Norman Baker, former Liberal Democrat from East Sussex and author of “… and what do you do?” – a critical volume of the royal family – writes in the Daily Mail that “From the day of their marriage to March 31 of this year, I estimate that the British taxpayer spent more than 44 million pounds sterling (53 million dollars) to provide Harry and Meghan, it seems, whatever they want. “
After a study of the couple’s finances, an indignant Baker broke them down for all of us, adding that the bills continue to arrive even if the couple has moved to the United States. Baker casually points out that while Harry and Meghan can be wealthy – the couple estimated at over $ 25 million – they are not wealthy enough to afford their lifestyle. Like his uncle Andrew and aunt Sarah, Harry enjoys the good life at the expense of others.
The biggest bill the taxpayer faced was the couple’s wedding, which Baker said cost $ 40.8 million – of which royalty only contributed $ 2.4 million. In comparison, the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate cost $ 24.3 million.
The bill was so high because of security, which would have cost more than $ 35 million, but there were other extravagances. According to Baker, the Department of Defense ordered 20 new trumpets for $ 109,000, a public address system, private contractors and flags and banners ordered by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) of $ 1.83 million. Then there was also the $ 1.2 million bill for crowd control barriers, Jumbotron screens and waste management.
After the wedding, the couple were to move into an apartment at Kensington Palace. But after the $ 1.7 million renovation of the 21-room apartment, Harry and Meghan decided to live elsewhere. The Queen granted them Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle and therefore an additional $ 2.9 million was spent to improve this. The couple stayed less than six months before rushing to Canada – while promising to reimburse taxpayers for the latest renovations. Baker notes: “The couple said they would reimburse the cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage. They offered ($ 22,000) a month, which is also intended to cover the rent. Assuming rent of ($ 12,000) per month, it will take them 25 years to reimburse the renovation costs, which is interest-free and no ongoing maintenance.
Baker also adds that “since the wedding, Meghan has also amassed a collection of jewelry ($ 731,000) (including items given to her by Harry and the Queen), a collection larger than the late Princess Diana, including including a superb new diamond ring. “
Baker estimates that the cost to Harry and Meghan’s staff – including public relations gurus, office staff, secretaries and lawyers – has cost British taxpayers a sprinkling eye $ 721,000 over two years.
“Until March 31, when they stopped working in the royal family, the team of up to 15 people included a private secretary (who can earn a salary of $ 177,000 a year), the director of public relations Sara Latham and a full team of servants, including a housekeeper ($ 36,500) and a nanny, “writes Baker – although he notes that the nanny was paid for by private funds.
The couple have been ashamed of flying economically recently, but their tastes are turning to first class. While friends transported them on private jets in March 2019, Bakler wrote to Harry “took a helicopter trip costing about ($ 6,000) from London to Birmingham and two days later told a crowd at the stadium de Wembley to “wake up” and act “the damaging impact our ways have on the world. »» The couple have also made trips to Australia and Singapore (not to mention several flights to and from Canada and the United States) and overall, Baker estimates their travel cost at 1.2 million of dollars.
Due to Harry and Meghan’s love of moving and traveling, the security costs were overwhelming and the couple called an $ 8.5 million bill before leaving the monarchy.
While they often traveled privately (paid for by friends), “they were always accompanied by taxpayer-funded protection officers. The bill for that, including business class travel for officers (as confirmed by former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe), and all overtime and travel allowances, has fallen to the public. ” Baker writes.
Because they have moved three times in two years to places outside London requiring “tailor-made” security arrangements, costs have gone up even more. The couple’s numerous moves have also increased costs for the public.
“It is much more expensive to provide tailor-made security in an exposed location outside London – such as Frogmore Cottage – than in Kensington Palace,” writes Baker, adding, “As the couple keep Frogmore Cottage as their base in this country , a security element would remain in place even if it is not occupied and no sign of the couple’s imminent return. “
In Canada, their personal security squad stayed in an Airbnb of $ 1,300 per week and they were protected by metropolitan police officers as well as Canadian gendarmes “incurring an invoice for British and Canadian taxpayers”.
While the couple promise to pay when they make money, Baker writes, “In the Palace deal, Harry and Meghan have kept their RHS titles but won’t” use “them. This is important because the statute provides a support mechanism – including financial support from the taxpayer for security – to provide them. “
Harry and Meghan would receive about $ 2.5 million a year from Prince Charles – who gets his money from the Duchy of Cornwall. All of this may sound correct, except that Baker writes: “Controversial, Charles is allowed to classify this allowance for Harry as a business expense, which he can charge against taxes. This means that public funds have continued to support Harry as long as Charles has continued this Duke funding approach. This would mean that the tax loss is estimated at $ 2.32 million over two years.
All of this adds up to a hefty bill that the public has to pay for a couple who have turned their backs on Britain.