Now that they have baby Archie, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seem to want to create a cozier home base for their growing family. They decided to take up residence at Frogmore Cottage, one of the royal family’s properties near Windsor Castle. According to The Daily Beast, the property wasn’t quite move-in ready for the family — about $3 million worth of renovations were undertaken to turn the space with five dormitory-style units into a single home. Some of the renovations done to the property included adding new staircases, removing a chimney, refinishing the roof and installing new flooring.
The renovation wasn’t something that Harry and Meghan paid for out of pocket, though. It was apparently funded by the Sovereign Grant, a fund that pays for the upkeep of palaces, as well as things like travel for royal duties. It may seem like a lot, but according to Fortune, a whopping $85.2 million was spent on the monarchy in total in the last year.
Michael Stevens, the keeper of the Privy Purse, spoke to Fortune about the renovation and the reason behind it — apparently, it wasn’t just renovated because it was where Harry and Meghan wanted to live.
“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. 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.”
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Today The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined The Queen and members of The Royal Family at the annual Trooping the Colour, to celebrate Her Majesty’s official birthday. Trooping the Colour orginated from traditional preparations for battle and has commemorated the birthday of the sovereign for more than 250 years. In the 18th century, guards from the royal palaces regularly assembled to “troop" colours or flags down the rank, so they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers. In 1748, it was announced this parade would also mark the Sovereign’s official birthday. Trooping the Colour is performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies for The Queen’s birthday parade, allowing them to pay a personal tribute to Her Majesty. Today over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians came together on Horse Guards Parade in London in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare. The parade concludes with a 41-gun salute fired by The King’s Troop, following which The Queen leads members of The Royal Family back to the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the Royal Air Force flypast display. Photos credit: PA
Even though it sounds as though the building would have been renovated regardless, many fans may be wondering whether the $3 million price tag was essential. The Inquisitr previously reported on the fact that Meghan Markle was going on extravagant spending sprees to fund everything from baby showers to her designer wardrobe. The duo moved into Frogmore Cottage about a month ago — just before the birth of Archie — and the fact that they decided to renovate it almost immediately is raising a few eyebrows.
Given that Frogmore Cottage is over 200 years old, many of the renovations are likely more than just aesthetic. As the list of renovations suggested, many of the expenses are from necessary things like fixing roofing. It is also a Grade II listed house on the National Heritage List for England, according to Historic England, which means many of the renovations likely had to be approved before changing major architectural features.