Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the self-branded progressive duo of the royal family, spent $3 million in taxpayer dollars on home renovations.
According to Page Six, the public release of royal family accounts showed that British taxpayers spent $85.2 million on the monarchy in the previous year, $3.06 million of which went to sprucing up the home of the Duke and Duchess.
"Prince Harry and his wife Meghan's residence near Windsor Castle, called Frogmore Cottage, underwent major work to turn five properties back into a single home for the couple and their baby son Archie," reports the outlet. "Fixtures, fittings, and furnishings at the Victorian-era structure were paid for by the royal couple."
"Overall, spending rose primarily because of higher levels of expenditure devoted to critical renovations for Buckingham Palace in London," the report continues. "The iconic structure is in the second year of a 10-year project after a Treasury report concluded the building’s infrastructure was in danger of a catastrophic failure."
Michael Stevens, keeper of Privy Purse (the Monarchy's private account), said the property had been slated for renovation years prior and was in line with the royal standard.
"The property had not been the subject of work for some years and had already been earmarked for renovation in line with our responsibility to maintain the condition of the occupied royal palaces estate," Stevens said. "The building was returned to a single residence and outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property. Substantially all fixtures and fittings were paid for by Their Royal Highnesses."
Despite Stevens' explanation, anti-monarchy group Republic felt the expenses were in excess at this particular moment in time. "It is particularly galling that they’re allowed to get away [with] this whilst public services need money,” said group spokesman Graham Smith.
The royal couple has been presented by the media as embracing various progressive causes, including Pride Month. "Continuing with our tradition to rotate the accounts we follow based on causes and social issues that matter to us: For the month of June we 'proudly' shine a light on PRIDE," said the couple's official Instagram page. "This month we pay tribute to the accounts supporting the LGBTQ+ community - those young and old, their families and friends, accounts that reflect on the past and are hopeful for a deservedly more inclusive future. We stand with you and support you Because it’s very simple: love is love."
Earlier this year, reports also surfaced that both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry planned to raise their baby "gender fluid" by avoiding common gender stereotypes. "Meghan has been talking to some of her friends about the birth and how she and Harry plan to raise their baby," a source told Vanity Fair at the time. "Her exact word was fluid. She said they plan to raise their child with a fluid approach to gender and they won’t be imposing any stereotypes." Kensington Palace later denounced the story as false.
When Ireland legalized abortion, rumors also spread that Markle expressed pleasure at the news in private. Royal family's stated protocol expressly forbids its members from endorsing political opinions or groups of any kind since they are accountable to no voting bloc whatsoever. Typically, the royals can only engage in "humanitarian issues."