Buckingham Palace denies claims Charles ‘might offer Harry a royal home’ in UK

Buckingham Palace has addressed claims that King Charles might be “forced” to lease one of the royal residences to Prince Harry.

Last week, it was reported Harry had been asked to “give notice” if he wished to stay on the royal estate, as Buckingham Palace allegedly denied his request for accommodation at Windsor Castle during a recent trip to the UK.

The palace did not immediately reply to The Independent’s request for comment at the time.

The issue of Harry’s residence in the UK cropped up again just a few days later, with The Sunday Times reporting Charles might need to make room on the estate for the duke.

This is due to Harry’s status as one of the king’s counsellors of state, including Queen Camilla, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice.

Royal sources allegedly said the palace was considering leasing one of the royal residences to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, because counsellors of state must be domiciled in the UK.

Kensington Palace, where the Prince and Princess of Wales have a home and private office, was reportedly among the options that were evaluated.

However, Buckingham Palace said “these claims are not true” in a statement to the newspaper. Royal aides added that short-term accommodation would be made available for Harry during any visits to the UK – depending on availability.

The King’s counsellors of state can represent the monarch during official engagements, if he is unwell or travelling.

They are required by law to have a permanent residence in the UK. However, Harry is currently “homeless” in the UK, after Charles asked him and Meghan to evict Frogmore Cottage in June.

Last November, Charles decided to include Prince Edward and Princess Anne as his counsellors of state, without removing Harry and Andrew in an effort to maintain peace within the family.

A source close to Charles reportedly told the newspaper: “The King can see that to remove Harry as a counsellor of state would be seen as an act of antagonism and he does not want to do that.

“If, as a consequence of that, somewhere on the royal estate needs to be earmarked as a pied-à-terre for his son, that seems a reasonable thing to do.”

The claims have since been rejected by Buckingham Palace.

The Sussexes moved into Frogmore Cottage, a two-bedroom home on the grounds of Kensington Palace, in 2019.

In June, Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, confirmed Harry and Meghan vacated the cottage, shipping the remainder of their belongings to their home in the US.

They resigned as senior members of the royal family in March 2020, relocating to Montecito, California, with their two children, Archie, four, and Lilibet, two.