When we heard that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had left their friend Tyler Perry’s $18m mansion in Beverly Hills because it wasn’t “Harry’s style”, and had instead moved into a new home with “considerable privacy”, we really thought they’d taken their ultra-glam lifestyle down a notch (as they previously insisted they wanted to do). But last week, it was revealed that Harry, Meghan and their one-year-old son Archie had moved into a new mega-mansion in Santa Barbara – worth $14m and rumoured to have been paid for, in part, by Prince Charles.
As details emerged of the sprawling Californian pad, which includes nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a library, lavish gardens, a pool and a spa, fans were shocked that the former senior royals had apparently flashed the cash yet again – especially since they still owe the British taxpayer money for Frogmore Cottage.
According to several sources, the couple took out a $9m mortgage on their new property, which also boasts a wine cellar, cinema, home theatre, arcade and a massive kids’ playground – leaving questions as to how they covered the shortfall.
CHECK OUT Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship from the start
July 2016: Meghan And Harry Meet
So when did the future Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were introduced by a mutual friend in July 2016, originally thought to be Markus Anderson (also the director of Soho house) but who was later confirmed to be Violet von Westenholz. Meghan said in an interview that before she met the Harry she didn't know much about him 'the only thing that I had asked [our mutual friend] was, 'Well is he nice?'. According to Harry he knew Meghan was The One from 'the very first time we met.' after only two dates Harry asked Meghan to accompany him on a trip to Botswana.
While some sources said Harry and Meghan had paid for it themselves, others said Harry’s dad had stepped in. According to an insider, “Charles had been keen to help out and put his hand in his own pocket. He is devoted to both his sons and any time he can assist them, he always will.”
But while Charles’ contribution has not been confirmed, the suggestion of such a gesture has not gone down well with the British public. After all, Harry and Meghan still owe the taxpayers £2.4m for the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, their former home in Windsor, and have agreed to pay £18k a month to repay the cost. Considering their extravagant new home, fans have asked why they couldn’t repay their debt to the taxpayer in full first.
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Meanwhile, the idea that Charles had helped them buy the mansion, if true, seems to contradict their previous claim – made when they resigned as senior royals in January – that they were working to “become financially independent”.
Last week, fans’ outrage grew over the Sussexes’ new digs, which the previous owner paid $25m for in 2009. As one royal commenter put it, “If Charles can buy a $14m property for them, then he can well afford to write off the taxpayers’ money”, while another weighed in, “We want our money back now – not in monthly instalments.”
A third added, “They left the country – they need to fend for themselves Also, how the hell did they get a mortgage? They don’t have jobs.”