For nearly three years, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have lived in Southern California, where they moved after their royal exit. But despite their change of address, they did hold on to Frogmore Cottage, the Windsor home they received from the late queen as a wedding gift, and they used it as their UK home base during their handful of return trips over the last few years. Now, it looks like the couple will be shedding their last tie to their royal lives when they move off the property.
”We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement to Vanity Fair.
According to The Sun, the move is taking place because Buckingham Palace issued an eviction notice to Harry and Meghan, and Prince Andrew has been offered the keys instead. A source who spoke to the tabloid said, “This surely spells the end of Harry and Meghan’s time in the UK.” (Vanity Fair has contacted the palace for comment.)
Currently, Andrew lives in Royal Lodge, a mansion on the Windsor Great Park estate, previously occupied by the Queen Mother. “Andrew is resisting the idea of moving into Frogmore Cottage after he was offered it last week,” added the source who spoke to The Sun. “But it shows Harry and Meghan are powerless to stop the eviction.”
An insider who spoke to Page Six claims that King Charles began the eviction process the day after Harry’s memoir, Spare, came out in January. Though the house was a gift from the late queen, they technically held it through a long-term loan from the palace, as is the case with most royal residences.
In Yahoo News UK, journalist Omid Scobie adds that at least two members of the royal family were “appalled” by the decision to ask the couple to vacate the home. That apparently did not include Prince William, who, a source told Yahoo, briefly expressed interest in the home. “The optics would have been terrible though,” that source added. The house required extensive renovations before Harry and Meghan could inhabit it, and they ultimately paid the £2.4 million cost back to the British taxpayers after they left their royal roles.
Now, the couple is planning to have the belongings they left in the house—which were on display during footage from the Netflix series Harry & Meghan—shipped to California. “Harry and Meghan have until early summer to vacate,” another source told Scobie. “Initially they were given just weeks, but now they have at least until after the coronation.”
In the seven weeks since Spare was released, there’s been little indication about the prospect of a family reunion during May’s coronation, though the invitations reportedly don’t go out until next week, but with news of the Sussexes’ departure from Frogmore, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that family peace will ensue before Harry and Meghan would need to make their travel plans.
Listen to Vanity Fair’s DYNASTY podcast now.