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The Real Reason Harry Was Cut Off by the Royal Family, According to Insiders

A new report explains exactly why the prince stopped receiving financial support.

The announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were leaving the British royal family happened nearly four years ago, but the fallout persists until today. Now, a new report claims to have more information about why, exactly, Harry was cut off from the family financially.

In January 2020, when the couple shared that they would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family, the two were living in Vancouver Island in Canada. (They moved to Los Angeles soon after.) Around this time, Harry and Markle's relationship with Harry's family became increasingly strained, as the pair shared in their famous interview with Oprah Winfrey and Harry expanded upon in his 2023 memoir, Spare. They've cited the U.K. press as one of the main reasons behind their departure, specifically racist and sexist reports about Markle and Harry's personal feelings about the media regarding the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

RELATED: Why King Charles Proposed to Camilla After a "Humiliating" Incident.

Harry told Winfrey that "[his] family literally cut [him] off financially" after he and Markle decided to step away. As reported by People, he said that they were able to move their family away out of the U.K. with the money he had been left by Diana.

"All I wanted was enough money to get security and keep my family safe," Harry said of the support he had hoped to receive from his living family. As reported by Vanity Fair, a spokesperson for Harry's father King Charles later said that Harry had received support through the summer of 2020. This led to questions about whether what Harry said in his televised interview was accurate. "I wouldn't acknowledge that they are dramatically different. All I can tell you are the facts," the spokesperson for Charles said. A spokesperson for Harry clarified that the timelines did match up.

Members of the British royal family during Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace
Lorna Roberts / Shutterstock

As reported by The Daily Beast, a new report from the U.K. publication Byline Times claims that there was more to the decision to Harry being cut off financially, however. The outlet reports that King Charles was planning to support the couple with £700,000 ($850,000) in funding during a trial year of living abroad in Canada. But, he reportedly withdrew these funds over a dispute with Harry about stories allegedly sold to The Sun.

According to the report, Harry claimed that the partner of Christian Jones, an aide to Prince William, was being paid for stories about himself and Markle, including about their departure from the royal family, which became known as Megxit. Harry reportedly sent legal letters to The Sun regarding the leaked stories, which led to tension with his father, who wanted the aide's name removed from Harry's claim. When Harry refused to do this, Charles reportedly cut off Harry financially in an attempt to persuade him. Sun editor Dan Wootton—who is currently otherwise embroiled in scandal—is reportedly the person to whom the stories were sold. Jones denied wrongdoing, and his partner claimed to have received payment for different stories, according to the report.

"They threatened the removal of the funding to try and protect the royal household from a potential courtroom scandal with Jones and Wootton very publicly at the center," a source told Byline Times. "The actual removal of the funding weeks later was about control, and designed to force Harry and Meghan to come back to the senior royal family in the U.K. where their security would be assured." Another source said, "The removal of the transition funding, which Prince Charles knew was his son's only lifeline to keeping safe, was considered a very effective way of trying to bring Harry and Meghan to heel in the UK. But it didn't work."

Currently, Markle and Harry live in Montecito, California and have continued to work on projects outside of the royal family. Best Life has reached out to Harry for comment on the new report.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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