Prince Charles was ‘relieved’ when Meghan Markle and Harry stopped needing to be on his payroll, royal insiders have claimed.
The Prince gave the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a “substantial sum” in the months after they quit their roles as senior royals to become financially independent.
Royal accounts were made public just months after Prince Harry’s told Oprah Winfrey that the Royal Family had cut him and wife Meghan Markle off financially following their move to the US.
Charles gave almost £4.5 million to the Sussexes and Prince William and Kate Middleton during the last financial year, down from £5.6 million, or about 20 per cent, the previous 12 months.
It also revealed Harry and Meghan’s £2.4 million reimbursement of the taxpayer for renovating Frogmore Cottage also included more than 18 months’ rent.
Royal biographer Ingrid Seward told the Daily Mail: “I imagine Prince Charles will be relieved as they will be off his payroll now, and the British public will be relieved because they can pay back what they owe now on Frogmore Cottage, so it’s a win-win situation.”
Harry had appeared to dismiss the financial support he had from his father during his Oprah Winfrey interview, and claimed that he and Meghan could only sustain their lifestyle through his inheritance from Princess Diana’s estate.
He told Oprah: “I’ve got what my mum left me, and without that, we would not have been able to do this.”
Princess Diana is thought to have left both of her sons a £10million estate each.
Harry and Meghan, who recently welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana, now live in suburban Los Angeles, and have struck lucrative multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify.
Until last summer both of Charles’ sons had been receiving money from his income from his private Duchy of Cornwall estate, a vast portfolio of property and financial investments with net assets of almost £1 billion.
It now covers more than 52,000 hectares of land across 21 counties, mostly in England’s South West, including arable and livestock farms, residential and commercial properties, as well as forests, rivers, quarries, and coastline, according to the Duchy of Cornwall website.
It states: “The current Prince of Wales chooses to use a substantial proportion of his income from the Duchy estate to meet the cost of his public and charitable work as well as the public and private lives of his family, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their children.”
When Charles becomes king, William will become the Duke of Cornwall and inherit the Duchy of Cornwall estate.
Before Harry and Meghan quit their roles, 95 per cent of their income came from Charles’ private estate.