Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore eviction will ‘only make things worse’

Duncan Larcombe says King has played into Harry and Meghan’s hands

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Last week, it emerged that King Charles III had requested that his younger son and daughter-in-law vacate their former royal residence. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have been asked to leave Frogmore Cottage, the Windsor home they shared before stepping down as working royals and moving overseas. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s eviction came just days after the publication of Harry’s tell-all memoir Spare, which delved into the fractured relationships within the Royal Family. Now, according to a royal commentator, the rift is set to deepen as Charles’s latest move will “only make things worse” for the House of Windsor.

Russell Myers, royal editor at the Daily Mirror and co-host of Pod Save The Queen, discussed Charles’s decision on the latest episode of the podcast.

“At the very least, the King was given a complete dossier of all the main points and allegations that Harry had made,” he explained. “And upon reading this, the King was instructed to follow through with this plan.

“Now, of course, you could say, why on earth is he chucking out Harry and Megan when they have paid back the money on Frogmore Cottage that they had promised to? They had a rental agreement in place. It had been a gift from the Queen. And then you’ve got the problem of putting Prince Andrew up at another royal residence when he has disgraced himself and the Royal Family.

“So there is so much to unpick and I suppose so many layers of this argument. And again, this is only going to make things worse. Of course, it is.”

After the news broke, a spokesperson for the Sussexes confirmed “the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage”.

Writing in his Yahoo! News column, royal reporter and c0-author of Finding Freedom Omid Scobie, claimed the Duke and Duchess were left “stunned” by the eviction.

However, more recently, it has been suggested that the couple are “OK” with the request. According to The Times, the couple believes “if we need to move out, we will get ourselves out”.

A source close to the Sussexes told the publication: “It is what it is. They are not fighting it. They realise they have a home [in California]. They have a roof over their heads. They were very privileged to have a second residence. It’s not going to work out for them there, and that’s OK. The world seems to be more distraught over it than they have been.”

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The couple moved into Frogmore Cottage in 2019 — the year after their wedding. In his memoir, Harry spoke fondly of his former home: “We loved that place. From the first minute. It felt as if we were destined to live there. We couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning, go for long walks in the gardens, check in with the swans.”

Months after they moved in, the cottage became the home of their firstborn child, Archie Harrison. When they returned to the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the couple held a first birthday party for their daughter, Lilibet Diana, at their UK home.

In the opening of Spare, Harry recalled a tense meeting with his father and brother in Frogmore Gardens, not far from the cottage.

He wrote: “How beautiful it all is, I thought. And also how sad. Once upon a time, this was going to be my forever home. Instead, it had proved to be just another brief stop.”

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Following their announcement that they were stepping down as senior royals, Harry and Meghan moved to the US. They have since settled in Montecito, an affluent neighbourhood in California, and are raising their young family stateside.

Harry and Meghan had spent £2.4million renovating the property, a sum they repaid to the Sovereign Grant following their exit from the Royal Family.

The couple have reportedly been given until just after King Charles’s Coronation to fully move out of their home. It has been confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been invited to the Coronation, due to take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, but whether or not they will accept the invitation remains unclear.

“I can confirm the Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the Coronation.” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement. “An immediate decision on whether the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”

Harry previously said: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it.”

However, Mr Myers believes that the eviction may discourage the Sussexes from crossing the pond for the event. He said: “How on earth can Harry and Megan show their faces at the Coronation? I was told just a week or two ago that they’re still undecided.

“And while they may have known this was bubbling away in the background, it’s definitely happened pretty swiftly. So that will no doubt point their mind into a different direction.”

Meanwhile, Mr Scobie argued: “It all feels very final and like a cruel punishment. It’s like [the family] want to cut them out of the picture for good.”

Charles has supposedly offered the keys to Frogmore Cottage to Prince Andrew, with the intent of moving his brother out of Royal Lodge, a 31-room home in Windsor. The Duke of York, however, is said to be resisting the move.

Now, the Telegraph has reported that the Sussexes were “not told it [Frogmore] had been earmarked for the Duke of York,” when they were asked to vacate the property.

According to the publication, “the Sussexes were said to have been disappointed when told they were being evicted from the property in January, three years after announcing that they were quitting royal duties and relocating abroad.

“However, the revelation that the King has offered the Duke of York their much-loved home, which they carefully renovated to their own personal taste, will only serve to aggravate what have already been ‘difficult’ talks.”

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