Harry arrived in London!
He’s in the UK for an unveiling of a state of his late mother this week, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Harry is staying at his rented UK home, Frogmore Cottage, and has to isolate for five days and produce a negative COVID test from the fifth day in order to be able to attend the unveiling. I will obviously report back after this event.
The 2020-21 royal financial reports were released!
Here are the two most interesting parts of the reports. Both interesting things have to do with Harry and Meghan.
Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore renovation repayment and rent payments
We learned from this year’s Sovereign Grant report that Harry and Meghan paid back the entire £2.4 million amount that was provided by the Sovereign Grant in previous years to pay for renovations to their UK home, Frogmore Cottage. This is where things get a little complicated, so I will do my best to make it as simple as possible.
- Before Harry and Meghan left their roles in the BRF, the Sovereign Grant paid to renovate Frogmore Cottage for Harry and Meghan to live in. Because this was Harry and Meghan’s official residence as senior members of the royal family, the renovation costs were covered by the BRF (via the Sovereign Grant, aka the British taxpayers). The renovation cost was £2.4 million. This is a lot of money, but because Harry and Meghan were going to live in Frogmore for years, possibly decades, and contribute so much to the BRF via their official royal duties, it was seen as good value for money.
- Obviously, they did not live in Frogmore Cottage for decades.
- On April 1, 2020, Harry and Meghan officially stepped back from their roles as senior working members of the BRF. This means that instead of Frogmore being their official royal residence and being paid for by the Sovereign Grant on April 1, 2020, Frogmore became Harry and Meghan’s private UK residence and they started having to pay rent on it.
- A lot of public pressure was put on Harry and Meghan to repay the £2.4 million in renovation costs because it didn’t seem right for the British taxpayer to have paid for a mansion for Harry and Meghan to live in after they decided to move to a different continent. Harry and Meghan agreed to repay this amount, which this year’s Sovereign Grant report confirms they did.
- Harry and Meghan also agreed to pay “commercial rent” on Frogmore Cottage. Basically, they signed a yearly rental agreement, which right now is set to end on March 31, 2022. We don’t know exactly how much Harry and Meghan are paying in rent, but we know two things: 1. They paid five months’ worth of rent for April – August 2020; and 2. It was agreed that the renovation amount of £2.4 million, which H&M repaid in September 2020, would be seen as adequate rent payments for the rest of the fiscal year (September 2020-March 2021).
- So how did H&M get what essentially amounts to seven months of free rent? This isn’t explained in the financial report, but basically Frogmore Cottage was so run-down when the renovations started in 2018-9, it wouldn’t have gotten any real amount if the BRF wanted to rent it out. The renovation made the commercial and rental value of Frogmore spike. Since Harry and Meghan have now “paid in full” for that renovation, they are the reason why the BRF can rent out Frogmore for a ton more money in future years. Taking into account this future high rental rate for Frogmore, Harry and Meghan got a “freebie” on paying rent for those remaining seven months in 2020-21.
Prince Charles’s payments to Harry and Meghan after they left the BRF
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s annual expenditure report confirmed that Prince Charles continued giving money to Harry and Meghan AFTER their official duties as senior members of the BRF concluded on March 31, 2020.
In previous years, Prince Charles would take a certain amount of money from his Duchy of Cornwall accounts to pay for the private activities and wardrobes of his sons and their families. We can assume that after Harry married Meghan, this amount for Harry and Will and their families from Prince Charles was roughly split down the middle. So in 2020, Prince Charles spent around £5 million on these costs for his sons, their wives, and their children. Cut that in half, and that’s around £2.5 million per son.
Assuming that this rough amount stayed the same, we can roughly say that Will received £2.5 million for himself and his family, which leaves over £1.9 million for Harry and Meghan from Prince Charles, from AFTER the time they left their official royal duties.
Why is this interesting? It’s interesting because Harry famously told Oprah Winfrey that Prince Charles “literally cut me off financially” when he and Meghan left the BRF. Clarence House announced through a spokesperson that Prince Charles funded Harry and Meghan up until last summer, including a substantial last payment. After this came out, a spokesperson for the Sussexes (sheepishly?) admitted that this was true.
If you’d like to dig deeper into the financial reports, you can click here for the Sovereign Grant report (the report for the whole royal family) and here for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s annual financial report.
Will announced the date for the first Earthshot Prize gala!
The awards ceremony will take place on October 17 in London.
Kate wore a blazer and sneakers and revealed that she’s a beekeeper?!
Kate stopped by the Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature project to hang out with some kids and speak to the importance of nature in children’s lives, even in urban settings. She also surprised a lot of people when she brought a jar of honey from her and Will’s country house, Anmer Hall, and revealed that she personally takes care of the bees there. Give me a pic of Kate in a beekeeper outfit, I BEG.