Monday, May 27, 2024
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£2.4m is Mickey Mouse money to the Sussexes, but not to us taxpayers


REMEMBER when Prince Harry embarrassingly touted his wife’s voiceover skills to the CEO of Disney at a film premiere last summer? We should have known then that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were after more than the meagre lifestyle of a ribbon-cutting, hand-waving working royal.

Since their ‘conscious uncoupling’ from the Royal Family, Britain has wised up to what Harry and Meghan really wanted all along – an ivory tower from which they could peddle tedious clichés about social justice, environmentalism, or whatever the next ‘woke’ trend may be.

The public were rightly outraged when on their departure, we were told £2.4million taxpayer-funded renovations to Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle (their bolthole for the eight months they lived in this country) would be paid back in instalments in a decade-long repayment plan.

Having given up the rights and privileges of members of the Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess had to pay their dues and cover the cost themselves – to have not done so would have stripped them of what little dignity they have left in the eyes of the Great British Public.

It was always blindingly obvious that the Sussexes weren’t looking to lead a modest life, and would not struggle to stump up the money. Despite their feigned attempts to stay out of the press spotlight, they’ve embraced the Hollywood limelight with open arms. Harry’s petitioning to Disney seemed to work its magic with Meghan scoring a documentary voiceover on the Disney+ streaming service.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The California couple’s workload is set to upend the scales with their latest endeavour: a £112 million production deal with Netflix.

Following in the footsteps of famous friends the Obamas, the Sussexes’ statement highlighted the importance of ‘making inspirational family programming’ to educate us. but also ‘give hope’. Ironically, this sounds remarkably similar to the royal role they’ve both turned their backs on – perhaps they’re expecting a warmer reception Stateside, or was the financial reward just too good to refuse?

The megabucks movie deal was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Taxpayers’ Alliance launched the ‘Megflix’ petition demanding our cottage cash back. Backed by thousands of angry Brits, the online and media pressure on the couple grew quickly and the campaign caught like wildfire.

Eventually, for once, Meghan and Harry were forced to listen to the British public and relent on a royal refund.

This groundswell of public feeling shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Taxpayers are sick and tired of those who want the perks and powers of public office without the responsibilities; those who expect cash from the public purse with little to no care for the hard-working ratepayers who stump up the funds.

With their new charity ‘Archewell’, celebrity sightings out and about in California, and now this megabucks movie deal, did Meghan and Harry really believe all this attention would distract Britain from the £2.4million we were owed for Frogmore?

Taxpayers have long memories. Let this be a lesson to the luvvies who are quick to lecture, the moneyed mandarins with their massive golden handshake payoffs, and the well-paid and worthy public health nannies interfering in our lives. The public’s had enough.

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Danielle Boxall
Danielle Boxall
Danielle is media campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

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