Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s $3.05 Million Frogmore Cottage Renovations

Yesterday, June 25, 2019, the Royal Household published its annual financial statement—the Sovereign Grant report—for the past financial year, revealing just how much Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spent on their recent renovations to Frogmore Cottage. According to the Royal UK website, “The Sovereign Grant is the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen and maintain the Occupied Royal Palaces. It also includes a dedicated amount to fund the ten-year Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.”

While these renovations do constitute as maintenance of the Royal Palaces, some have brought into question what this £2.4 million ($3.05 million)—paid for with public funds—went towards. Prince Harry and Meghan announced their move in November 2018, and officially moved into Frogmore Cottage earlier this year. The cottage was in “poor condition,” consisting of five separate apartments that would need to be reconfigured into one cohesive home. According to the report, “The scheme consisted of the reconfiguration and full refurbishment of five residential units in poor condition to create the official residence for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their family. The works started on-site in November 2018 and were substantially completed by the end of March 2019.”

meghan markle prince harry frogmore cottage renovations

The grant also includes funds for the reservicing of Buckingham Palace, which is expected to take place over 10 years.

Pawel Libera//Getty Images

As expected, rumors immediately circulated, with reports that a mother-and-baby yoga room and floating wooden floor were included in the redesign—both of which were quickly refuted. In reality, the money was used to update the interior and exterior of the cottage, including replacing the decaying ceiling beams, floor joists, and electrical system. Meghan and Harry also paid for many of the updates themselves, including interior furnishings, landscaping, and the highly talked-about $200,000 nursery.

Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse—a.k.a the Queen’s Treasurer—stated that “The building was returned to a single residence, and outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property. Substantially all fixtures and fittings were paid for by their royal highnesses.” To compare, the Sovereign Grant report from 2014 revealed that Prince William and Kate Middleton spent £4.5 million ($5.7 million) to renovate their Kensington Palace apartment.

The report also outlines that, out of the £82.2 million ($104.3 million) total grant, £4.6 million ($5.85 million) was used on travel between April 2018 and March 2019.

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