BBC News
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s home was renovated with £2.4m of taxpayer-funded costs, royal accounts show.

Frogmore Cottage in Windsor was turned into a single property for Prince Harry and Meghan, from five separate homes.

The couple, who moved from Kensington Palace in April before the birth of their son Archie, paid for fittings.

The Queen’s Sovereign Grant from the Treasury was £82m in 2018-19, with £33m set aside for maintenance, including major work on Buckingham Palace.

The Sovereign Grant is funded by profits from the Crown Estate.

The estate is the Royal Family’s commercial property arm and owns land and buildings in prime central London locations and across the UK. It is managed by an independent organisation, with any profit paid to the Treasury for the benefit of all UK taxpayers.

Separate accounts show the Crown Estate provided a record £343.5m to the Treasury in 2018-19, up 4.3% on last year.

‘Our responsibility’

The royal accounts said the renovation of Frogmore Cottage was paid out of the Sovereign Grant and involved the “reconfiguration and full refurbishment of five residential units in poor condition to create the official residence for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The 19th Century, Grade II listed, property was given to them by the Queen.

It sits in the grounds of royal residence Frogmore House, where Prince Harry and Meghan held their wedding reception in May 2018.

Defective wooden ceiling beams and floor joists were replaced and inefficient heating systems updated. The house also required extensive rewiring – including an electrical sub-station – and the installation of gas and water mains.

The refurbishment took about six months although some areas are yet to be completed, such as repainting the exterior.

Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said: “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 Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also carried out renovations before moving into their Kensington Palace home, spending more than £4m on converting offices into an apartment.


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