Prince Harry and Meghan asked to 'vacate' UK royal residence

Request fuels speculation about whether couple will receive invitation to king’s coronation

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and wife Meghan attend the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala in New York last December. Reuters
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Weeks after Prince Harry's autobiography Spare was released, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to “vacate” their UK home, the couple have confirmed.

A “request” had been made for the Sussexes to give up Frogmore Cottage, close to Windsor Castle, Prince Harry and Meghan’s representative said.

The request removes their remaining foothold in the UK and further weakens ties with the royal family, amid reports it was sanctioned by King Charles III.

The decision is likely to be interpreted as a major rebuke by King Charles to his son, who since moving to North America in 2020 has criticised the monarchy and people within the institution, alleging racism and a lack of support.

With the couple’s permanent UK base now gone, there will be speculation about whether they will receive an invitation to the king’s coronation on May 6.

“We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage,” a representative for the couple said.

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The move comes after Prince Harry’s autobiography was released in January, in which he claims his brother, the Prince of Wales, physically attacked him and that King Charles put his own interests above Prince Harry’s and was jealous of Meghan.

Reports of a fractious friendship between Meghan and the Princess of Wales were confirmed in Spare, with Prince Harry recounting how the princess, pregnant at the time with Prince Louis, said she was owed an apology from his wife, who had previously commented Kate was suffering from “baby brain” due to her “hormones”.

In a series of interviews to promote his memoirs, Prince Harry gave an unflinching assessment of Queen Consort Camilla, but also sympathised with her — describing her as not an “evil stepmother” in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.

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The duchess said in an interview with The Cut magazine published last year, that “just by existing”, she and Prince Harry were “upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy” before they stepped down as working royals in 2020.

The first, in-depth details about their troubled relationship with the royal family were revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex laid bare their brief life as a working royal couple, alleging a member of the family — not the late queen or Duke of Edinburgh — made a racist comment about their son, and how the duchess had suicidal thoughts but her approaches to the monarchy for help were turned down.

Frogmore, a Grade-II listed property which is owned by the Crown Estate, was a gift from Prince Harry’s grandmother, the queen.

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In 2019, royal accounts revealed Meghan and Prince Harry had paid £2.4 million ($2.9 million) to cover the refurbishment and rental of Frogmore Cottage, on the Home Park Estate at Windsor Castle, a property they have only have used a handful of times since relocating to the US.

The couple were funding the general upkeep of their former home, such as maintaining the garden, and were continuing to pay rent, a rental contract described as a “good deal” for the taxpayer by a senior palace source in 2022.

Prince Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her family, are thought to be staying at the property that underwent major work to turn five properties back into a single residence for the Sussexes.

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The Sun first reported King Charles was “evicting” the couple from Frogmore Cottage and claimed it had been offered to the Duke of York.

But with the property being substantially smaller than Prince Andrew’s Royal Lodge home, which he shares with ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, a move is unlikely.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Updated: March 01, 2023, 11:00 PM