10:52 GMT22 February 2020
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    The man in the audience said that the Royal Family had “shot themselves in the foot” after figures revealed that renovation costs were in the millions amid austerity and public sector cuts.

    Speaking on the BBC’s Question Time programme, an audience member criticised Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their costly renovations to their new residence.

    Roughly £2.4m in taxpayer money had been used to refurbish Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, according to figures published from the Royal Family’s Sovereign grant financial report.

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had moved into the residence in April prior to giving birth to their son, Archie, in May.

    The findings sparked public outcry, with campaigners calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the royal expenditures during the UK’s austerity era.

    On Thursday, the BBC’s Question Time in Halifax, West Yorkshire, an audience member questioned whether the hefty expenses were value for money, where he stated, “Will I be able to visit and walk around Frogmore Cottage to check my investment as a fully paid-up taxpayer?

    “I’m a royalist,” the man said. “I’m not a Republican, but I think the Royal Family here have just shot themselves in the foot when we’ve got all these cuts.”

    But the show’s panelist and managing director of Iceland supermarkets, Richard Walker, backed the Royal Family’s expenses by calling the an “incredible investment” and “essential” part of British life.

    “What an incredible investment the royals are, they’re an essential part of brand Britain,” he said. "It’s amazing value for money.

    He added that during a recent visit to the US, all the front pages of magazines featured the Royal family.

    He said: “As we make our way in the world at a time of Brexit we need parts of brand Britain to be promoted.” 

    But onlookers took to Twitter to express their discuss towards the Mr Walker's comments, accusing the programme of using five "anti-Corbynists" while applauding the costly refurbishments for Frogmore Cottage.

    Frogmore Cottage was Queen Elizabeth's 19th-century residence owned by the Crown Estate. The Sovereign Fund report also showed that taxpayers contributed £67m from 2018 to 2019, up £20m from the previous financial year, with most expenses used for restoration work at Buckingham Palaces and other Royal residences.


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