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Prince Harry paid back the £2.4million cost of Frogmore Cottage renovations so the royal family can't control him, says a top royal columnist.
Meghan Markle and Harry owed the cash to taxpayers for renovating the Windsor Castle property after the Queen gave it to them a place to live in following their lavish 2018 wedding.
As part of Megxit negotiations, the Duke and Duchess reached an agreement to pay £18,000 a month in renovation costs back into the Sovereign Grant.
It was expected to take them 11 years to repay the British taxpayer but on Monday, September 7, it was announced the pair had paid the entire amount back in full.
And Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay has claimed that now sum is repaid 'the pretence is over' and there is now no royal future for the couple.
Richard has claimed the pair did so as Prince Harry didn't want the Royal Family – or dad Prince Charles – to control him.
In a week where the royal couple scooped a huge Netflix deal, there was increased pressure – not least form the Daily Star – to pay back the renovation money.
Writing in the online column, Richard said: "One well-placed source said that the money had always been a sore spot for Harry, who – rightly or wrongly – felt that it was used as a means of controlling him by members of his own family, and by the media."
The source reportedly told the Mail: "Harry made it very clear from the start that he wanted to repay that money because he felt that if he handed it back then no-one would have the right to control him."
Richard adds: "What it does do, however, is signal that their divorce from Britain is permanent while removing any pretence that they might still have a future role in the Royal Family."
Richard also added that while Prince Harry felt the need to "escape criticism" and control, the source said Harry "never seemed in any rush to repay the sum in its entirety".
But he added: "But while he uses the word control, many see this as a desire by Harry to escape criticism under a fair and free press.
Meghan Markle 'desperate' for Oscar from £112m Netflix deal, say friends
The repayment has comes as a surprise to the Royal Family and staff at the palace, the source told Richard, and they're assuming it has something to do with Meghan and Harry's Netflix deal.
At the beginning of September – eight months after the couple stepped back from the Royal Family – Prince Harry and Meghan announced a £112m deal with US streaming giant Netflix.
Meghan and Harry will be making documentaries, films and children's programmes as part of the deal, and will be working with an as yet unnamed production company.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle repay £2.4million cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage
It was publicly confirmed weeks after the couple bought a multi-million dollar house in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, where they now live with Archie.
Richard said: "Maybe it now means he can afford to pay the money back in full at once or maybe he has been irritated by the criticism that the deal has led to of his finances. No one really knows."
- Prince Harry
- Meghan Markle
- Royal Family
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