This is because it is so expensive ‒ around £11.2million ($14.7million) with approximately £45,000 ($50,000) per month mortgage payments ‒ which puts huge pressure on the Sussexes to earn lots of money fast. This is compounded by the fact that, due to the coronavirus crisis, they have been unable to earn much money as of late, whether that be via speeches through their public speaking agency, the Harry Walker Agency, or by corporate partnerships. This means, once they are able to properly work again, they may be forced to sign all sorts of corporate deals and sponsorships that may not reflect the image they ‒ or indeed the Royal Family ‒ want to display.
However, if they had opted for a more humble abode, the mortgage would not be so steep and so they would be less desperate to earn.
There is also the issue of Frogmore Cottage, and how the royal couple still haven’t paid back the £2.5million they took off the taxpayer for the renovations.
It is arguably a bad look to be splashing out on a mansion before paying back what they owe, especially when there has not been any transparency in terms of what the arrangements are for paying back the money.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
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Mr Myers claimed there was a “nervousness” in the Palace about what sort of brand deals Meghan and Harry might do going forward and how that will reflect on the wider family, and this nervousness likely increased after the news of the Montecito mansion came out.
He said: “You can bet your bottom dollar that people in the Palace are getting a bit nervous about this.
“Because what it means is that the nervousness that had previously existed about what sort of corporated deals they will be doing, what sort of sponsorships, what sort of tie-ins they would be doing with big brands to earn money in order to facilitate this fabulously exclusive lifestyle they’ve created for themselves, that nervousness is very real indeed.
“Now, the fact is the coronavirus crisis has put a pin in their balloon of dreams at the moment and they can’t move forward with anything.
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“They have obviously been popping up on Zoom calls, speaking about civil rights and what have you… well, that isn’t going to bring in the cold hard cash that they need to live.
“And certainly, if you’ve got a mortgage that’s knocking on $8million, well that needs to be paid and, of course, they have a few million in the bank but they are going to have to earn a living and to seek this financial freedom that they keep speaking about.
“Who knows what the next year is going to look like, but it is very real, because we were talking about the fact they were going to do corporate engagements and these speaking engagements, which were going to net them hundreds of thousands of dollars for each speech ‒ well, there ain’t none of them happening at the moment, so the issue is, where are they going to start earning money?
“And would they ever be in a situation when their resources are dwindling, Prince Charles stops funding them in about six months time, and they have to keep signing endorsement deals and sponsorship deals to stay afloat ‒ and what does that mean for the actual royal brand?”
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex still have to pay back all the money for Frogmore Cottage renovations
Despite Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as senior royals and move to California, it is still inevitable that anything they do will be linked back to the Royal Family.
The couple still have the Duke and Duchess titles, are patrons or presidents of numerous charities and organisations including The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, and ultimately Harry will always be the Queen’s grandson, and son of the future King.
This means any commercial deals they enter into will reflect on the Royal Family.
Mr Myers added that the Frogmore Cottage repayments are also a legitimate thing to be asking questions about.
He said: “Now, again, this is their money, they’re fabulously wealthy, why should we be bothered?
“Well the reason people are bothered here is because they still haven’t paid back the £2.5milllion that they took off the taxpayer to renovate Frogmore Cottage.
“And part of the exit bill was that they’d agreed to give it back and we still don’t know, it’s still shrouded in secrecy, about whether they’ve made arrangements to pay that money back, what sort of a deal they are paying.
“It was rumoured to be about £30,000 upkeep of Frogmore Cottage, they had agreed to pay market rent on the property.”
He added that the Montecito mansion buy has “probably opened up more questions than it has settled” at the moment.
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