 million of our money has been spent.

If they are not prepared to undertake their share of royal duties then they should refund the taxpayer the millions spent by us on Frogmore Cottage.

What about the travel? They seem to have in mind commuting between the US and UK on a regular basis, and most likely by private jet at our expense. Why should the taxpayer fund this?

If politicians travel on official business, their costs are rightly met from the public purse. If they are travelling privately, for example to go on holiday, there would be outrage if they expected the public to pay for their travel.

But that seems to be what Harry and Meghan want. Let them pay for their own travel.

And then there's the security. There is already an annual bill of over a million pounds to look after them and Archie, a bill massively increased by them due to the vulnerability of Frogmore Cottage.

If they are to become private citizens, why should the taxpayer continue to meet a multi-million pound bill? We wouldn’t pay for security for private citizens like Elton John. Why should we pay for it for hobby royals like Harry and Meghan?

What they've cost

Frogmore Cottage: Harry and Meghan's official residence had a £2.4 million renovation in the summer. Round the clock security is thought to be more than £600,000 a year.

Holidays: The couple paid up to £100,000 for a holiday in Ibiza in August – and were criticised for using private jets.

Royal tours: Their 16-day tour through Australia, Fiji and Tonga in December 2018 cost £81,000. Their trip to South Africa is believed to be a similar amount.

Pregnancy: It's reported that they spent £800,000 through Meghan's pregnancy – including £386,000 on maternity clothes and a further £154,000 on a baby shower.

Then there’s all the clothes paid for to deck out Meghan’s wardrobe. Who is going to pay for that going forward? Us, if we’re not careful.

Now they say they want to become financially independent. Good. If they really mean that. But don’t expect Harry to be getting a job at his local Pizza Express.

No, this independence will mean raking in money from endorsement deals in a way that will make Fergie look like small beer and even put Posh and Becks in the shade.

But they can’t go around endorsing products to bring in the cash one minute, and then pop up to open a hospital the next. Harry cannot be a prince with a commercial tag, like a footballer with a brand name on his shirt.

At least part of the reason Harry and Meghan say they want to opt out is their anger at the way they are treated by the press. They are even taking legal action against a couple of papers. But they have to realise that the press is not a branch of their PR machine.

Actually, their coverage overall has been pretty positive.

Harry needs to make up his mind if he is a celebrity or a victim. And the couple need to make up their mind if they are in the royal family or out of it.

If they are out, the taxpayer’s tap needs to be turned off. They need to hand back their HRH titles. And we want our money back for Frogmore Cottage.



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