Update 1/18: Buckingham Palace has released an official statement with details of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's next steps. The statement confirms that Frogmore Cottage will continue to be their family's home in the United Kingdom and explains that they hope to take over some financial responsibilities for the property.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home," the statement says.
Original post: In a bombshell statement released Wednesday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they're effectively quitting the royal family, with plans to become financially independent and split their time between the U.K. and North America. Their primary U.K. residence, Frogmore Cottage, underwent a $3 million renovation before Archie's birth—so will they stay there now they're no longer "senior" members of the royal family?
Given their transition into members of the Royal Family with financial independence, will The Duke and Duchess of Sussex maintain their residence at Frogmore Cottage? Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom.
Here's Frogmore Cottage:
The Duke and Duchess chose to move out of their former residence at Kensington Palace last year. There was speculation at that time that Harry and Meghan were moving away from KP (where Prince William and Kate Middleton live) because of a rift between the Sussexes and the Cambridges, but information on the Sussex Royal website gives a different reason: renovation issues.
Their previous residence of Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace could not accommodate their growing family. The option of Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace was estimated to cost in excess of £4 million for mandated renovations including the removal of asbestos (see details above on the Monarchy’s responsibility for this upkeep). This residence would not have been available for them to occupy until the fourth quarter of 2020. As a result, Her Majesty The Queen offered The Duke and Duchess the use of Frogmore Cottage, which was already undergoing mandated renovations, and would be available to move in before the birth of their son. The refurbishment cost equated to 50 percent of the originally suggested property for their proposed official residence at Kensington Palace. It is for these reasons, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose Frogmore Cottage as their Official Residence.
At present, Harry and Meghan have a small team of staff working for them at Frogmore, though this will almost certainly change when they begin to split their time between North America and the U.K. It's not clear whether they'll continue to employ the same staff as they move toward financial independence.
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