Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to split their time between North America and Britain. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to split their time between North America and Britain. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

How much money Harry, Meghan will lose

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they'll take on significantly reduced roles within the royal family and live between the UK and North America while working to become "financially independent" - a move that will likely cost them millions of dollars.

While it's unlikely the Queen or Prince Charles would cut the couple off financially, it does mean that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are likely to lose a significant amount of taxpayer money due to their change in job status.

Each year, the Queen allocates Harry and his brother, Prince William, $9.54 million (£5 million) from the $156 million (£82 million) publicly-funded Sovereign Grant, although it's understood William's slice is slightly larger.

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William and Harry receive a further $6.03 million (£3.16 million) annually in "non-official expenditure", and are jointly given $9.34 million (£4.9 million) from their father's $2.29 billion (£1.2 billion) Duchy of Cornwall estate.

Harry and Meghan also claim $1.9 million (£1 million) in staffing costs.

 

Meghan and Harry at Canada House in London earlier this week.
Meghan and Harry at Canada House in London earlier this week.

While their capacity as senior royals has given them access to taxpayer funds, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a huge personal wealth they could easily live on.

Harry is estimated to be worth just under $60 million, thanks to an inheritance from both Princess Diana and the Queen Mother, while Meghan has about $7.6 million, thanks to $76,000 an episode from her time on Suits, several movie appearances, and a $114,000 income annually from her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig.

The couple has also officially launched a new personal website - sussexroyal.com - which has reams of copy about how they will support the community and serve the monarchy but also includes a detailed explanation of their current funding structure.

In what reads as a slap in the face to the British press, the website states that it would be "the source for factual information and details relating to the works and structure of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex".

"In 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made the choice to transition into a new working model," the website reads. "As they step back as senior members of the Royal Family and no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, they will become members of the Royal Family with financial independence which is something they look forward to."

The website states that 95 per cent of the funding received for The Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex is from Prince Charles, generated through the Duchy of Cornwall.

"The remaining five per cent of funding for the Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, covering costs associated with employing members of their official office, is received through the Sovereign Grant."

The Sovereign Grant is paid by the government to support the Queen's official duties.

 

The family will need a strong security detail for the rest of their lives. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Getty Images
The family will need a strong security detail for the rest of their lives. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Getty Images

It's not yet known whether Harry and Meghan will keep their royal titles, but it's understand they're considering giving them up as they look to their "progressive new roles".

However, one thing is clear: whatever their future looks like, Harry, Meghan and eight-month-old Archie will need to be protected by a security team for the rest of their lives.

Currently, they have up to six permanent Metropolitan Police bodyguards, funded by the taxpayer, with the total security detail costing about $1.1 million annually.

According to The Mail's royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, the actual logistics of protecting them abroad would be a "huge undertaking" - with a very hefty price tag.

"Moving abroad is a huge undertaking, they will have to find a location that wants you, the security costs would be vast and impossible to estimate," he explained.

It's a bill they're likely going to have to foot themselves from here on out, although specific details on their financial future are yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile, the Palace is reportedly reeling after being left blindsided by Harry and Meghan's decision to release the bombshell news overnight.

According to BBC royal reporter Jonny Dymond, it's understood that "no other member of the Royal Family was consulted" before the Sussexes released their personal statement, and the Palace is "disappointed".

 

The Queen is said to be ‘disappointed’. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The Queen is said to be ‘disappointed’. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

It was certainly clear from Buckingham Palace's official response, released just a couple of hours later, that there was trouble within royal ranks.

"Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through," it read.

Harry and Meghan's announcement came just a couple of days after their official return to the spotlight following a "successful" six-week break in Canada - where they're now widely reported to be planning to set up a base.

 

Harry and Meghan shared an adorable new image of their son Archie while on holiday.
Harry and Meghan shared an adorable new image of their son Archie while on holiday.

In their statement, the royal couple explained their decision came after "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," it read.

"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.

"It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."

"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.

"We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."


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