The Taxpayers' Alliance and anti-monarchy website Republic have called for ex-senior royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, to reimburse the public and in a fully transparent move, pay back over £2 million used to renovate Frogmore Cottage last year, the Daily Mail reported.
“Taxpayers would welcome the news of the Sussexes returning the funds used to renovate Frogmore Cottage to the public purse", a spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance told the Daily Mail, stressing that all the royals are granted money in accordance with their duties.
“Given Harry and Meghan have chosen to forfeit those duties and live abroad as private citizens, it is only right that they now seek to cover the costs themselves", the spokesman noted, referring to the former Sussexes saying in January as they announced their step-down that they would pay back the debt.
“They need to pay the full amount back as soon as possible and with transparency about when that's done and how", Graham Smith from the ani-monarchy organisation Republic added, further insisting the couple should also cover their security bills for themselves, as well as “think about repaying the cost of their wedding". The ceremony in May 2018 reportedly cost the ex-Sussexes between £24million-£30million.
In April 2019, the couple reportedly took the eye-watering sum of around £2.4 million from the Sovereign Grant to fund the massive renovations at their home on the Windsor estate in Berkshire.
Frogmore Cottage was converted from five apartments into their official residence, which required significant structural work believed to have been partly covered by Prince Charles.
Harry and Meghan have meanwhile been widely accused of “deserting” the county in its hour of need, amid the persisting COVID-19 pandemic. On top of this, Harry drew ire on Sunday when he claimed the UK's COVID-19 crisis might be not as bad as the public are being told by certain media outlets.
Speaking on the Declassifed podcast, the 35-year-old assumed things were “better than we are led to believe through certain corners of the media.”
“Certainly when you're in isolation it can be very worrying when you're sitting there and the only information you're getting is from certain news channels, but then if you're out and about and you're on the right platforms you can really sense this human spirit coming to the forefront", Harry explained.
However, expert Professor Karol Sikora, who has led antibody tests and is a former No 10 adviser, hit back at the claims branding the remarks “outrageous".
“As for the media, I really don't understand what Harry's beef is. Journalists have been reporting the facts and have been doing great work in holding the government to account", he said in comments to The Sun.
Harry and Meghan, who formally quit their royal duties this month, lived for some time in Canada and then relocated to Los Angeles, Meghan’s home city, just before Donald Trump closed the borders due to the pandemic. The couple earlier announced that they are seeking financial and personal independence and are currently working on their non-profit empire called Archewell, in a nod to their almost 1-year-old son.