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Prince Harry refunds house refurb bill from Netflix deal

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 27, 2017 Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancÈe US actress Meghan Markle pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in west London, following the announcement of their engagement. – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially launched their new Hollywood careers on September 2, 2020, signing a deal with Netflix to produce “impactful” films and series for the streaming giant. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Prince Harry has paid back £2.4 million ($3.2 million) of British taxpayers’ money used to renovate his home at Windsor Castle, using cash from his recent Netflix deal, his spokesman said on Monday.

The Duke of Sussex, as he is formally known, and his wife, American former actress Meghan Markle, retired from royal duties earlier this year in a quest for “financial independence”.

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In doing so, the couple said they were giving up their taxpayer-funded income, and promised to reimburse the public money used to renovate their Frogmore House home.

Harry’s spokesman said: “A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex.”

The money “fully covered” the renovation costs of the house, which belongs to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and will remain his and the duchess’ UK residence, he added.

Harry and Meghan spend much of their time in her native US.

Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency said the payment was made possible because of a deal the couple signed with Netflix, the streaming giant, announced last week.

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No financial terms were disclosed but it was reported to be a multi-million-dollar deal over several years.

They promised to produce content that “informs but also gives hope”, as well as make “inspirational family programming” and “powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens”.

The Sovereign Grant, which amounted to £82 million ($108 million, 91 million euros) in 2018-19, is paid to the queen to cover her and family members’ official duties.

It also goes towards the upkeep of royal palaces.

Frogmore Cottage, a 19th-century Grade II listed building on the sprawling Windsor Castle estate, was transformed from five separate homes into a single property.

The couple moved there from Harry’s late mother Diana, Princess of Wales’ former home at Kensington Palace, in west London, before the birth of their son, Archie, in April 2019.

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