Harry and Meghan to repay cost of Frogmore Cottage renovation

Despite stepping down as senior royals and moving to the US, Harry and Meghan have kept their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage as their UK base.

It is a property that sparked some outrage among Britains, when it was first revealed how much taxpayers had reportedly forked out for renovations undertaken by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The couple already no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, becoming financially independent from the royal family, and now it has been revealed they are set to pay back UK taxpayers for the Frogmore Cottage renovation costs.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 02: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a township to learn about Youth Employment Services on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan have left the UK. Photo: Getty

A reported $4.3m (£2.4million) of taxpayer money was spent on the renovations of the Grade II listed cottage, a major issue of contention when the Sussexes then decided to leave the UK all together.

But according to The Mail on Sunday, it has been discreetly arranged for Harry and Meghan to start paying rent on the property, as of last month.

The rent is said to be $34,000 (£18,000) a month to keep Frogmore as their official British base, but at that rate it would still take more than 11 years of repayments to cover the costs.

“Royal gardeners are still cutting the grass at Frogmore every week and cleaning the house should its residents ever wish to return,” the Mail’s Royal Editor Emily Andrews wrote.

February 20th 2020 - Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will formally step down as senior royals on March 31st 2020 as the agreement reached between Queen Elizabeth II and the couple becomes official. - January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-09/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/17/19 Frogmore Cottage - the home of Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex - in Windsor, England, UK.
Frogmore Cottage remains Harry and Meghan's UK home. Photo: AP

The cottage underwent renovations to turn it from five separate properties to a family home for the couple and their baby son, Archie.

Works included the rewiring of electrics, the replacement of ceilings and flooring, along with the addition of new bathrooms, bedrooms and a kitchen.

Officials said fixtures and fittings were ‘substantially’ paid for by Harry and Meghan, however exterior painting and landscaping saw the cost for the taxpayer increase.

May 6th 2020 - Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, son of Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex, celebrates his first birthday. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 3/9/20 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service on March 9, 2020 at Westminster Abbey. (London, England, UK)
Harry and Meghan caused a stir when costs of the renovations were revealed. Photo: Getty

At the time ITV’s Good Morning Britain ran a poll on Twitter, asking users whether the taxpayer should pay for the redevelopment of Harry and Meghan's official residence.

“NO!! Our NHS, Police and schools are grossly under funded, families are relying on food banks..the list goes on! Taxpayers funding their renovations is abysmal,” was one outraged response.

“I’m very fond of the young Royal couple and think Harry works very hard! However, no way should the tax payer foot this bill,” another agreed. “Frogmore is to be their own private home and between them they have more than enough money to fund renovations themselves!”

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