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Harry and Meghan's Financial Impact on the Royal Family

You can argue that Harry and Meghan harm the royal family. They seem to pop up with bad news or attract the wrong type of headline. To some, they seem selfish and immature and ill-equipped to deal with life in the spotlight and more at home away from the media glare. That may or may not be true. Anyone who saw their Oprah Winfrey interview will have their own opinion on the couple, but what can't be denied is their impact on the royal family business.

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The Firm

Meghan used the term "The Firm" to refer to the British royal family. That's not a new term. It was coined by the Queen's dad King George VI who ruled from 1936 to 1952. Today, the name's a little more relevant because of the cash the royals generate for the economy. A 2021 article in Forbes revealed that the Windsors generated $28 billion. They generate interest which turns to profit. Take Harry and Meghan's show-stopping wedding. That provided a $1.5 billion boost to the UK economy. Even in a non-wedding year, they make their mark on the economy to the tune of $2.7 billion. Part of that comes from their unique ability to attract tourism. That's worth $400 million per year to the UK economy. Being associated with the royals is also very profitable. A royal warrant, which firms like BT and Cadbury's enjoy, can increase the company's worth by as much as 10 per cent. How can a couple of exiles like Harry and Meghan help the UK economy?

Tourism

It's impossible to establish how much of the $400 million boost in tourism is down the Harry and Meghan. Still, we know that their former residence of Frogmore Cottage, opposite Frogmore House, was the most popular destination for royal fans to visits in 2019 and 2020. And there's data to support their impact on the royal family's bottom line. Data compiled by Statista tells us that during the period in which the couple lived in Frogmore Cottage, the adjacent Frogmore House and Windsor Castle were the most popular Royal Estate for visitors. Ticket income for the period was $65 million, and retail sales added a further $28 million.

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Renovations

Considering the amount of cash the estate generated, the £2 million renovation works were a bargain. There are said to be five bedrooms, and a nursery, which were part of the renovation works that interior designer Vicky Charles helped design. Surprisingly, the royal couple paid for the renovation themselves, even though they didn't own the property. After vacating the cottage in March 2020, they paid £2.4 million to cover the renovation costs and 18 months' rent. Paying your rent in arrears is very unusual in the UK, but so is paying for renovations on a rented property. There's nothing usual about the royal family. A spokesperson for the pair confirmed that "As part of this agreement, all tenant obligations are being met. The duke and duchess continue to operate with no money being drawn from the UK taxpayer."

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