Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just purchased their first home together in sunny Montecito, California following their move across the pond with their 16-month-old son, Archie, after their step back from the ranks of the senior working royals became official at the end of March.
However, their relocation to Santa Barbara and first home purchase isn’t the only real estate-related transaction the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have recently made. The couple has quietly closed a different chapter on their UK home, Frogmore Cottage, People reports.
According to the publication, the 35-year-old prince and his 39-year-old wife have reportedly repaid the renovation costs on Frogmore Cottage, costs which were originally taxpayer funded. “A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex,” People reports a statement from a spokesperson for the couple said on Monday, “This contribution as originally offered by Prince Harry has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the UK residence of the duke and his family.”
People reports the taxpayer-funded element of the renovation costs incurred were approximately US $3 million and those have now reportedly been “fully covered” as per the statement.
According to Town & Country, the renovations paid for through public funding were “structural” while the interior updates the couple made to transform it into their dream home were paid for out of their own private funds. The reason the structural updates were originally funded publicly was reportedly in line with The Queen’s responsibility to maintain historically significant buildings. “The refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, the Grade-2 listed building in Windsor Home Park was funded by Her Majesty The Queen through the Sovereign Grant, reflecting the Monarchy’s responsibility to maintain the upkeep of buildings with historical significance,” Town & Country reports Markle and Prince Harry stated in the “funding” section of the Sussex Royal website, adding: “Expenses related to fixtures, furnishings, and fittings at the official residence—which is owned by Her Majesty the Queen—were funded privately by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
Notably, the couple is still keeping Frogmore Cottage as their UK residence, so even though they’ve put down firm roots in California, they’ll always have a home in the prince’s place of birth.
Originally published on Vogue.com.au