Harry and Meghan 'blindsided' senior royals with plans to hand over Frogmore Cottage to Princess Eugenie: Source
According to news reports, Prince Harry and Meghan, who recently handed the keys of Frogmore Cottage over to Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, made this deal without consulting the Royal family.
According to an insider who spoke to The Sun, “Senior royals were initially blindsided by the idea for Harry and Meg to let Eugenie and Jack move in. Obviously, the Queen was told after the couples had spoken about the plan. But it is very much a deal done between Harry, Meghan, Eugenie and Jack. There is a close bond between them.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly cleared out the property “in the dead of night”. An unnamed source told The Sun, “removal vans pitched up in the dead of the night and cleared out the cottage. They definitely did not want to be seen. Emptying their home and handing over the keys is a pretty strong sign Harry and Meghan have no plans to return. It appears they are tying up loose ends as they plan to extend their stay in the US perhaps permanently.”
The source further said, “Frogmore was kitted out to Meghan and Harry’s tastes with son Archie in mind, so it is the perfect place for a couple to bring up a baby. It has the bonus of being around the corner from her parents and, of course, the Queen. Harry and Meghan didn’t fancy Frogmore for whatever reason but Jack and Eugenie are delighted with it.”
30-year-old Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York, and her husband 34, moved into the five-bedroom home in Windsor two weeks ago. The move comes at an ideal time for them, as they are expecting their first child together in early 2021. The two couples have reportedly been close friends since Meghan first started dating Harry four years ago. In fact, as per palace insiders, they are being termed as the new “Fab Four” — previously used to describe the Sussexes and William and Kate.
The Sussexes currently reside in a $14.6 million (£11 million) mansion in Montecito, California — a hillside millionaires' enclave between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. They were gifted Frogmore by the Queen in April 2018 a month before their wedding. Following that, they spent $3.19 million (£2.4 million) from the Sovereign Grant on renovations, something that caused a lot of criticism from the British press after the Sussexes left Frogmore for Canada last November. But the Sussexes reimbursed taxpayers in full for the renovation in September.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said, “Frogmore Cottage is the private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and as such any arrangements are a matter for them." According to a recent book about the Sussexes called ‘Finding Freedom’, written by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, Frogmore Cottage has a “special place” in their hearts, but it also caused some logistic issues for the couple in their various initiatives. A royal source told the authors, “They’re going to be away from their Buckingham Palace office. They’re both really hands-on in their work, so that’s difficult.”