Harry, Meghan pay back public funds
Prince Harry has settled his debts with British taxpayers over the $5 million renovation to his vacant home in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Frogmore Cottage was renovated at vast expense, turning five small cottages into one grand residence.
But Prince Harry and Meghan barely spent enough time in it to scuff up the carpet as they decamped for a new life in America after a fallout with the royal family.
It was expected that they would take 11 years to pay back the money for the renovations, which was a source of criticism for the couple.
The couple's new Netflix deal, valued at up to $200 million USD, has allowed them to pay out earlier, and move on.
"A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by The Duke of Sussex," a spokesman for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said on Tuesday.
"This contribution, as originally offered by Prince Harry, has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the UK residence of The Duke and his family."
Frogmore Cottage was the straw that broke the camel's back, unleashing a wave of negative publicity when the cost was released in public documents.
Prince Harry and Meghan had been living in Kensington Palace in central London, but left after a falling out with Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
They isolated themselves in the small cottage on the grounds of Windsor, which could still be seen by passers by on the Long Walk, where Meghan was driven through admiring crowds on her wedding day.
Richard Fitzwilliams, former editor of The International Who's Who magazine, said the Netflix deal had made them financially independent.
"It was inevitable that they were going to pay it back, but now they have done it all at once," he said.
"This is what they wanted, they wanted to be financially independent and with the Netflix deal they are following in the footsteps of the Obamas."
Netflix, which has been showering celebrities with the Obamas paid $90m, while Martin Scorsese was allowed to spend $218 million on The Irishman, a three and half-hour long film that was released directly on the platform.
Prince Harry and Meghan's deal was expected to include documentaries, with the couple saying they wanted to do projects that offered hope.
Mr Fitzwilliams said it was unlikely that Prince Harry would do a film about his mother, even though Netflix would want him to do so.
"Anything that Prince Harry did on his mother would be for charity rather than Netflix," he said.
The couple, who have spent $20 million on a 16-bathroom mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara, California, will also be able to ice their $13 million mortgage on that property.
They left Britain hoping to escape the British Press, and get some privacy.
"They will never get their privacy because of who they are," Mr Fitzwilliams said, "but because of who they are they get such amazing deals."
Originally published as Harry, Meghan pay back public funds