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Prince Harry on Why King Charles Didn’t Want to Pay for Meghan Markle

Prince Harry appears to have doubled down on the suggestion he made in Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan that other senior members of the royal family—particularly his dad King Charles III—were threatened by Meghan Markle’s popularity.

According to Page Six, Harry writes in forthcoming memoir Spare that Charles claimed he couldn’t afford to financially support Meghan in addition to Harry, Kate Middleton, and Prince William. Harry was suspicious of that, musing that he suspected his father didn’t want to pay for Meghan’s expenses as a working royal because Charles didn’t want Meghan taking his spotlight.

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Charles, Camilla, and Meghan during May 2018

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For context, in 2017, Charles paid for Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Harry’s working expenses from his $28 million Duchy of Cornwall income. The three royals pulled from a fund of about $4.8 million to cover their expenses, including things like salary and office costs along with Kate Middleton’s designer wardrobe. In March 2018, People reported that Meghan and Harry bought her clothes themselves before the royal wedding for all of Meghan’s royal engagements. (Working royals cannot accept designer clothes for free.)

But behind the scenes, Harry alleged that Charles was skeptical of footing the bill for Meghan too. Harry wrote that he and William “agreed to serve the monarch” and keep themselves “inside the gilded cage at all times” in exchange for being financially taken care of, per Page Six. He claimed his father told him that the royals didn’t have “enough money” to cover Meghan too. Harry didn’t buy it: “Pa didn’t financially support Willy and me, and our families, out of any largesse,” Harry wrote. “That was his job. That was the whole deal.”

“Pa might have dreaded the rising cost of maintaining us, but what he really couldn’t stomach was someone new dominating the monarchy, grabbing the limelight, someone shiny and new coming in and overshadowing him,” Harry wrote, adding that his father “lived through that before” when he married Harry and William’s mother Princess Diana.

Harry compared Meghan’s popularity to his mother’s too in Harry & Meghan.

“The issue is, when someone who’s marrying in, who should be a supporting act, is then stealing the limelight, or is doing the job better than the person who was born to do this, that upsets people,” Harry started. “It shifts the balance, because you’ve been lead to believe the only way that your charities can succeed, the only way that your reputation can be grown or improved, is if you’re in the front page of those papers. But the media are the ones who choose who to put on the from page.”

He recalled Meghan’s dominance in tabloid coverage over other royals during Remembrance Day 2018, the first time they noticed it happening. “She was like, ‘But it’s not my fault,’” Harry said, “and I said, ‘I know. And my mum felt the same way.’”

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