The Real Reason Taxpayer Money Funded Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Frogmore Cottage Renovations
The details of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s extensive home renovations on Frogmore Cottage have been revealed, as well as the cost to British taxpayers. Needless to say, some taxpayers are not pleased with the whopping $3 million spent on renovations.
Frogmore Cottage required a lot of work
Prince Harry and Markle’s Frogmore Cottage renovations included a fair amount of structural updates as well as measures to convert the home from five separate residences once used by royal staff to a single family home.
The renovations were underway in the months leading up to the arrival of the couple’s first child, Archie Harrison, and were completed just in time so they could move in before his birth.
The couple was given Frogmore Cottage as their official residence last year by Queen Elizabeth II.
Among the necessary renovations were the installation of new ceiling beams and floor joists, internal rewiring, new gas and water mains, and a new environmentally-friendly heating system.
A source told PEOPLE: “A very large proportion of the ceiling beams and floor joists were defective and had to be replaced.”
The source further shared: “The heating systems were outdated and inefficient and were not to the environmental standards that we would expect today. The electrical system also needed to be substantially replaced and rewired, even extending to the establishment of a separate upgraded electrical substation, which was in addition to the main works on the property.”
All total, the renovation project amounted to $3 million, according to the Sovereign Grant Report, the annual financial statement published by the Royal Household. This amount was funded by taxpayers, as ABC News reports, “through a sum of money allocated annually by the British government known as the Sovereign Grant.”
What is the Sovereign Grant?
According to ABC News, “the Sovereign Grant supports Queen Elizabeth as she carries out her official duties as the Head of State and the Head of the Nation.”
The Royal Households use the fund for a number of expenses, including their communications teams, travel, and maintenance of royal palaces, in addition to residential and office areas.
The financial secretary to the Queen, also known as the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, manages the grant.
ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie noted that the couple used interior designers Vicky Charles and Julia Corden for their home design, though it’s believed that the furnishings and decor were paid for by Prince Harry and Markle.
The Frogmore Cottage renovations had been planned for some time
Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, told reporters at Buckingham Palace: “The property had not been the subject of work for some years and had already been earmarked for renovation in line with our responsibility to maintain the condition of the occupied Royal Palaces Estate.”
Further, the Daily Mail reported that Sir Michael shared: “The sovereign grant covered the work undertaken to turn the building into the official residence and home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their new family. The building was returned to a single residence and outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property.