The Royal Family Cost U.K. Taxpayers Over $120 Million Last Year, While Meghan and Harry Remain Financially Independent

It's all in the numbers.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Zara Phillips leave after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's reign at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London on June 3, 2022 as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations. - Queen Elizabeth II kicked off the first of four days of celebrations marking her record-breaking 70 years on the throne, to cheering crowds of tens of thousands of people. But the 96-year-old sovereign's appearance at the Platinum Jubilee -- a milestone never previously reached by a British monarch -- took its toll, forcing her to pull out of a planned church service.
(Image credit: Photo by Daniel Leal / Getty)

Each tax year, the Royal Family releases a financial report known as the Sovereign Grant Report, which details their total taxpayer-funded expenditures.

The report for 2021-22 was released on June 29, and contains information on—among other things—travel costs incurred by various royals in the year ending March 31.

It has been widely noted that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not listed as having benefited from any U.K. tax funds at all. In fact, the only mentions of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the entire 129-page report relate to their British base of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, for which they pay private rent. They also reimbursed taxpayers for refurbishments to the home totaling £2.4 million ($2.9 million USD at today's exchange rate) in September 2020.

A source close to the royals said the Sussexes "should be congratulated on achieving their goal" of earning millions of their own private money (via Express). These earnings come from a number of ventures, including a deal with Netflix, one with Spotify, Prince Harry's upcoming memoir with Penguin Random House, and his role as chief impact officer for startup BetterUp.

Reports have been circulating that imply the Sussexes have only just become financially independent; however, they were reported to have been standing on their own two feet as early as September 2020, which coincides with their repayment on Frogmore.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Royal Family as a whole incurred £102.4 million (roughly $124 million) in expenditures, which include travel, payroll and staff costs, property maintenance, utilities, housekeeping and more.

Notably, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's controversial tour of the Caribbean cost £226,383 ($273,288) in charter flights alone. Beyond the cost of the trip, many commentators found it problematic because of the Royal Family's historical connection to slavery, colonialism and racism. The Cambridges have since expressed their regret over that painful history.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.