COMMENT:

It turns out, love might actually cost a thing for Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the couple facing growing scrutiny over their financial arrangements in the wake of their resignation from the royal family.

On Thursday this week, the dramatic news broke: The duo revealed in an Instagram post they were quitting as "senior" members of the royal family and planned to "work to become financially independent."

The fallout from the seismic news has been swift and much of the reaction in the UK has been vitriolic.

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A poll in The Times found that the majority of Brits think the couple shouldn't receive any public money.

On Friday, the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince were said to have taken part in a conference call as they frantically try to hammer out the logistical and practical details of the Sussexes' royal exit.

At stake, among other issues, will be questions about their future housing and security arrangements.

Merchandising products are seen in a shop window in Windsor, England. Photo / AP
Merchandising products are seen in a shop window in Windsor, England. Photo / AP

While the Sussexes also launched a sophisticated new website this week, which includes detailed sections covering who will pay for what in their new life, there is now a renewed focus on their financial situation and there are now calls for the couple to foot the bill for their new life.

So, just how much might it hurt them in the hip pocket?

FROGMORE COTTAGE - $4.88 MILLION

Last year it was revealed that the renovations to Frogmore Cottage had cost about $4.67 million.

That tab was picked up by the Sovereign Grant, which is the money the royal family receives from revenues from the Crown Estate. This is worth about $162 million annually.

Approximately 15-25 per cent of that money goes to the Queen & Co to pay for the upkeep of palaces and for official travel, while the remainder goes to the British Treasury.

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Now, former MP and current Privy Council member Norman Baker has come out and said he believes the couple should "give the money back spent on Frogmore Cottage".

"You are either a member of the Royal Family or you are not," Baker told the Express. "You can't be one foot in, one foot out."

Royal themed souvenirs are seen for sale in London. Photo / AP
Royal themed souvenirs are seen for sale in London. Photo / AP

Elsewhere, the Times is reporting that there is the possibility that the Sussexes will be forced to pay rent on the property, which is owned by the Crown Estate, in the future.

Estimates put the cost at about $118,400-a-year.

BODYGUARDS - $1.14 MILLION

Harry and Meghan are "internationally protected people" and the new Sussex website spells out that they expect to continue to receive this high level of security going forward.

Currently, the Duke and Duchess's armed team is made up of six officers however that number goes up when they travel.

It has been reported that their recent trip to Canada involved more than 10 officers and should they split their time between North America and the UK it is likely the annual cost of keeping the family safe will go up.

"Prince Harry's threat level is particularly high. The security arrangements will be very complex. I do not think they have thought any of this through at all," Dai Davies, a former head of the Metropolitan Police's royal protection unit, has told the Daily Mail. "It is going to cost millions to protect Harry and Meghan in the long term.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk away after posing for the media in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London. Photo / AP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk away after posing for the media in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London. Photo / AP

If you look at the cost in terms of police officers – their salary, overtime, overseas allowance, pensions, accommodation, flights etc – the total resource budget is going to be in excess of £100,000 [$197,666] per officer."

A senior source has told the Evening Standard: "Until now their official roles mean the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son are classified as internationally protected people.

"That stays in place for now. But as the circumstances have changed there will now be a full review.

"If the Sussexes intend to live abroad, and not just carry out international official visits abroad, it will involve far more resources. There is no guarantee it will be granted."

According to reports out of London, the Met's Royal And VIP Executive Committee will meet to decide what will happen in terms of the Sussexes' security once their plans are firmed up.

FAMILY INCOME - $4.93 MILLION

According to their newly refurbished and detailed site, Harry and Meghan currently receive only 5 per cent of their current income from the Sovereign Grant, which they now intend to give up.

Newspapers are seen for sale in London. Photo / AP
Newspapers are seen for sale in London. Photo / AP

But that other 95 per cent, you might ask, where does that come from? The answer is Prince Charles who funds his two sons and their wives to the combined tune of about $9.87 million annually.

There are no guarantees, however, he will continue to fund their lives now they are forging a different path. The Times is now reporting that Prince Charles "is likely to review the financial support he provides," putting this hefty chunk of change at stake.

OFFICE STAFF - $249,273

Since splitting from Kate and William's Kensington Palace operation, Harry and Meghan have set up an office at Buckingham Palace.

They reportedly pay their two most high-profile hires Sara Latham, their communications secretary, and Fiona Mcilwham, their private secretary, using the annual funds they receive from Charles.

However, the other four members of their team, which is made up of a social media officer, two programme co-ordinators and a personal assistant, are paid out of the Sovereign Grant, which Harry and Meghan are giving up.

Based on similar jobs are previously advertised on the royal family's website, they could face having to shell out up to about $249,273 to keep their office running.

THE TOTAL - $11.20 MILLION

Royal themed souvenirs are seen for sale in London. Photo / AP
Royal themed souvenirs are seen for sale in London. Photo / AP

While Harry and Meghan might be independently wealth - estimates put their fortune at anywhere between $20 and $62 million - their current lifestyle comes with a hefty price tag.

Still given they are now free agents they are likely to ink lucrative deals for everything and anything from books to TV shows and there is every chance they might come out much further ahead in the long run.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia's leading titles