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Prince Charles Did Cut Off Harry and Meghan, but Not Until the Summer of 2020

The Sussexes and Clarence House agree on the timing of when Charles cut off their funding—but it does put Harry’s comments from the Oprah Winfrey interview in a new light.

It was a source of upset so raw Prince Harry chose to air his grievance in public when he sat down with Oprah Winfrey, telling her in the bombshell March interview that his father, Prince Charles, had “literally cut me off financially” after he and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals last year. 

But the royal expenditure reports published Thursday reveal that, in the fiscal year beginning of April 2020, he provided both Harry and Prince William’s families with £4.5 million. The report does not break down how much money went to each prince, but a spokesman for Charles at Clarence House clarified that the Prince of Wales had allotted “a substantial sum” to support Harry and Meghan as they transitioned out of their royal roles. “That funding ceased in the summer of last year,” the spokesperson continued. “The couple are now financially independent.”

When asked about the remarks Harry made to Winfrey about being financially cut off, the spokesperson said, “I wouldn’t acknowledge that they are dramatically different. All I can tell you are the facts.”

A spokesperson for the Sussexes insists, however, that there is no contradiction in what Harry told Winfrey. “You are conflating two different timelines and it’s inaccurate to suggest that there’s a contradiction,” the representative said. “The Duke’s comments during the Oprah interview were in reference to the first quarter of the fiscal reporting period in the U.K., which starts annually in April. This is the same date that the ‘transitional year’ of the Sandringham agreement began and is aligned with the timeline that Clarence House referenced.” 

The money Charles allotted for both of his sons came from the Duchy of Cornwall, which also funded the Sussexes when they were working royals (an additional 5% of their funding came from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant). Harry and Meghan announced they were standing down as working royals in January 2020 and officially ceased being working members of the royal family at the end of March 2020, just before the new financial year began. In his interview with Winfrey, Harry said they were cut off financially when they decided to leave the royal family to become financially independent.

“My family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us,” he said, adding “I’ve got what my mum left me, and without that, we would not have been able to do this.”

It was in spring that Harry and Meghan moved to Los Angeles and stayed in the home belonging to Tyler Perry, who also reportedly provided them with a security team. 

The Clarence House spokesperson described Harry and Meghan’s departure from the working royal family as “a matter of enormous sadness to the family,” adding: “But the prince wanted to help make this work, (and) allocated a substantial sum to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, to help them with that transition.” Now that they are settled into their new lives in California, and signing lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix, the Sussexes have now fully completed that change. As the Clarence House spokesperson pointed out, “I betray no confidence when I say they’ve been very successful in becoming financially independent.”

Harry’s suggestion in the Winfrey interview that his father pulled the plug on his financial support is said to have frustrated and upset Charles. A source told Vanity Fair, “Charles was quite upset at the suggestion he had cut Harry off. Initially he didn’t and he went on to provide for some time, but there was a point when Charles decided enough was enough. The bank of dad couldn’t keep handing out indefinitely.”

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