Royal Family: Who Really Paid for all of the Changes that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Made to Frogmore Cottage?
It’s been a whirlwind few years for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. After their short romance, the two wed and Markle became the Duchess of Sussex and changed her residence to England. Since then, the two have moved off of the Kensington Palace property and into Frogmore Cottage.
“They’ll enjoy it much more in Windsor,” a family friend told People before the move. “They feel claustrophobic in their place in Kensington Palace.”
“I presume it must be nice to get out and away,” another source told the outlet. “Without neighbors who are all either family or staff [at Kensington Palace], they will now have their own thing.”
But since their family has now grown with the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, there had to be some changes made to the cottage.
It took a while, but Prince Harry and Markle can finally rest easy without hearing renovations going on in their home.
“It’s substantially completed,” a Buckingham Palace source told People.
What renovations were made?
Before the baby was born, Prince Harry and Markle renovated the inside of the five-bedroom home.
“A very large proportion of the ceiling beams and floor joists were defective and had to be replaced,” a source told the outlet.
“The heating systems were outdated and inefficient and were not to the environmental standards that we would expect today,” the source continued.
“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. And new gas and water mains had to be introduced to the property, replacing the five separate links that were there for the property before and were in a bad state of repair.”
The walls were also painted with nontoxic paint throughout the home. Bookcases were built into several alcoves, and they installed a custom kitchen and dining room, as well.
The outside of the home also got a makeover. They redecorated the exterior door, window, and walls. The garden was re-landscaped and extra lights were added to the area.
Who paid for these renovations?
As with a lot of things needed by the royal family, the British taxpayers funded much of these renovations. The changes were paid through the Queen’s annual Sovereign Grant.
The whole thing has cost the public around $3 million.
But, the complete weight of the renovations didn’t fall on the taxpayers. In fact, “anything moveable” was paid for by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, themselves.
“All fixtures and fittings were paid for by their Royal Highnesses,” the source told the outlet. “Curtains, furnishings — all that would be paid separately, paid privately.”
Additionally, if anything was determined too expensive for the public, like upgrading the kitchen, bathroom, flooring, and fitted wardrobes, Prince Harry and Markle had to pay for it from their own money.
“If a member of the royal family says, ‘We want a better kitchen than you’re prepared to provide with public money,’ then that would fall to them privately and they would have to meet the cost,” the source continued. “If they want that higher specification, they have to pay the extra.”