Princess Eugenie’s Frogmore situation discussed by experts
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King Charles has been accused of “torching” relations with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle with his controversial decision to “banish” them from Frogmore Cottage. In a stinging attack, royal commentator Peter Hunt claimed the “cruel and unnecessary” move reflected badly on Britain’s monarch.
Mr Hunt, a former BBC correspondent and presenter, took to social media after Harry and Meghan confirmed they had been asked to “vacate” their England home, just a few weeks after the publication of Spare, the Duke of Sussex’s explosive memoir.
The US couple’s spokeswoman revealed a “request” had been made for the Sussexes to give up the cottage, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where they lived briefly after their marriage.
Subsequent reports suggested the decision was sanctioned by the King, and would probably weaken already fragile ties with the British royals still further.
Mr Hunt tweeted: “Much of the UK media will portray this eviction as a righteous act by a strong king. It’s anything but.
“Instead of building bridges the head of state is torching them.
“The banishment of his son is cruel, unnecessary and diminishes Charles.”
Prince Harry’s memoir, which hit bookshelves on January 10, contained several damaging allegations, not least that brother Prince William had physically attacked him in a row triggered by his relationship with Meghan.
Harry, who together with Meghan and their two children now live in California, also took part in several high-profile interviews to publicise the book in which he accused his relatives of “unconscious bias” and a lack of understanding when it came to issues of race.
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The King’s decision is widely being seen as a significant rebuke and has triggered further speculation about whether Harry and Meghan will receive an invite to his Coronation on May 6.
A spokeswoman for the couple said: “We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.”
In an interview with The Cut magazine published last year, Meghan claimed “just by existing” she and Harry were “upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy” before they stepped down as working royals three years ago.
Frogmore, a Grade-II listed property which is owned by the Crown Estate, was a gift from Harry’s grandmother, the Queen.
In 2019, royal accounts revealed Meghan and Harry paid £2.4million to cover the refurbishment and rental of the property, on the Home Park Estate at Windsor Castle, a property they have only used a handful of times since relocating to the US.
The couple were funding the general upkeep of their former home, like 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.
Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her family are understood to be staying at the property, which underwent major work to turn five properties back into a single residence for the Sussexes.
Despite reports which surfaced this week, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who currently lives in Royal Lodge home with his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, is thought to be unlikely to relocate to Frogmore.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment.
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