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Prince Harry refunds £2.4 million house refurb bill

Prince Harry has paid back £2.4 million ($3.2 million) of British taxpayers’ money used to renovate his home at Windsor Castle, using cash from his recent Netflix deal, his spokesman said on Monday. The Duke of Sussex, as he is formally known, and his wife, American former actress Meghan Markle, retired from royal duties earlier this year in a quest for “financial independence”.

Prince Harry has paid back £2.4 million ($3.2 million) of British taxpayers’ money used to renovate his home at Windsor Castle, using cash from his recent Netflix deal, his spokesman said on Monday.

The Duke of Sussex, as he is formally known, and his wife, American former actress Meghan Markle, retired from royal duties earlier this year in a quest for “financial independence”.

In doing so, the couple said they were giving up their taxpayer-funded income, and promised to reimburse the public money used to renovate their Frogmore House home.

Harry’s spokesman said, “A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex.”

The money “fully covered” the renovation costs of the house, which belongs to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and will remain his and the duchess’ UK residence, he added.

Harry and Meghan spend much of their time in her native US.

Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency said the payment was made possible because of a deal the couple signed with Netflix, the streaming giant, announced last week.

No financial terms were disclosed but it was reported to be a multi-million-dollar deal over several years.

They promised to produce content that “informs but also gives hope”, as well as make “inspirational family programming” and “powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens”.

The Sovereign Grant, which amounted to £82 million ($108 million, 91 million euros) in 2018-19, is paid to the queen to cover her and family members’ official duties.

It also goes towards the upkeep of royal palaces.

Frogmore Cottage, a 19th-century Grade II listed building on the sprawling Windsor Castle estate, was transformed from five separate homes into a single property.

The couple moved there from Harry’s late mother Diana, princess of Wales’ former home at Kensington Palace, in west London, before the birth of their son, Archie, in April 2019.

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