Meghan Markle, Prince Harry: How much have the royals spent on Duke and Duchess of Sussex?
Expenses include the couple's royal wedding and Markle's wardrobe
Being a part of the royal family can incur some hefty costs, as in the case of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Over the course of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage, the royal family, along with British taxpayers, have footed several bills for the couple -- who have stepped back as senior members of the royal family and worked to become financially independent.
From the pair’s big wedding to hefty security costs, here’s a look at how much money the royals have potentially spent on Harry, 36, and Markle, 39.
The royal wedding for Harry and Markle reportedly cost a grand total of $45 million.
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With an extensive security presence, fine dining and a number of other expenses, Harry and Markle’s wedding was quite the pricey affair.
From snipers, undercover police and military tech, the overwhelming security added up to an estimated total of $42.1 million, per British wedding site Bridebook.
Other key wedding expenses included: Twenty silver-plated trumpets that announced the event for $125,000, a pricey $70,000 lemon elderflower wedding cake from Violet Bakery in East London, an abundance of decorative flowers outside of St. George's Chapel at Windsor for $150,000, a reported $420,000 to hire the glass marquee for the evening reception at the Frogmore House, $36,000 on sausage rolls and hot tea for all of the 2,640 invited members of the public, and lastly, a reported $440,000 on Meghan’s iconic Givenchy gown.
In an op-ed for the Daily Mail, Norman Baker, a former Liberal Democrat member of Parliament and home office minister in the coalition government, estimates that the royals contributed £2 million (about $2.7 million) while taxpayers funded the other 94% percent of the wedding.
Upon tying the knot, Harry and Markle first resided in Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom house on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
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The couple then planned to move into Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace — which is home to more than 20 rooms — to accommodate their growing family.
According to the Sussex’s official website, the renovations of Apartment 1 were “estimated to cost in excess of £4 million [$5.5 million] for mandated renovations including the removal of asbestos,” which was funded by taxpayers through the Sovereign Grant.
The couple, however, opted not to move in due to not being available “to occupy until the fourth quarter of 2020.” Instead, they moved into Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Like Apartment 1, Frogmore Cottage underwent extensive renovations which reportedly cost $3.2 million in taxpayer money, though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex eventually paid the money back, per the New York Times.
According to a 2018 report, Markle’s wardrobe clocked in at approximately $1 million.
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Bearing the brunt of that figure were Markle’s two wedding looks. The duchess' Clare Waight Keller-designed Givenchy ceremony gown reportedly ran for $440,000, while her Stella McCartney reception attire cost upwards of $157,000.
"It may be that Meghan contributed certainly some of the costs for either of those wedding dresses, or perhaps both of those wedding dresses, I believe was also picked up by the palace," royal expert Katie Nicholl told "Entertainment Tonight" at the time.
Meanwhile, other appearances saw Markle rocking a $18,000 Givenchy cape in her first outing with Queen Elizabeth, a $4,000 Caroline Herrera top and skirt for the Trooping the Colour ceremony and a $6,000 printed Oscar de la Renta dress, which she wore to Harry’s cousin’s wedding.
As for who picks up the cost? Nicholl explained that, "It does fall now, that she is married into the royal family, to the Prince of Wales [Charles] ... to cover the cost of her working royal wardrobe."
Amid Harry and Markle's move to the United States, Prince Charles planned to pay for the majority of their resettlement across the pond.
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In March 2020, a source told the Daily Mail that the Prince of Wales, 72, "agreed to pay a private contribution" to his youngest son, Harry, and his wife, Markle, after the pair up and left Vancouver, Canada, a month earlier.
The insider claimed at the time that while it hadn't been communicated exactly what Prince Charles' payment was going to be allocated for, it was "believed" to cover half of Markle and Harry's security in their move to the United States.
The outlet claimed Markle and Harry's protection could cost up to 4 million British pounds in total per year, which translates to nearly $5 million.
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Where does the money come from?
It's been previously reported that Harry's father, Prince Charles, has received income from the Duchy of Cornwall which he then divides among himself, his wife, his sons and his daughters-in-law to support themselves and their philanthropic work.
According to Shannon Felton Spence, former head of Politics and Communications for the British Consulate-General of Boston, the Sussexes claimed that the Duchy of Cornwall covered 95 percent of their costs, while the remaining came from the Sovereign Grant. In 2019, the Duchy of Cornwall reportedly brought in over 20 million pounds last year.
How much did Harry and Markle’s marriage cost overall?
With the home renovations, extravagant wedding, expensive wardrobe and extensive security along with Harry’s income via the Duchy of Cornwall, the couple’s marriage costs lie somewhere in the millions.
Fox News' Nate Day contributed to this report.