Why Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Still Paying Rent for Frogmore Cottage?

Less than a year after leaving their roles as senior working royals in the British royal family, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry are living their best lives. The pair have left the U.K. for a new life in California.

They’ve purchased their first home together, continued on with their charity work, and they’ve recently signed a massive deal with Netflix which has allowed them to become completely financially independent of the royal family.

Since they’ve paid back the tax money used to renovate their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage, why are they still paying rent on the property?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were held back by the British royal family

From appearances on America’s Got Talent to urging Americans to vote in the upcoming Presidential race, the Sussexes have been using their voices for change in a way they were unable to do as senior working royals.

Now, their deal with Netflix which includes documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows, and children’s programming will allow them an even bigger platform to share the stories they are most moved by. Finding Freedom co-writer Omid Scobie explained on his podcast Heirpod

The couple had been thriving and have taken their careers as philanthropists to a whole other level. It shows how much they were held back by tradition, hierarchy, and stubbornness within the institution. This is the couple operating in a way they were desperate to for some time but couldn’t for a number of reasons, many of which tie into what is considered too politically sensitive or not.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were thrilled to pay back the money used to renovate Frogmore

The Sussexes’ Netflix deal is reportedly worth between $100 to $150 million, It’s an immense sum that allowed the couple to cover living costs and their new $14.7 million home as well as repaying the  £2.4 million for the renovations used for their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage.

“A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex,” a spokesperson for the couple told People in a statement in Sept. 2020. “This contribution as originally offered by Prince Harry has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the U.K. residence of the Duke and his family.” The Sussexes were thrilled to have covered this debt. A source told Vanity Fair‘s Katie Nicholl,

They are ‘very relieved and very pleased’ to have been able to pay off the debt so quickly. This has been a pro-active step and something they wanted to do from the outset. There was no requirement [from the Queen] for them to pay the money back but it was important to them that they did, and after the Netflix deal they were in a position to do so. I think this is quite a significant moment for them.

This is why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are still paying rent on Frogmore

Though they’ve paid back the renovations, the Sussexes are still paying rent on their U.K. home. The house was gifted to them by Queen Elizabeth II following their wedding but they do not own it. Since they will be using the home as they split their time between the U.S. and the U.K. more evenly, they are still paying rent.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a substantial contribution to the Sovereign Grant that covers refurbishment and rental obligations for Frogmore Cottage,” an insider told The Independent. “The reporting method for this contribution has yet to be determined and will have to be agreed by the National Audit Office before appearing in next year’s accounts.

When the world does eventually open again, we’re excited to see how the Sussexes will juggle two worlds.