In August this year, it was reported that Meghan and Prince Harry had moved with their son, Archie, to a new permanent home in Santa Barbara, California, several months after announcing their decision to step down as senior, working members of the royal family.
Amid their official departure from royal duties at the end of March, some called for the couple to pay back the £2.4m that was previously spent on renovating Frogmore Cottage.
While the duke and duchess have already covered the costs for the renovation of the property, a senior palace source added that they have made a “substantial contribution” to cover refurbishment and rent for their UK home.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a substantial contribution to the Sovereign Grant that covers refurbishment and rental obligations for Frogmore Cottage,” the source said.
“The reporting method for this contribution has yet to be determined and will have to be agreed by the National Audit Office before appearing in next year’s accounts.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently signed a deal with Netflix to make documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming. The deal is reported to be worth more than £100m.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, an anti-monarchy organisation, said that he believes a review should be conducted regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s involvement with Frogmore Cottage, which was given to them by the Queen and is owned by the Crown Estate.
“They’re working out their own finances, doing their own books and then reporting their own finances – there needs to be independent scrutiny,” he said.
The release of the royal accounts has shown a potential £35m deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic has also resulted in a predicted £15m shortfall in money that goes towards the Sovereign Grant, funds from the Treasury that go towards the Queen’s expenses.
The financial report, which covered the 12 months leading up to 31 March this year, found that the most expensive royal overseas trip was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tour of southern Africa, which cost approximately £246,000 for the taxpayer.