Prince Harry will renew his lease on Frogmore Cottage next month, apparently

The entire thing with Frogmore Cottage was horrible from start to finish. The fact that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted a home in Windsor – and not London – was for awful reasons. They wanted to go to Windsor so they could get the hell away from the toxic Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Harry and Meghan needed emotional and physical space away from William and Kate! The Queen offered them a dilapidated cottage which was traditionally used as “servant’s quarters” or “makeshift office space.” The understanding was that the Crown Estates would pay to refurbish this decrepit little shack during Meghan’s pregnancy. The British papers went wild, accusing Harry and Meghan of using taxpayer money to fund their “lavish” renovation of a place which probably should have been a tear-down anyway. Then the papers continued to taunt the Sussexes over the cost and their need to “repay” the cost of the reno for more than a year. Until Harry finally did repay it in 2020. He was the first royal to “repay” the cost of renovating a Crown Estate property. The money just… went right back into the Crown Estates.

Oh, and did I mention that Harry and Meghan’s “lease” on Frogmore Cottage was a lot shorter than every other royal lease on Crown Estate properties? For example, Prince Andrew’s “lease” on the 31-bedroom mansion Royal Lodge is for 75 years. Prince Edward’s lease on Bagshot Park is for 150 years! The lease given to Harry and Meghan for Frogmore was… for three years. Insane. So, interestingly enough, Harry has renewed the lease.

The Duke of Sussex has renewed his soon-to-expire lease on Frogmore Cottage and will continue to be allowed to deputise for the Queen, the Telegraph understands. The Duke, who lives in California but is still a UK citizen, is eligible to serve his grandmother as one of her four Counsellors of State because he qualifies as being domiciled in Britain thanks to his old Windsor address.

He and the Duchess have had to decide whether to renew the lease, which expires on March 31. The Telegraph understands that they plan to continue the arrangement. Until now, that decision has been considered a matter for the Sussex family, with the Duke this week insisting he still considers the UK “home” but feels unsafe visiting because of unresolved security arrangements.

A spokesman for the Duke said: “There are no planned changes to the current arrangement.”

In September 2020, the Sussexes paid back £2.4 million for renovations to Frogmore Cottage, including rent up to March 2022, in a complicated arrangement detailed only in part in the palace annual accounts. Princess Eugenie, Jack Brooksbank and their son, August, are reported to have been living there while her cousin is in California.

Details of Prince Harry’s UK living arrangements have unexpectedly become a constitutional matter, The Telegraph has learned, thanks to his role as one of the Queen’s four remaining Counsellors of State. A source with extensive knowledge of the legal issues said counsellors must only be “domiciled” in the UK, with two historic examples of individuals who lived abroad while remaining in the role – one against his will as a prisoner of war and the other working in a realm.

[From The Telegraph]

My guess is that Harry is still hellbent on demonstrating that he would like to maintain some kind of residence in the UK for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that he would like to visit (eventually) with his wife and children. Plus, I’m guessing that Harry wants to ensure that his (favorite?) cousin Princess Eugenie has a place to live with her husband and son. As far as anyone knows, Eugenie and Jack are still living in Frogmore quite happily and I would assume that arrangement will stay. No one has ever said anything about Eugenie and Jack paying for the sublet either? Anyway, it’s interesting.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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