If royal watchers didn’t get enough of the Frogmore Cottage saga, well, here’s another chapter for you. It seems that Buckingham Palace kept the rental deal they struck with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a secret up until now — and the agreement appears to be much different than what was originally reported.
The Sussexes did indeed pay almost $3 million back to taxpayers for the renovations they did on Frogmore Cottage, but they were also given a sweetheart deal when it came to rent. Buckingham Palace confirmed to the Daily Mail that the payment covered not only the refurbishments, but also their rent after they moved to the United States. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a contribution of £2.4 million to the Sovereign Grant which covered the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage. They have fulfilled their financial obligations in relation to the property,” the palace said in a statement.
What’s curious about this revelation is that palace sources originally reported that the couple was still paying a “commercial rate” for the home. The reality is that “the lump-sum payment wiped out the couple’s rental obligations as the increased value of the property following the work was taken as ‘rent in lieu.’” British citizens might never had heard this news if it weren’t for the Sovereign Grant report which handles accounting and audits of the royal family’s finances.
That means that Harry and Meghan have saved upwards of $845,000 on the lease of Frogmore Cottage — and it may be why they reportedly weren’t that upset when the lease wasn’t renewed. Of course, the news has angered U.K. citizens who are dealing with a challenging economy while the royal family is sitting pretty in their castles. “It is outrageous that Harry and Meghan should be able to live in a huge house on these terms while regular people struggle to put food on the table,” former Cabinet Minister and Privy Counsellor, Norman Baker, told the Daily Mail. The palace’s secrecy around this matter is only going to draw attention to how much everyone else in the royal family is paying for rent — and it could be the next scandal to hit King Charles III’s reign.
Before you go, click here to see every single time the royal family shaded Meghan Markle and Prince Harry since they stepped down as royals.
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