Harry and Meghan lose Frogmore Cottage as Palace ‘removes privilege’ in wake of memoir controversy
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer have access to Frogmore Cottage after Buckingham Palace removed the “privilege” from the couple.
Prince Harry and Meghan were given the house by the late Queen as a wedding gift and renovated it at a cost of £2.4 million, but lived there for only six months before moving to the US.
They have used it as a base while visiting from the US and stayed there when they travelled over for the funeral of Harry’s grandmother.
A well placed source told the Standard: “The Sussex’s are no longer leasing Frogmore Cottage. That privilege has been removed. It’s over for them in the UK. If they want a residence in the UK they will have to buy one privately.”
The couple are said to be planning to have the last of their belongings removed from the house and shipped over to them in Montecito, California.
It comes after the Duke caused a storm of controversy with the publication of his tell-all memoir, Spare, in January.
The book included accusations that his brother William physically knocked him to the ground during a row and that his step-mother Camilla leaked stories about him to build her own profile.
The Sun reported on Wednesday that the five-bedroom house in Windsor, which is only a short walk from Kate and William’s new house at Adelaide Cottage, was offered to Prince Andrew.
Andrew was stripped of his royal duties after he agreed to an undisclosed out-of-court settlement in a civil sex claim against him last year and currently lives in a 30-room mansion, the Royal Lodge in Windsor, with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Prince Harry & Meghan Markle
Omid Scobie, one of the authors behind the biography of Harry and Meghan, Finding Freedom, claimed Harry and Meghan were left “stunned” by the move, and that relations between them and the rest of the royal family was at “an all-time low”.
On Wednesday evening the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed, via a spokesperson, that they have been “requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage” in Windsor.
Spare sold more than 3.2 million copies and topped the best-seller charts around the world. But it sparked fears of a permanent rift between Harry and his family. It is still not known if he will attend the King’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
In his first speech after becoming King, Charles said he wished to “express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas”.
But he and Prince William are said to have not spoken to them since they launched a string of damaging allegations in their Netflix documentary series in December.
The Standard has approached the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for comment. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson declined to comment.