Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shelled out $3million in taxpayers money for Frogmore Cottage's renovations
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spent around £2.4million ($3.06million) of public money while doing up their home at Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle, royal accounts have revealed.
The pair had moved out of Kensington Palace this spring amid speculation of a feud with Harry's brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton. The expensive move to Frogmore Cottage was approved by the Queen and was a gift to the couple. The 19th-Century property which had been made into five smaller staff houses was turned back into a single home. The renovated property featured new bathrooms, bedrooms, and a kitchen where the ceilings and floors were replaced.
Many critics have called the extravagant renovation and expenditure "outrageous". However, friends of Meghan and Harry insisted that "it really isn't as grand as some people might think. There's no wing for Doria, no yoga studio. It's a fairly cozy family home." The royal couple reportedly hired the interior designer who worked on celebrity hangout Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, claims which the couple's friends refuted.
When the designs and the work were planned before the arrival of the pair's firstborn baby Archie, experts had predicted that it could cost taxpayers around £3million ($3.8million) though the royal team maintained that it was likely to be closer to "half that". However, since the project is incomplete, it will cost well above the earlier estimate. Sources who are close to the couple said that rumors and reports of the couple building a yoga studio or a mother-baby yoga room with a "floating" wooden floor were incorrect.
The only "floating" floor was a part of plans submitted to the local council and was a specific requirement from the planners regarding the main kitchen area to protect an old floor. According to palace aides, any costs which were above the agreed-upon budget were dealt with privately by the couple. Palace officials insisted that Frogmore had been marked for a renovation even before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were eyeing it.
According to a report by Daily Mail, Sir Michael said, "The sovereign grant covered the work undertaken to turn the building into the official residence and home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their new family. The building was returned to a single residence and the outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property. Frogmore Cottage is a Grade II-listed building, the official and only residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It is not their country residence, it is their only residence. Other senior working members of the Royal Family have official residences which are paid for by the sovereign grant to enable them to carry out their royal duties."