The Prince of Wales could cut off his funding for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following their shock decision to quit as senior royals, according to reports.
Harry and Meghan are said to have ‘blindsided’ the Royal Family with their announcement that they plan to step away from roles as senior royals.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the couple said they plan to “work to become financially independent” as they “carve out a progressive new role” within the monarchy.
That includes no longer receiving an income from the Sovereign Grant, which funds the work of the Queen and other royals.
But according to The Times, Harry’s father Prince Charles could also decide to cut the money he gives to the couple from the Duchy of Cornwall, depending on how negotiations go on the couple’s future role.
Meghan has returned to Canada already, leaving Harry to deal with the fallout that has seen the Queen instruct royal aides to find a ‘workable solution’ for the couple’s future within the monarchy.
According to reports, Harry started negotiations with his father before Christmas but was urged to wait before making an announcement until details were worked out - something he and Meghan didn’t do.
Discussions on the couple’s future are expected to involve the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William as well as other governments, and will cover areas including security, their titles and funding.
The couple’s new ‘Sussex Royal’ website dedicates a whole section to the subject of funding, saying: “As they step back as senior members of the Royal Family and no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, they will become members of the Royal Family with financial independence which is something they look forward to.”
The website goes on to say the couple: “value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing”.
It says their new planned role as “members of the Royal Family with financial independence” will allow them to carry out their duties for the Queen while having “the future financial autonomy to work externally”.
“While the contribution from The Sovereign Grant covers just five percent of costs for The Duke and Duchess and is specifically used for their official office expense, Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie,” it adds.
But commentators have pointed out that while the couple may be relinquishing the Sovereign Grant, 95% of the couple’s income comes from the Prince of Wales via the Duchy of Cornwall estate, which the Telegraph reported totals around £2.3m a year.
The newspaper quoted Royal finance expert David McClure as describing the Sovereign Grant money as “chicken feed”.