Why Royal Experts Say Potential Future UK Visits Will Be A 'Circus' For The Sussexes

In the latest development in the ongoing saga of the royal exit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, King Charles III has reportedly asked the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to leave their UK royal residence. Harry and Meghan moved into Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle and a part of the royal residence portfolio, in 2019. The five-bedroom Frogmore Cottage was renovated for the couple before they moved in and started their family with the birth of Archie. However, after stepping back from royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a multi-million-pound donation to the Sovereign Fund, the taxpayer fund that supports official royal work, to cover the cost of the renovation of the property.

In January 2020, as Harry and Meghan changed their status as working royal family members, the office of Queen Elizabeth issued a statement confirming the planned repayment and noting that Frogmore Cottage would "remain their UK home." However, that seems to no longer be the case. It may not seem like a big deal for them to leave a house they're not actively living in, having relocated to California. Still, it has some potentially serious implications if and when the Sussexes return to the UK.

Harry and Meghan won't have the same privacy outside their royal residence

Daily Mail editors Rebecca English and Richard Eden spoke on "Palace Confidential" about what may happen with King Charles III's request for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to vacate Frogmore Cottage. It will leave them without any official royal residence. So now, as Eden explained, if the royals return to the UK, they may be staying at a hotel, and with that, outside whatever hotel they're staying in "will become a circus [...] the press will be outside. Previously, when they've been at Windsor, it's been very private. It could cause a problem in the future." Given the amount of interest in the couple, it's easy to imagine the amount of paparazzi and fans waiting for a potential glimpse of Harry and Meghan. And at any hotel or other public residence, the couple would have to pay for their own security.

One of the issues that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had as they navigated their royal exit was over security, as shown in the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan." At Frogmore Cottage, there was a level of security that isn't the same at any public accommodation since it's a private residence on private property. And not just private property, but royal property, so there's inherently more privacy and security.

The request to leave Frogmore Cottage sheds doubt on the coronation guest list

Daily Mail editor Rebecca English pointed out on "Palace Confidential" that with the request for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to leave Frogmore Cottage "it obviously indicates that their coronation potential appearance is more in doubt." King Charles has allegedly been working hard to ensure that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be attending the coronation. English also noted that the couple "did intend to genuinely come back and visit regularly." And they had come back to Frogmore Cottage since their big move. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed there while they visited the UK for the Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, where they held their daughter Lilibet's first birthday party.

The exit has been confirmed by Archewell's head of communications, per The New York Times. It comes after the publication of Harry's memoir "Spare," which doesn't paint the happiest picture of life in the royal family. However, it's unclear whether the memoir had anything to do with the timing of the request for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to leave their UK home.

Along with the potential security implications for the couple on future visits, the request brings up the issue of the renovation costs. Some are questioning whether the money the couple paid into the Sovereign Grant for the renovations of Frogmore Cottage should be returned to them considering their being asked to leave, per Daily Mail.