Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been evicted from their Britain’s home at the request of Harry’s father, King Charles III.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been awarded Frogmore Cottage because of Windsor Castle as their main residence when working royally, but now several publications report that property offered to Charles’ disgraced brother Prince Andrewthe Duke of York.
The the cabin was a wedding present to the couple from the late Queen, and as they left the UK for California in 2020, they said Frogmore Cottage would remain their home base during the visit.
“We can confirm that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement on Wednesday.
While Buckingham Palace has not issued its own statement on the eviction notice, reports say Charles began the process on January 11 – a day after the publication of Harry’s explosive best-selling memoir, Reserve.
The palace suspended Royal Police protection for the couple and their children when they visited the UK, making Frogmore Cottage the only remaining space that would meet their security needs when they visit. It was where they stayed when they visited Queen Elizabeth during her Platinum Jubilee visit in 2022 and is covered by the Metropolitan Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Unit.
However, that no longer appears to be an option for them on future visits.
It’s no secret that the rift between Harry and his family has deepened since then publication of his bookwhich included his account of private and sometimes unflattering conversations and meetings with his father, as well as his brother Prince William.
Prince Harry and Meghan are being evicted from their Frogmore Cottage property
The history of Frogmore Cottage
The cottage itself dates back to 1792 when Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, had it built as a place for her and her daughters to take a break from royal life.
It has been home to many, including surviving relatives of Tsar Nicholas II, who fled to Britain after the assassination of family members by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
From the Second World War onwards it was used for members of the royal staff until the Duke and Duchess moved in.
There was controversy when Harry and Meghan carried out extensive renovations to the cottage in 2018 and 2019, to the tune of approximately CA$4 million in taxpayer funds. In 2020, the couple announced that they had repaid the entire renovation cost.
The Prince Andrew connection
Several British publications report it Prince Andrew has been offered the keys to Frogmore after he was told he would have to move from his current home – the nearby Royal Lodge mansion – in August.
Reports suggest King will suspend Andrew’s annual grant (a compensation of more than CA$400,000) leaving him unable to afford the costs of keeping the lights on at the Royal Lodge.
Andrew quit as a royal worker in 2019 and was stripped of his royal titles and patronage last year, following allegations that he had Sexual abuse Jeffrey Epstein survivor Virginia Giuffre.
While he has repeatedly denied the allegations, he has paid an undisclosed amount in February 2022 to settle the civil sexual assault case Giuffre brought against him.
Key takeaways from Prince Harry’s explosive memoir ‘Spare’
The meaning of the coronation
Omid Scobie, royal editor and reporter for Yahoo! Great Britain, writes that the eviction “has left Harry and Meghan shockedand at least two members of the royal family “appalled.”
“It all feels very final and as one cruel punishment“, a friend of the couple told Scobie. “It’s like (the family) wants to cut them out of the picture for good.”
However, Scobie notes that the deadline for expatriation has been extended until after Charles’ coronation, which would give Harry and Meghan protection if they choose to return to the UK to celebrate the king’s official coronation.
It remains unclear whether Harry and Meghan will be invited to the May festivities, or whether they will attend.
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