Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Frogmore Home Upgrades Were Just Revealed (No Yoga Studio!)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dipped into their own pockets for certain renovations
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can finally put down their paintbrushes: Frogmore Cottage has been fixed up!
“It’s substantially completed,” a Buckingham Palace source tells PEOPLE about the five-bed home on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The palace is also sharing a breakdown of the funds that went into the renovations of their new home.
The royal couple renovated the interior of the historic home earlier this year in anticipation of the arrival of Archie Harrison. More recently, they’ve attended to the outside of the property, redecorating the exterior doors, windows and walls and upgrading some of the outbuildings — while also re-landscaping the garden and adding some extra garden lighting too.
While the British taxpayer has paid for the overall renovation costs through the Queen’s annual Sovereign Grant, Buckingham Palace figures released Monday show it cost the public around $3 million. However, “anything moveable” or in the cottage gardens has been paid for by Harry and Meghan themselves.
“All fixtures and fittings were paid for by their Royal Highnesses,” adds the source. “Curtains, furnishings — all that would be paid separately, paid privately.”
At the same time, Harry and Meghan have also had to dip into their pockets for anything deemed too expensive for the public to provide — such as an upgraded kitchen, bathroom, fitted wardrobes or flooring.
“If a member of the royal family says, ‘We want a better kitchen than you’re prepared to provide with public money,’ then that would fall to them privately and they would have to meet the cost,” adds the source. “If they want that higher specification, they have to pay the extra.”
Contrary to previous reports, this does not include a yoga studio, or mother-and-baby yoga room complete with a “floating” or sprung wooden floor.
As with all old homes, Frogmore had enough of its own surprises to keep the royal couple on their toes.
“A very large proportion of the ceiling beams and floor joists were defective and had to be replaced,” adds the source about the mid-1800s cottage, which was turned from a single home into five small dormitory-style units long before Harry and Meghan set eyes on it.
To make it a suitable family home — and official residence — Frogmore first had to be returned to its original form.
“The heating systems were outdated and inefficient and were not to the environmental standards that we would expect today,” the source adds.
“The electrical system also needed to be substantially replaced and rewired, even extending to the establishment of a separate upgraded electrical substation, which was in addition to the main works on the property.
“And new gas and water mains had to be introduced to the property, replacing the five separate links that were there for the property before and were in a bad state of repair.
“Overall, the works were conducted over a period of around six months.”
The end result is that Harry and Meghan now have a cozy — and very private — home to raise Archie.
While the $3 million construction costs may seem high for a newlywed’s first pad, it’s all part of the wider $55 million spent by the Queen to conserve the royal palaces over the past 12 months.
This conservation work is largely funded by an annual $63 million Sovereign Grant given to the Queen by the U.K. Government to maintain the royal palaces on behalf of the nation — a role that she and the rest of the royal family take extremely seriously.
“The property had not been the subject of work for some years and had already been earmarked for renovation in line with our responsibility to maintain the condition of the occupied Royal Palaces Estate,” Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse told reporters at Buckingham Palace on Monday.
“The Sovereign Grant covered the work undertaken to turn the building into the official residence and home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their new family. The building was returned to a single residence and outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property.”
Aside from Frogmore, figures from the Sovereign Grant show that it costs the British public $103,000 for Harry and Meghan to travel to Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji on their official tour last year.
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Prince Harry also spent $29,000 on charter flights to join the Royal Marines training in Norway — where he spent Valentine’s Day without his new wife.
Meghan’s first outing with the Queen to Cheshire on the Royal Train cost $38,000.