The Shocking Amount Meghan And Harry Paid For Rent And Renovations At Frogmore Cottage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may have migrated across the pond, but that doesn't mean they've fully left England behind. The couple's U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage, is licensed to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex until March of 2022, People notes — meaning that they've paid their rent for the home through that time.


Indeed, the couple cut a $3.3 million check to the royal family to have the 10-bedroom estate to themselves for the next year or so. The payout was thought to serve as a fund for refurbishing the mansion that they moved into shortly after their son Archie's birth in 2019 and as rent for three years. If you've been keeping up with Meghan Markle revelations,  it was at Frogmore that the couple first installed their bench. Yup, that bench — the bench that Meghan gave to Harry for his first Father's day. It would serve, as she told NPR, as "a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son." Later, it became the inspiration for Meghan's best-selling children's book

Back to Frogmore. In England, the royal family undergoes an annual report into the Sovereign Grant funds — aka: the taxpayer funds they use in various undertakings. The Keeper of the Privy Purse, Michael Stevens explained to reporters that the $3.3 million payment "covers all their current obligations."


"We are confident that it represents a good outcome," he added. The outlet also reports that the payment served as a step in their plan to become financially independent of the crown after they relinquished their titles as senior royals last March.

Meghan and Harry's payment helped offset the UK's loss in revenue

Throughout the pandemic, the United Kingdom saw a massive decline in tourism income — 53%, People notes. After the Sussexes made renovations to their Windsor-based estate, they had to deal with the public outcry that came with their exit from the royal family. Many accused them of squandering taxpayer dollars before the couple wrote the large check. Indeed, BBC reports that public scrutiny over the cost of renovations to Frogmore may have contributed to their ultimate decision to sever ties with the royal family.


But Keeper of the Privy Purse Michael Stevens is of the opinion that the Sussexes' decision to pay back Frogmore renovation costs was exceptionally well-timed (via People). "It should also be remembered also that this payment has come in the current year at a time where our supplementary income has reduced dramatically," Stevens said. "[Harry and Meghan's payment] has helped to offset the reduction that we would have seen."

As for the renovations and why the cottage worked for them, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to move to Windsor for various reasons," their website explains. "Their previous residence of Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace could not accommodate their growing family. The option of Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace was estimated to cost in excess of £4 million for mandated renovations including the removal of asbestos."


Prior to their move-in date, the cottage was already undergoing renovations. It appears that Meghan and Harry just footed the bill!

Could Harry and Meghan spend time at Frogmore again?

Currently, Prince Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank have taken up residence at the estate, Town & Country reports. In fact, it was with his cousin and family that Harry stayed when he traveled back to the U.K. in April for his grandfather's funeral (via People). In November 2020, when Harper's Bazaar confirmed that Eugenie and Jack had moved into Meghan and Harry's old digs, the media outlet speculated that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not asking for anything in the way of rent. Back then, Buckingham Palace confirmed to Harper's Bazaar that Frogmore remained "a private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex." Meanwhile, Hello! reports that Harry will most likely return to Frogmore when he travels to the U.K. in July for the unveiling of a statue of his mother. To date, it's not believed that Meghan, Archie, and little Lilibet will join Harry. 


But will Meghan and Harry make any meaningful use of Frogmore before their license expires in 2022? Prior to the pandemic, the Sussexes planned to split their time between the U.S. and the U.K. Thus, they kept the mansion "so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom." Of course, their decision to hold on to Frogmore not only predates COVID-19, but also Meghan and Harry's shocking interview with Oprah, and the release of Harry and Oprah's explosive documentary, "The Me You Can't See." Neither is thought to have paved the road to royal family reconciliation.