This is a question that would seem to have an obvious answer. It’s been said for years that the Royals don’t buy real estate they inherit it. That’s why it was so odd when Prince Charles bought his Highgrove home. This house, therefore, belongs to Prince Charles and not to the Crown Estate.
The rest of the royals live in “apartments” within Royal residences. Kate & William for example, live in apartment 1-A at Kensington Palace. New documents seem to indicate though that Harry and Meghan were paying rent to The Queen to live at Frogmore Cottage.
They Paid Rent & It Wasn’t Cheap
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Back in 2020 when Meghan and Harry had the urge to become independent it was reported that they had paid back money to the UK taxpayer to “set themselves free”. The amount of money was around 3.3 million dollars. Initially, it was mentioned that the money was meant to cover the renovations that were made to the building to accommodate Harry and Meghan. Part of that money though also went to paying rent for the property.
Did They Really Pay Or Is The Queen Polishing Her Books?
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According to Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse the couple’s payment covers different things. He mentioned,
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a substantial contribution to the Sovereign Grant that covered the refurbishment costs of Frogmore Cottage,”
The 3.3 million dollars covers the refurbishment and five months of rent. The money went towards the sovereign grant. This means that the money effectively went into the public fund that covers expenses for the Royal Family. Whether that money was actually paid by Harry or Prince Charles out of pocket, that we’ll probably never know.
Prince Charles Is Still Funding William’s Expenses
The report of the Crown’s expenses effectively shows how Prince Harry has been cut off. Another part of the report also details different expenses by other members of the Royal Family, and how these expenses are covered.
It shows a 1,250-mile train trip that Kate and William took in December. The trip was essentially a “royal duty” trip. So the couple could’ve been entitled to have the trip funded by the Sovereign Grant. The trip was instead funded by Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall. The duchy is historically the funding source of the active Prince of Wales.
Who Has Taken Advantage Of The Refurbishments In Harry’s Old Home?
If Harry did pay the 3.3 million out of his own pocket this next news is probably not one that he likes. Harry and Meghan were obviously not really able to enjoy most of the refurbishments on the home because they decided to leave the family. The home is now the residence of Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank. The nursery room is occupied by their son August.
When it was announced Harry and Meghan paid the money it seemed more like a PR move by the Royals. With the money now showing up in the Sovereign Grant report, it seems it helped the Queen get through a rough year!