The Sussexes were offered several ‘grand’ properties before Frogmore Cottage

When she worked on Suits in Toronto, Meghan Markle rented a cute, modern house in the city. She lived there peacefully with her two dogs, minding her business and working up until November 2016. That’s when the British media learned of her relationship with Prince Harry, and her nice house was under siege day and night from the paparazzi. A year later, she moved to the UK, into Nottingham Cottage. Harry’s descriptions of NottCott in Spare make it sound like a dilapidated shack next to a palace, but he loved it. Meghan thought it was like a frat house, and she spent her own money making the place liveable and cute. Harry described NottCott as a place filled with love, and I’m sure he loved every minute of having Meghan there, all to himself.

Still, they outgrew NottCott and they eventually moved into Frogmore Cottage, another dilapidated shack which needed tons of renovations. As it turned out, Frogmore needed $3 million in renovations just to make it habitable. For years, the British media whined about the cost… to restore a small house on the Royal Windsor Estate. This was not private property! It was not Harry and Meghan’s responsibility to pay for anything involved with the structure of Frogmore. But the whining from the British media was too much, so Harry “paid back the cost” in the summer of 2020, months after he and Meghan moved to America. Harry explained what happened in Spare:

We’d rented a house in Oxfordshire. Just a place to get away now and then from the maelstrom, but also from Nott Cott, which was charming but too small. And falling down around our heads. It got so bad that one day I had to phone Granny.

I told her we needed a new place to live. I explained that Willy and Kate hadn’t simply outgrown Nott Cott, they’d fled it, because of all the required repairs, and the lack of room, and we were now in the same boat. With two rambunctious dogs…and a baby on the way…

I told her we’d discussed our housing situation with the Palace, and we’d been offered several properties, but each was too grand, we thought. Too lavish. And too expensive to renovate.

Granny gave it a think and we chatted again days later. Frogmore, she said.

[From Spare by Prince Harry]

First of all, “we’d been offered several properties, but each was too grand, we thought. Too lavish. And too expensive to renovate…” I wish he had gone into detail about what he was offered, the state of those potential properties and why he turned them down. I have believed for years that the Sussexes were offered a spacious apartment in Kensington Palace, but Harry turned it down because he didn’t want to be so physically close to his brother.

I also now believe that Buckingham Palace and Clarence House were constantly setting up the Sussexes, only offering them houses and apartments which would need millions worth of renovations. So much of “the cost of Frogmore” screams could have been mitigated by BP and CH saying clearly that Frogmore needed to be renovated anyway, and it’s royal property so of course the cost comes from the Sovereign Grant. The Queen and Charles could have provided some cover for the Sussexes. They chose not to.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Netflix, SussexRoyal IG.

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104 Responses to “The Sussexes were offered several ‘grand’ properties before Frogmore Cottage”

  1. Carobell says:

    The level of financial abuse really just boggles the mind. Here’s a house because you can’t pick our own and BTW you have to pay millions of your own money to fix it. Money seems to be the favorite weapon since no one else seems to know how to actually work in the BRF.

    • Lurker25 says:

      “no one seems to actually work”

      That’s that point of pride for the aristocracy, right? The original nepo babies. At least it was for centuries. Working was for peasants. Earning an income was for those ghastly unfortunates who didn’t already “earn” money generated by inherited wealth without touching the principle.

      You dabbled. “Gentleman farmers.” Horses, architecture, painting. Much like KC3.

      It’s also why there’s STILL the insufferable divide between amateur athletes who can’t get paid and professionals. Olympics and other such feats of prowess were for the aristocratic amateurs, performing for others (ie getting paid) was low class. And you didn’t want THAT (unsaid part – the competition) sullying the glorious sportsmanship of the games.

      Not sure if I’m explain it well. Being really good at something is bad in this upside down world bc it means you’re trying, and trying is gauche. And gauche is not aristocratic. It’s the immediate reason why Meghan stuck out. It’s very unamerican.

      Someone explained to me that even makeup – “just poof of powder, bit of mascara, and a slick of lipstick carelessly, art lessly, applied.”

      It’s all about being “in” in a world with a million byzantine “rules” that are never, ever, ever explained bc every last one is so pointlessly pettily stupid. The only way you know is being born into it.

      Why that class of men always look like they need a haircut (but costs a lot). Why the womens style looks frumpy (but in a specific expensive material/bad fit way)… Impenetrable rules on purpose.

      It’s a system that creates dysfunctional individuals in service of maintaining the subjugation of everyone else.

      • NightOwl says:

        Fascinating! So interesting to see it laid out like this.

      • Jais says:

        Aristocracy=the original nepo babies 😂

      • Giddy says:

        “just a poof of powder” etc. This attitude can also be seen in aristocratic dressing…30 year old tweed skirts, threadbare sweaters, but with the good pearls.

      • windyriver says:

        @Lurker25 – for another eye opener, if you’re not familiar with it, look up “temporary gentlemen”.

        I ran across this only recently. Briefly, as I understand it, officer commissions (including advancements) in the British army were, historically, purchased. Since only the wealthy had the means, which also required paying for uniforms and equipment, etc., the officer corps was comprised of aristocrats/landed gentry. It was a typical occupation for second or third sons, who wouldn’t inherit the family estate. And they carried with them the habits and lifestyle of the social class they were born into – gentlemen. Even after the purchase system was abolished (around 1870), officer commissions were still held by the upper classes because the life was still very expensive. In addition to purchasing uniforms/equipment, officers might be expected to hunt, play polo, contribute to the wine cellar for the mess, etc.

        Enter, WWI. The need for manpower, and hence officers, was so great, candidates were pulled from lower and even working classes and given temporary wartime officer commissions. They were called “temporary gentlemen”. Apparently they were given basic training in how to behave as officers, though told not to imitate the manners, accents, and pursuits of the “regular” officers. After the war, the temporary commissions expired, and those men were expected to return to the class from which they had come. No surprise, there were big problems with this, not the least of which was, army pay was often higher than what was available in the civilian sector.

        It’s all very British.

      • Lizzie says:

        @Lurker25, this was perfectly said 🤯

        I read an amazing book a few years ago called “Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior” by Kate Fox. It had a section on the weird aristo trying-is-gauche philosophy that absolutely floored me. It’s SO DUMB 😂😂
        Ironically, the book actually uses the Middletons to illustrate how aristos will be deliberately sloppy. Apparently Carol sewed in printed name tapes for the kids’ clothes at boarding school, and that was trying too hard. You were supposed to just scrawl names on the clothing tags with a marker, that was the done thing 🙄

        The book used it as an example of how aristos will throw shade while appearing to compliment someone, and was WAY creepy 😬 Unwritten rules are always galling but particularly so when they’re set by people with nothing better to do. Ugh 🙄 I highly recommend the book though, it was fascinating 😁

      • AmB says:

        @Lurker25 – Like the US social equivalent of junior high school, then.

        Got it.

  2. Brassy Rebel says:

    That photo of Harry holding poor Guy with his broken legs. 😭💔

    • C-Shell says:

      😭

      At least Harry resolved the question about Guy’s broken legs, and we can stop worrying that the Lamebridges were somehow responsible. Still, the 🐀🐀🐀 have blood on their hands.

      • windyriver says:

        Ditto about what happened with Bogart, why he didn’t also come to the UK. He was traumatized by the constant media intrusions around her Toronto home, became aggressive in defense, and she felt it was better for his ultimate welfare for him to live with another family. So that’s on them as well.

      • Jennifer says:

        We’ll never know who did that to Guy, I guess.

    • Blue Nails Betty says:

      I really want them to put out a children’s book titled When Harry Met Guy.

  3. Maeve says:

    I can see why Harry liked Nott Cott – it must have been a “safe space” for him, that he didn’t rattle about in and that he could look after on his own. It’s a nice little starter home for a single person or a couple just starting out that don’t have a lot of Stuff, but definitely not a long term option. Frogmore sounds like it would have suited them – Harry obviously loves that part of the Windsor estate and again, it’s a manageable family home that wouldn’t need an army of staff to keep.

  4. girl_ninja says:

    I just don’t know why QII didn’t offer them a home as a gift as newly marrieds. I understand that Harry is 6th in line to the throne but he is STILL the heir’s (at the time) second son. What in the world. Bill and Katy would NEVER repay/pay for any renovations to anything. That family really lost out in a couple who care about doing what is right and fairness.

    • BusyBea says:

      Because they needed to keep Harry under their thumb. They did NOT want Harry to have any kind of finical freedom. They needed him poor. They needed him to need them for EVERYTHING. This is why they continue to attack him in the USA. They want him to crawl back to them POOR and in NEED of them so they can PUNISH him over and over again.

      • AppleCart says:

        Harry was never ‘poor’ and that’s only due to Diana and the inheritance he received from her. IIRC he even said they only reason they were able to go to America was due to that. But it’s pretty clear they tried everything they could to financially abuse him to keep him in line. Even in the after life Diana was looking out for her little boy.

      • Becks1 says:

        @AppleCart you’re right about the inheritance but he did not have access to that until he was 30.

      • BusyBea says:

        @AppleCart: Harry was totally dependent on his family for EVERYTHING…so yes he was poor with a very wealthy family. I believe that William was kept away from Harry so that one day it wouldn’t be hard for him to stab Harry in the back. William was and has been a horrible brother to Harry

      • freddy says:

        Keep in mind that there is no (financial) equality among siblings in the aristocracy. The 2nd son is the one who loses out as long as the 1st is alive.
        As I understood some articles apparently William attacked Harry physically? Well, that is the “prerogative” of the heir in the aristocratic and royal order of rank.
        Btw. I think both the aristocracy as well as the monarchy should be abolished. It is no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century.

    • Haylie says:

      Agreed.

      I’m going to need to see proof that Liz was not in full possession of her mental faculties or something (I understand that we’ll never be privy to that info), because in my mind, she was a participant in treating Harry and Meghan as 5th class citizens. She could’ve put a stop to all this if she is indeed the true monarch. All of this is her fault.

      • MsDoe says:

        Pulling their security detail, at a time when there were serious threats against Meghan, is a form of coercive control. I don’t understand how it could possibly have been done without the Queen’s say-so. Whether William and Charles came up with it as a response (which I can see happening), the Queen was in charge and had to have made it happen. Someone please explain this to me.

      • Lady D says:

        “All of this is her fault.” So much this. Also, it’s clear where Charles gets it from.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Since we now know that Adelaide Cottage didn’t need renovating, no doubt Harry and Meghan were set up for criticism by the Palace when they were offered Frogmore. It begs the question why they were given Adelaide and was it always reserved as a separation house for Kate?

    • equality says:

      There are rumors that Eugenie wanted Adelaide so H&M wouldn’t have taken it out from under her but W&K certainly would.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah thats interesting. Adelaide was RIGHT THERE and the Queen picked Frogmore. Now it seems they loved Frogmore and were very happy there, but it does beg the question of why not Adelaide. Maybe Eugenie did want it and that was the plan after they outgrew Ivy Cottage, but then why did it never happen? Because of Andrew’s fall from grace? It seems clear Eugenie wanted to be in Windsor at least while she was pregnant and had August as a newborn probably bc she liked being close to her parents, so the Sussexes let her use Frogmore.

      Has Adelaide been marked as Kate’s separation house for years now?

    • Rnot says:

      The style of Adelaide may have been too grand for them rather than the size. The interior includes gilt dolphins from an old royal yacht and a “greco-egyptian” style marble fireplace. It was built for the wife of a king after all. I can see the appeal of a total renovation blank canvas to Harry and Meghan.

    • Claire says:

      I don’t think we really know that Adelaide wasn’t on the table though, do we? It’s possible that Harry and Meghan didn’t want it for other reasons. Also they might have wanted a house where some level of renovations needed to be made regardless so that they could redo certain parts to their taste? Does anyone know the sq footage of frogmore cottage vs. Adelaide? I’ve seen Adelaide described as 4 bedroom and frogmore described as 5 bedroom, but I’m more interested in the actual sq footage of each – is that publicly available record?

  6. emmlo says:

    I wish we could have seen the before/after state of Frogmore Cottage! Harry sounds like he really loved it there and emphasized in Spare that they thought it would be their family home in the UK forever.

  7. Flower says:

    They manipulated them into a corner and it’s disgusting to see.

    I am glad they left and I hope they get the money back along with Meg’s wedding dress.

    She can then loan it to the Smithsonian where it can sit alongside her book.

    • One of the marys says:

      Hold up she doesn’t have her own wedding dress? Who has it? And why??

      • CourtneyB says:

        It’s likely in the royal collection along with many other royal wedding dresses. Meghan may very well have it though. I don’t think I’ve ever read about it after it went on exhibit.

  8. Feeshalori says:

    Wasn’t Adelaide Cottage offered to them and they turned it down because it was too grand for them?

  9. Snuffles says:

    “Charming” is just royal for dump. Who knew Kensington Palace had the projects (or council estate for Brits) on the property.

  10. Chantal says:

    It was first reported that they were to move into KP and alleged they were kicking the Gloucesters? (i think) out. There was much whining about that and KPs number of rooms and need for renovations until it suspiciously stopped. Then came the news of Frogmore Cottage, the costly but needed renovations and of course the copper tub. However, the RRs seemed to love and relish the fact that it was composed of former servants quarters.

    What other properties were too lavish or grand for a Prince who was 6th in line with a wife and both were senior working royals? But compared to NC, anything would have been lavish or grand except an outhouse.

    For people who allegedly love and serve the crown/monarchy, they sure complained about all of TQ’s decisions re: the Sussexes.

    How did TQ get away with allowing so many crown estate properties to fall into such disrepair despite the millions she received from the Sovereign Grant? And what happened to the money Harry paid back? Its ridiculous that the Sussexes are still paying rent for FC. I’ll bet C-Rex won’t renew their ridiculous year to year lease either.

    • Rapunzel says:

      By too lavish, Harry probably means “William would think it’s too good for me and pitch a fit and I’d rather not get pushed into the doggie dish so I’ll take the servant’s quarters.”

    • Fortuona says:

      thet pay for one or two at a time and by that time they had been forced to start the renos to BP which ended up twice what they orignally thought and were paying to strip Ivy of asbetos for Eug

      Eug and Bea had been offered other proprtites over the years but could not meet the reno cost

      • notasugarhere says:

        The 600 million pound restoration of Buck House is completely separately funded. It doesn’t come out of the Sovereign Grant or either of the Duchies. That money is separate taxpayer funds voted in by the govt, not related to royal funding at all.

        Also wrong about Eugenie. The royals didn’t pay for the renovation of mold-infested areas (not asbestos) at Ivy Cottage. It is the responsibility of the group that oversees Kensington Palace. They rent properties at KP out to members of the general public so long as they have the funds and security clearance. Eugenie is treated as a general renter, not a grace-and-favour working royal (unlike say Duke of Kent and Wren Cottage at KP).

        Eugenie was not held financially responsible for the removal of the mold. Until then, she and Beatrice were sharing a 4 bedroom apartment at SJP, paid for by their shady father and his shady outside deals. Not paid by SG. They were never offered any other properties.

      • Fortuona says:

        BP upkeep does come out of the Sov Grant – they asked for the Queen’s percentage of the Crown Property profits to be extended for the time of the upgrade – read the annual report she paid £31 mil in 2021/33

        KP is part of the Crown Estates and she had to pay for uprgades as they did when Peggy/Buttons were doing up IA which came under the Sov Grant and was complained about in Westminster when they discussed to Grant which is how we know about it all. Lots of pepole live at KP , St James and Windsor and only the working royals do not pay rent – Kent’s brother pays his rent ,his son pays his own rent , his sister was paid for by the Queen (Charles pays her daughers rent) , at KP Eug was paying rent but Sov Grant paid for the clearance (all in the Sov Grant reports over the years )

        Eug was never responible for the asbestos or cleaning it up – nor should she be – which is why it took her a year to move to Ivy

        And they were offered other places to live but did not want to pay for the reno – heard about it on 4 different podcasts

      • notasugarhere says:

        KP is managed separately, very confusing, with the whole Historic Royal Palaces. Look up articles from when Ivy Cottage was being renovated. Eugenie didn’t pay for it, the royals didn’t pay for it. It was the business that manages the KP apartments (for the public) that paid. The royals do not personally own the properties behind the Sovereign Grant, nor do they personally own the palaces.

        The work for W&K space was different because they’re working royals. Because they deliberately ripped open the historic structure to destroy the interior, they exposed asbestos which then caused millions more in asbestos remediation. But costs for W&K vs. costs for Eugenie are completely different. One is paid by taxpayers, the others by the business that oversees the KP apartments for the public. Eugenie is ‘the public’ here.

        QEII was paid for BP upkeep for years. She misdirected the funds *for decades* and no one ever investigated. That’s why Parliament voted in a completely separate chunk of funding – run through the SG – to pay for the overhaul. Because QEII misdirected hundreds of millions of pounds for decades.

        LOL. Podcasts from royal stans are not information, they are not fact. Eugenie wasn’t offered other properties, nor was Beatrice. IMO Charles made sure of that. He wasn’t going to allow Andrew’s children to get a foothold in anything that he couldn’t throw them out of later.

    • Jais says:

      I do wonder if Charles will end the lease at some point, which is sad bc they do seem to love and is a safe haven for visits. But if Charles doesn’t end the lease at some point, there’s a good chance William will at some point. Future already-renovated lodging for Louis? Off topic, but let’s say, Charles never writes a new letters patent stripping the sussex children of their titles. Can William later write a letter and strip them of the titles when he’s king?

      • DouchesOfCambridge says:

        This lease was done before the death of the Queen, and they did pay for the renos, I doubt they could just break the lease like that. I bet there’s a clause that it’s renewable for a very long period of time because it was supposed to be their forever home. If the RF could they would’ve ended it in a flash so he wouldn’t be able to come back and if he did, he’s never in a safe place like windsor, like they showed us they wanted.

      • Fortuona says:

        Good luck with that . Peggy would have to spend 2 years before the UK Supreme Court and hope that Harry has nothing else to be mad about and he just has to say no and fight it and Archie can also ask

    • diANNa says:

      I seem to recall reading that when H&M shocked everyone by paying off the renovations it was also mentioned that that they paid up the lease well into the future. I have been surprised that no one else has mentioned this, and it makes me wonder if I read that incorrectly or if it was mistakenly reported. Which we know definitely happens.
      But I also don’t hear the rats screeching for the lease to not be renewed so maybe it is the truth?

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        DiANNa, That’s been a few years, but I recall that whoever oversees the crown properties first said they would have to figure out how to account for the money. Frogmore Cottage was already being renovated. It had been one home and then divided up into 5 homes for staff, and needed to be refurbished badly. There are receipts out there that show all of the electrical and I believe plumbing, etc., were going to be done. H&M literally paid for what the crown estate was going to, and then they paid for it to be made one home again.

        What I believe ultimately happened is that the money H&M paid back went to granny for the use of the family. They needed it because of the pandemic or some such. So, I’m not sure how the money they paid back translated to rent.

  11. Rapunzel says:

    So my tinfoil tiara theory: they intended H&M to take a huge lavish property, trash them when millions was spent on renovation, and use that negative publicity to force them to pay the reno back (Like they eventually did with Frogmore). All because they wanted Meghan to use her Hollywood money to renovate a lavish place for them for free.

    They were likely very upset the Sussexes chose modest Frogmore cottage.

    • Kate says:

      That’s not even a tinfoil theory that’s absolutely what happened. The institution doesn’t do anything without running it through the lens of what the papers will print and what the public will think. Even if they didn’t expect to be paid back, they knew that with any of the choices H&M would be trashed and plenty of “Meghan is such a diva look at these reno costs” stories could abound.

    • lucy2 says:

      Exactly, and you know everyone was just waiting to yell at Meghan for living in some big fancy place. I’m sure they were both well aware of that by that point. They were smart to choose something more modest, plus it seems their personality vs some big palace.

      Considering they don’t own the property outright, any structural work and repairs should have been paid by the grant. Any decorating and cosmetic stuff could have been on them, sure, but they were forced to pay for renovations they don’t even own.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        lucy2, I think they were happier with a property that would not require a lot of staff. The way it sounds I would be surprised if they were given a budget for staff.

  12. Sarah Nguyen says:

    Meghan and Harry were not taken care of because Megan and Harry were not senior working royals. In Spare, Harry has made some things very obvious but maybe not to himself. When he asked the queen to marry Meghan, she said “I suppose I have to say yes.” Charles told Harry “I do not have the money to afford Meghan”. She wasn’t given security training. Harry was told the future of the monarchy only involved The heirs. In many ways, Harry did not want to accept or understand what his family was trying to tell him. He had Meghan move from Toronto into a really toxic and dysfunctional situation. Meghan was never wanted and I feel sad for him that he truly does not understand that. She never seemed to understand it either.

    • Canadian says:

      I agree, I think Harry thought once he married (he references this in the book), he’d be given the same resources as W&K. He didn’t realize Charles was never going to care for his children the way the Queen did.

      • Concern Fae says:

        I don’t think he expected the same resources as William and Kate. However, he did think that he’d have the same level of resources as his aunts and uncles, in order to have the lifestyle expected of a prince of the realm.

        I think another part of the housing issue is that a lot of what they were probably offered was either very dark and Victorian or super fancy with overwrought gilding. Those sorts of houses can be made modern and inviting, but it’s expensive and there is the obvious problem of destroying a historical house as well.

      • freddy says:

        We don’t know the location of the other houses ;-). I kind of suspect that they were somewhat “further away” from London. *LOL* The duke and duchess of dolittle would have liked to see Harry and Meghan moving to the countryside. Frogmore might be “smallish” but its location is first rate: very close to London, close to Windsor Castle where the Queen resides, but nevertheless somewhat private.
        Harry needed (and failed) to understand that he dropped down the ranks when William’s children were born and as he wasn’t a working Royal … .

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        freddy, H&M were working royals until the left, so this doesn’t stand. I don’t think Harry cared that he dropped in ranks from the heir position. If you listen to his interviews before he ever got married, it’s clear that he really did want to be a royal. Everyone forgets about that or tries to minimize it. I think Harry just wanted enough money to have a home and do their royal duties. Those royal duties were a lot more than all of the rest when you factor in all of the tours that he and Meghan did and the length of them. I wonder why people forget that?

    • Mf says:

      This is spot on. From Day One, they never wanted her to be a part of the family or the Firm. They tried to tell him in multiple ways that were quite passive aggressive, but he couldn’t (didn’t want to?) hear them.

    • RumandBuzz says:

      EXACTLY – it seems it was directly said and communicated. Yet the RF paid so much for the wedding. They should have done one like Eugenie’s COVID wedding and used some of that money, if negotiated better.

    • ROAA says:

      He did not ask his grandmother’s permission until Meghan moved to live with him and gave up everything in her life. I wonder if his grandmother didn’t approve of him marrying Meghan, would he break up with Meghan after she sacrificed everything for him?

      • lanne says:

        I think they didn’t say no because they knew Harry would choose Meghan. That’s when they hatched their idiotic plot to run her out of town while pretending to support her. Also, they knew they would be seen as racist if they said no.

        I can’t get over how casually they were willing to destroy someone’s life, and then think she “deserved it for thinking she was good enough to be a part of the royal family.”

        I want them to say this out loud with their whole chests, because it’s the truth.

    • Feeshalori says:

      The queen’s almost grudging consent to the marriage made me sit up and say “whoa.” This is the grandmother he says he’s so close to and she couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and pleased in her response? That would have definitely been a red flag moment for me among all the many others.

      • Jennifer says:

        She could have easily said no and put a stop to everything if she’d wanted to. As far as we know there’s no blackmail or anything forcing her to say yes. The impression you get reading this is that maybe she was slightly amused at Harry being forced to ask permission. I admit I will probably always wonder how she REALLY felt about the situation, but she could have blocked it if she’d really objected. This is why I assume it was everyone below her who had the stronger objections than she did.

        At the very least, I assume she’d realized over the years that Wallis and Peter Townsend being forbidden from joining the family didn’t lead to better outcomes for anyone, so she might as well give in.

      • Hmmyeah says:

        The Queen knew the permission to marry was BS but she played along and didn’t deny Harry. It was a kindness to Harry not telling him it was BS. Even her neutrality and quietness at the sussexit summits could be seen as kindness; showing Harry this is how it is, this is how the palace operates and it won’t change.

      • Fortuona says:

        It was not BS it is the law – 1772 act the King/Queen had to give permission to all 1000 on the list , 2013 Act changed the Law from 1000s to the top 6 , back in came CoR/CoS were back in but not there heirs under the Perth Agreement

    • Becks1 says:

      Yes but no. Harry was definitely always supposed to be a senior working royal. He was ALWAYS part of the plan for the “slimmed down monarchy.” I think by the time he was in his 30s he knew he was never going to be offered what William was in the family/Firm, but I do think he thought he would be offered what Andrew, Anne and Edward had. Maybe not even estates as big as theirs, but something better than Nott Cott. And money for security.

      I don’t think Charles would have pulled the “we can’t afford her” if Harry had proposed to cressida.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        I agree. They would have taken care of him & *insert white English rose*, but not American, biracial, black Meghan.

      • Emily_C says:

        Will would still have thrown constant fits because he wanted Harry to belong to him and be miserable, and Kate would have thrown fits because she’s a jealous mean girl. But the rest of the family, yeah, I think they would have been blasé about it. And the press would have been incredibly nasty, but not as nasty as they were to Meghan.

  13. L84Tea says:

    In the end, even though H&M having to pay back the renovation costs was wrong, the joke is on all of them because what might have been servants quarters at one point ended up being a beautiful home. From what I could tell from those photos that someone had snapped of the front of Frogmore a few months ago, they turned it into a real beauty and has Meghan’s style written all over it.

    • equality says:

      Yes but it will be a beautiful home for someone else unless H&M continue paying rent on it.

      • JT says:

        For those who’ve read the book, does he get into why he doesn’t have a long term lease like the other royals do? Doesn’t Andrew have a 100 year lease or something like that? I just can’t imagine spending millions of my own money on a home that I don’t own and is only on a year to year lease. That is so insane to me that I can’t even believe H&M went for it.

      • Concern Fae says:

        I think they didn’t do the 100 year lease because they saw the nightmare that became. If you are only supporting one generation financially, it makes no sense to “lease” them an enormous house for a hundred years that the children and grandchildren won’t be able to afford the upkeep on.

    • lanne says:

      They didn’t have to pay it back. They chose to pay it back, thereby taking away one of the media and the RF’s most effective bludgeons. The ratchets were PISSED when they paid for the renovations. That’s when they started telling lies about Charles still supporting them, or paying for their Montecito house.

      • JT says:

        Ok they didn’t have to pay it back, but they did put quite a bit of their own money for renovations. So how did they end up with a year to year lease? I’m hoping that’s just another thing that was never corrected because FC seems so beautiful and it would be a shame for any other royal to end up in a home that they created.

    • Jais says:

      The kitchen turned out really lovely. Which we know bc of those cute photos of Meghan sitting on the island and Harry leaning against the counter. In one, Meghan has her foot resting on Harry’s leg. Swoon.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Pretty sure that’s the NottCot kitchen, not FrogCot. It’s pretty tiny.

      • Becks1 says:

        The kitchen showed here in the post (both pictures with Meghan sitting on the counter) are definitely Frogmore. They’re both from well after H&M moved out of Nott Cott.

  14. DouchesOfCambridge says:

    Harry has learned that unfortunately, under his family’s “love & care”, every move he made he had to think ahead 2-3 steps, making him and Meghan smarter but also alway suspicious of anything that came from them. They would’ve came for them on the house like hyenas should they have gotten a notorious one. Thank god they took Frogmore. And thank god they have their own palace now built from their own hands and sweat and pride.

    • lanne says:

      And the fact that their palace with the eleventy million bathrooms piss off the ratchets to no ends is fantastic to see. I’m continually surprised at how attached the ratchets seem to be on the idea of the people who “deserve” wealth and power and the people who don’t. Why they should even care what a private American citizen and her husband do with their own money is beyond me. They absolutely cannot stand having no control over the Sussexes, and they cannot abide the idea of them living in even more luxury that most of the royals.

      • QuiteContrary says:

        And of course we know why they don’t believe Meghan deserves wealth. They even judge the luxuries owned by Oprah — OPRAH, who worked for everything she has.

        I really despise the BRF and the rota.

  15. Veronica S. says:

    One thing that’s always amusing about the ultra wealthy is that they all have that same thread of interminable greed. You see how that generations of hoarding resources at the top has been bred down until it’s part of the legacy among family members. And yes, Harry is definitely privileged and among the elite, but I do wonder if even walking away from it to live normally is even an option at a certain level.

    Really, all it suggests to me is the monarchy is long overdue to be administered, and England is even longer overdue at examining its class issues.

    • equality says:

      At PH’s level with his security threats living the life of an average citizen of any country would not be possible.

    • Isabella says:

      There is a good article about the Gettys in the New Yorker this week that talks abut this very thing, the hoarding, the paranoia, the refusal to pay taxes. Like, why do the rich never feel they have enough?

      • Emily_C says:

        Because they don’t have love and mutual respect. Too much money breaks people. Harry never actually was “privileged” growing up — he was always treated as explicitly less than. Me in my middle class upbringing had it better in a lot of ways, because not only was there no press intrusion, but also I got to eat whatever amount of sausages I wanted and was never told I was inherently lesser than a family member.

        I have one friend who grew up rich. The rich particularly treat their girl children like utter garbage, and for her, in every way. Rich men can get away with anything.

      • Deering24 says:

        The greedy rich measure everything by money. Too much is never, ever enough. When your values are that twisted (or non-existent), nothing else matters. As well, a lot of great fortunes were founded by people who came from brutal hardship in days when the safety net was little or non-existent. Money was everything to them because money meant a decent life. As a result, their heirs often are given a wack view of wealth and status.

      • Fortuona says:

        Giving up the Royal Estates is a tax worth £ 1bn a year and the get a 20% payoff from the profits to pay for the Sov Grant

  16. ABB says:

    Ohhh the ways the WAYS I wish we could see detailed before and after of Frogmore! And more Not Cot details! My little Architectural Digest video loving heart would swoon.

    • Blithe says:

      Same! And Adelaide Cottage — before any renovations. Lol: I came for the clothes — and stayed for the architecture. The royal soap opera and the possibility of social revolution are just an added bonus.

  17. Gene says:

    M’s house in Toronto was rented by Suits production, as shows do with all actors and principal crew from out of town. It was free for her.

    • liz says:

      Kind of. Sort of. Housing would have been part of her negotiated contract. It saved her the hassle of having to find her own place, but it was part of her compensation package (the cash value of the rent should have been declared as income on her US tax returns). If she’d found/lived in her own place, she probably would have been able to negotiate a higher salary.

      • Lace says:

        I blame the writer of Spare. He should have decided, no, we won’t include the number of Taliban you killed as chess pieces. Now Harry needs stronger security. He quit, and certainly can’t expect British security people to follow him overseas.

        I think he should just live and enjoy the quiet life for a while, at least, play polo, and no demanding things from the BRF.

    • Dara says:

      Maybe? I thought I read somewhere that an American actor working on a Vancouver show (Supernatural? Arrow?) had production housing for the first season but then had to find, and pay, for his own place after that. Given Vancouver prices he was not ecstatic about the situation.

      • Gene says:

        That’s not how that works. Housing for cast and crew is something the actors or the technicians union has in the contract. It’s not considered a part of your paycheque, it’s considered as something essential, a condition without which sometimes you can’t do your job. You don’t get paid less because you’re housed nor do you get paid more if you are not. Speaking from experience.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      Even if she didn’t have to pay rent, She EARNED that house. As Liz says, it would have been part of the compensation for her work.

  18. Isabella says:

    There is a good article about the Gettys in the New Yorker this week that talks abut this very thing. Like, why do the rich never feel they have enough.

    I also found this story about a $1 million renovation to Kensington Palace, where Kate gets points for economizing. Hysterical. It also mentions her sacred hormones.

    “She tried to do the revamp cheaply with the builders who did the kitchen, and she got Dulux paints to match the Farrow & Ball color palette to save money,” a source told Daily Mail U.K.

    “But she wasn’t happy with the result, and one room came out with a horrible, unexpected purple tinge. She’s blaming it on her hormones before the birth,” the source added.

    The large family home boasts five reception rooms, three main bedrooms, dressing rooms and bathrooms, staff bedrooms and “ancillary rooms.”

    While the royal couple spent upwards of $1 million of taxpayer money on “essential structural work,” they will cover the costs of interior decorating privately.

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/kate-middleton-unhappy-with-1-million-kensington-palace-renovation-color-scheme-horrible.html

  19. JJ says:

    These people gaslit Harry from the start. Giving him a falling-down cottage to live in with low ceilings. In the city where I live, you have to have ceiling heights of AT LEAST 7 feet tall so it wouldn’t even be ALLOWED to be rented out but they think a Duke and Duchess should live there without doing the repairs needed? Then H&M need another residence because of the lack of space and state of disrepair and they have to pay rent for it (to this day and they haven’t even lived in it for years) AND pay for repairs??? Renters don’t pay for repairs, the owners do. smh

  20. AmelieOriginal says:

    In the end, they lived at Frogmore Cottage, for what, 6 months? Not even. They had to do all the renovations first. It’s too bad, all that money they spent for essentially a six month lease.

  21. HeyKay says:

    I love how many of the British “grand” homes are sometimes called
    “The family pile in the country”.
    I love to see those fabulous estates, which are now mostly used for Dowtown Abbey type shows or are open to tourists. The upkeep on those is huge, huge.
    Why are people so hung up on H&M choice of homes?
    Harry is #2 son of the now King.
    He certainly should have had his choice of homes.

    Aren’t Prince Michael of Kent & wife longtime residents of an “apartment” in BP?
    Where did Bea & Eugenie live before marriage, Andrew & Fergie have always lived someplace paid for by TQ.

    Honestly, Charles & Camilla don’t even live in the same house full time.
    I’m more angry that Charles inherited even more palaces after TQ passed. He is trying to figure out if he wants to live at BP! Nervy SOB, I’ll give him that. The Monarch, by tradition, lives at BP full time.

    • CourtneyB says:

      I’m glad Charles is dithering about BP. It should be open far more as a tourist attraction. The main rooms on the tour are only open during the summer. There’s always a great exhibition. The money goes to the RCT for upkeep. They could make so much more opening more rooms and for longer periods. But they can’t as long as it’s the main working palace. Let Charles keep living at CH and use continue to use BP and st James for offices.

      • notasugarhere says:

        CH needs to be mothballed as royal housing and turned into leased office space to start earning cash. Experts are already demanding something like 69 million pounds to restore *one side* of the building, not even all four sides. Enough with the vanity homes for Charles and the others. He can have an apartment in BP and the monarch apartment at Windsor.

  22. HeyKay says:

    Off topic: If you read the old Regency romance novels or even Bridgerton type novels, often times a terrible accident befalls the heir and a younger brother, unwillingly, assumes the Title. (Or a younger male cousin) Those titles can go sideways, you know.

    The Queen Mum herself only became Queen after her Husband, the second son, was made King after Edward abdicated. Yet she was known to favor PW, spend more time with him because he was the heir.
    You’d have thought The Firm would have covered their a**es better, for the long run.
    Keeping things locked in centuries old traditions is their kink after all.

  23. Sue E Generis says:

    I could be wrong, but I actually by ‘too grand’ Harry meant too expensive to renovate and then maintain. Remember Charles refused to take care of Meghan and their children. Harry was already on a pretty meager allowance (because William received the lion’s share for his multiple homes, helicopters, lavish vacations, wife’s wardrobe and kids). His allowance wasn’t increased when Meghan and Archie came along. Now to stretch that to pay for renovations and upkeep on a grand property would have been impossible. Had the queen gifted them a property and money for renovations it may have been different.

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