Prince of Wales gave Duke and Duchess of Sussex a ‘substantial sum’ to start new life
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - AFP
When the Duke of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that his family had "literally" cut him off financially, sources close to the Prince of Wales couldn't hide their surprise.
The bank statements, they said, told a different story.
It has now been found that the Prince of Wales granted the Duke and Duchess a "substantial sum" when they stepped down from their official positions, which apparently contradicted Prince Harry's claim that they decided to start their new life in California solely because of his Inheritance from his mother.
Clarence House's Annual Review found that Prince Charles gave the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a total of £ 4.5 million in the past fiscal year, up from £ 5.6 million the previous year.
A Clarence House spokesman confirmed it was "a substantial sum" to aid the Sussexes after they left royal life, payments that ended last summer.
"As we will all remember, when the Duke and Duchess announced in January 2020 that they were moving away from the working royal family, the Duke said they were working towards becoming financially independent," the spokesman said.
"The Prince of Wales ... has given a substantial amount to help them make this transition."
Describing the couple's departure from the working royal family as "a matter of tremendous sadness for the family," he added, "The prince wanted to help make this work.
"I'm not betraying any confidence when I say that they have succeeded very well in becoming financially independent."
It also found that the investigation into alleged bullying by the Duchess of Sussex, which is being carried out by an outside law firm, is being privately paid.
Buckingham Palace declined to confirm which member of the royal family was paying the bill, but said no taxpayer money was spent on the investigation.
It was expected that details of the review would be included in the annual report, but that it has not yet been finalized and the consultants will not announce when their conclusions may be published.
A spokesman for the Sussexes insisted that there was no contradiction in terms of timing and that it was "imprecise" to suggest otherwise.
"The Duke's comments during the Oprah interview were about the first quarter of the UK fiscal year, which begins annually in April," she said.
"This is the same date that the 'transition year' of the Sandringham Accords began and corresponds to the timetable to which Clarence House was referring."
In the interview, the Duke told Oprah: "My family literally cut me off financially ... in the first half, in the first quarter of 2020. But I have what my mother left me, and without that we would not have been." able to do so. "
Buckingham Palace admits it failed to improve diversity
Buckingham Palace has also admitted it failed its diversity efforts when it first released staff numbers following the Sussexes racism allegations.
The Sovereign Grant report, released Thursday, found that 8.5 percent of the palace's staff were from ethnic minorities. The consultants hoped to increase this number to 10 percent by the end of 2022.
A senior palace source admitted that they "need to do more" to improve diversity, adding, "We are not where we want to be despite our best efforts."
The adviser said the numbers were released so there was "no place to hide" and so they could be held accountable if no progress was made.
Clarence House announced that eight percent of its staff are ethnic minorities, which also admitted "not to be where we need to be".
It comes just months after the Sussexes accused the Royal Family of racism, alleging concerns about the color of their unborn son's skin were raised.
In the UK, around 13 percent of the UK population is from an ethnic minority background.
The report revealed that in early 2020, shortly after the Sussexes moved abroad, the palace diversity strategy agreed upon in 2017-18 was adjusted to "actively emphasize the importance of inclusion" despite plans to appoint a diversity tsar Ice were put.
It also revealed a significant black hole in the palace finances, with the annual revenue supplementing the Sovereign Grant plummeting from £ 20.2 million to £ 9.4 million.
The royal household had previously estimated that £ 15 million would be lost over three years in Royal Collection Trust revenue, but that number is now estimated at £ 18 million.
The reduction was partially offset by the £ 2.4million received from the Sussexes to reimburse the public purse for the renovation of Frogmore Cottage.
The flat rate was deemed sufficient to also cover the couple's rental costs for the property for 18 months through March 2022, when the annual license for the property is due to be renewed.
The accounts show that the monarchy cost taxpayers £ 87.5 million in the last fiscal year, an increase of £ 18.1 million from the previous year.
The property's maintenance costs increased by £ 11.2 million to £ 49.5 million as the 10-year Buckingham Palace renovation project continued.
Sir Michael Stevens, the custodian of the Privy Purse, said: “In the year covered by this report, we have actually spent more than our scholarship and the additional income we have earned, with a total net spending of £ 87.5 million, which corresponds to an increase of 26 percent over the previous year.
"This was mainly caused by a significant increase in reservation spending from £ 21.2 million to £ 38.8 million, an 83 percent increase over the year."
The additional expenditure of £ 2.3 million was covered by the reserve for state subsidies.
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