Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Have Repaid £2.4 Million to British Taxpayers for Frogmore Cottage Renovation
Back when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were senior royals, the couple faced much scrutiny over their alleged lavish spendings. One particular backlash they faced was the amount of money spent over the renovation of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, which the couple moved into shortly before the birth of their son, Archie.
According to the couple’s statement, the move had been necessary as their previous residence of Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace could not accommodate their growing family. As such, Queen Elizabeth herself reportedly offered Harry and Meghan the use of Frogmore Cottage, which was already undergoing mandated renovations.
However, in order to turn the property—which was originally made of five different apartments—into a family residence, extensive renovations had to be made, reportedly costing £2.4 million from the Sovereign Grant, paid by the government—and therefore taxpayers—to support the Queen’s official duties including the royal family's official travels, palace upkeep and utilities, as well as royal employee payroll.
The sum covered reportedly structural renovations of the property, such as ceiling beams, heating systems, electrical systems and gas and water supply structures, with the Sussexes paying for fixtures, fittings and other decorations themselves.
(Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Took Out a Mortgage for Their New US$14.7 Million California Home)
With taxpayers already unhappy about contributing to their renovations, Harry and Meghan drew more scrutiny when they announced their departure from their roles as senior royals in pursuit of financial independence—and their decision to maintain Frogmore Cottage as their base in the United Kingdom.
In a final statement after discussions with the Queen, Harry and Meghan eventually announced that they would be reimbursing the Sovereign Grant, via monthly instalments in cash.
(Related: How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are Transitioning from Royals to Activists)
Now, after a successful multi-million deal with Netflix—estimated to be worth US$150 million—the Sussexes have made good on their promise, with the £2.4 million bill repaid in full.
“A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex,” said a spokesperson for the couple.
“This contribution as originally offered by Prince Harry has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the UK residence of the duke and his family.”
And now that they've joined The Harry Walker Agency as public speakers, it appears that Harry and Meghan are well on their way in achieving the financial independence and freedom that they have left their senior royal roles for.