Prince Charles 'hurt' after secretly funding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's lifestyle with own money - reports

Prince Charles is said to be "hurt and upset" by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to "step back" from the royal family, having apparently spent a "small fortune" of his own money on the couple. 

The Evening Standard reports that Charles paid out "hundreds of thousands of pounds" to help furnish the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Frogmore Cottage, as well as a hefty payout for the royal wedding in 2018. 

A source reportedly told the Standard: "There is a great deal of hurt given that the Prince of Wales has gone out of his way to help his son who he loves dearly and embrace his daughter-in-law into the family." 

"These are not small sums. It should not be a surprise that he is upset by all this given the truth about how he has supported his son." 

The Standard adds that at one stage, Harry and Meghan were said to be receiving more money in extra hand-outs than Prince William and his family, although that figure has since evened-out. 

Meanwhile, following a family crisis meeting at Sandringham, the Queen has issued a statement of support for Harry and Meghan's independence, despite it not being her preference. 

"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family," she said.

"Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family."

Harry and Meghan announced their intentions to become 'financially independent' and live part time in Canada last week. 

Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said the federal government has not yet decided if they will cover the cost of Harry and Meghan's security, while the Queen's statement confirmed there were further details to be worked through.