Speculation about the future of the house emerged in January after a spokesperson for the Sussexes said the couple had been asked to leave Frogmore shortly after the publication of Harry’s royal-bashing memoir, Spare. The duke and duchess rarely used the property—despite spending over $3 million on renovations—after it was gifted to them by Harry’s late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
The couple kept the house as a base in the U.K. even after their move to California in 2020 following their decision to “step back” from their roles as senior members of the British royal family.
Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse responsible for royal finances, announced at an annual Sovereign Grant meeting that Harry and Meghan’s tenure in the house was over. “We can confirm that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have vacated Frogmore Cottage,” he said, according to Sky News.
“We will not be going into any detail on those arrangements here,” Sir Michael added. “Safe to say that, as has previously been stated, the duke and duchess have paid for the expenditure incurred by the Sovereign Grant in relation to the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, thus leaving the Crown with a greatly enhanced asset.”
Sir Michael would not comment on previous reports that Prince Andrew could be given the cottage instead, saying only that any “future occupancy will be determined and communicated in next year’s report.”
The disgraced Duke of York currently lives with ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, in the larger Royal Lodge less than three miles away from Frogmore. A source previously told The Daily Beast: “Andrew can’t continue living in a 30-room stately home at taxpayer’s expense. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the king is making changes.”
Frogmore has been at the heart of controversy involving Harry and Meghan after it was given to them as a wedding gift by the late queen in 2018. Their decision to spend millions in taxpayers’ money renovating the building before the birth of their first child, Archie, in 2019, was criticized as extravagant in Britain.
In 2020, Harry’s spokesperson confirmed that he had repaid the cost of the renovations to the Sovereign Grant amid reports suggesting that the prince was able to cover the funds thanks to a multimillion-dollar deal signed with Netflix. A story in the U.K. press last week claimed that the Sussexes have only received half of their $103 million agreement with the streaming giant and won’t get the remaining cash until they come up with new shows.
Harry and Meghan also “mutually agreed” to end a separate $20 million deal with Spotfiy after producing just one podcast, Archetypes, prompting one Spotify executive to say the show should’ve been called “The Fucking Grifters.”