Prince Harry and Meghan asked to ‘evacuate’ Frogmore Cottage


LONDON — Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have been asked to give up the royal residence given to them by Queen Elizabeth II.

“We can confirm that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage,” a spokesperson for the couple said in an email.

It is unclear exactly why they are now being asked to empty the five-bedroom property in Windsor, which was their primary residence in Britain before decamping to California.

In a “world exclusive” on Frogxit, the Sun tabloid, citing unnamed sources, said the five-bedroom property had been gifted to Prince Andrew. The tabloid also said King Charles III planned to cut his younger brother’s royal allowance. Andrew’s spokesperson did not respond to email questions from The Washington Post.

The reports come ahead of Charles’ coronation in May – and ahead of a major review of the Royal Family’s finances. Every five years, the UK government re-evaluates the taxpayer-funded ‘Sovereign Grant’ formula – used to cover the costs of running the Royal Household, including staff salaries, palace renovations and travel. Any changes to this formula should come into effect next month.

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Frogmore Cottage has been the subject of much controversy after $2.9 million of taxpayers’ money was spent on renovations. Harry and Meghan have repaid the money in full after announcing they are quitting their jobs as senior royals.

If the reports are true, then Andrew, the king’s disgraced younger brother, would move into a property with extensive renovations paid for by Harry and Meghan. It would also amount to an effective downgrading of his current living conditions.

Since 2004, Andrew has lived at the Royal Lodge, a sprawling house three miles from Windsor Castle. He lives there with Sarah Ferguson, although the couple are divorced, and the late Queen’s corgis. In his memoir ‘Spare’, Harry describes the Royal Lodge as having ‘one foot in another world’ with ‘soaring ceilings’ and a ‘pebble driveway winding serenely through vibrant gardens’.

Both Frogmore Cottage and Royal Lodge are part of the Crown Estate, which means they technically belong to the monarch.

Charles has long signaled that he wants to lighten up the monarchy, and since becoming king questions have swirled over which royal duties will be performed by whom – and especially how he will deal with his wayward parents.

Andrew has been thrown into the royal desert amid a lawsuit brought by an American who says she was forced to have sex with him when she was a teenager. Andrew denies any wrongdoing but settled the lawsuit last year. The queen also stripped him of his titles and patronages.

It is unclear if Harry and Meghan will come to Britain in May for the coronation, and if so, where they would stay.

In ‘Spare’, Harry recounts asking his grandmother, the Queen, for help with his and Meghan’s housing situation after they found their flats at Nottingham Cottage in London too small. The Queen recommended Frogmore Cottage, which she said was lovely but at the time “a bit of a building site”. Harry described it as ‘lovely, full of potential’ and told the Queen it was a ‘dream come true’.

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