The Palace seems to be lying about what the Sussexes spent on Frogmore Cottage

In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “paid back” the cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage, the dilapidated servant’s quarters on the Royal Windsor estate. They had already paid, in real time, for all of the furnishings and all of the “decor” (paint, finishes, wallpaper). But once they had enough money, they “reimbursed” the Crown Estates for the full cost of the renovation (reportedly around $3 million). Later, the Crown Estate and the National Audit Office confirmed that in addition to the reimbursement for a property they didn’t own, the Sussexes also paid a lump-sum lease payment to continue their lease on Frogmore for the foreseeable future. Meaning, instead of paying a monthly rent, the Sussexes forked over a huge lump sum upfront. In 2022, the National Audit Office said it was “satisfied” with the arrangement and called it a “good deal” for the Sovereign Grant. Well, someone in Buckingham Palace decided to lie about the arrangement and you would think that Frogmore Cottage is the only royal property in the entire Crown Estate.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex struck a deal with Buckingham Palace to pay no further rent on Frogmore Cottage after refunding the £2.4 million taxpayers paid for its refurbishment, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. It had been reported that the Sussexes would pay a ‘commercial rate’ for the five-bedroom mansion on the Windsor estate. But Palace officials last night confirmed 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’.

It’s estimated the property would cost between £150,000 and £230,000 a year to rent, which means that the Sussexes may have saved up to £690,000. They will not renew their lease when it ends later this month.

A Palace spokesperson said: ‘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. In line with usual practice for the Sovereign Grant report, the accounting treatment was scrutinised and signed off by the National Audit Office and the Treasury. As with any such agreement between landlord and tenant, further details regarding the Sussexes’ tenancy arrangements would be a private matter.’

But last night one critic reacted angrily to the emergence of the deal. Norman Baker, a former Cabinet Minister and Privy Counsellor, said: ‘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.’ He is now demanding to know how many Royal Family properties are rented out below the market rate.

The Sussexes quit Royal duties officially in March 2020 and a Palace spokesman told the BBC they would continue to pay a ‘commercial rate’ of rent on the property. In fact, they paid five months’ rent but then gave a £2.4 million lump sum in September to cover the refurbishment costs. Today we can reveal that a deal was agreed in which the payment wiped out any further financial obligations.

It was not a deal which was publicly announced by the Palace. Nor was it easy to see by looking at the official Sovereign Grant reports which outline public spending on the monarchy. Last night Buckingham Palace confirmed that the £2.4 million was split into three headings and recorded across two sets of accounts. In the 2020/21 figures, the lump sum is listed as both ‘rental income’ and as ‘recharges for functions and other income’.

[From The Daily Mail]

So now the Palace is telling the media that Harry *only* reimbursed the cost of the renovation and he did not pay for the lease extension? No, because… everyone made it clear in 2021 and 2022 that Harry did both: he reimbursed the Crown Estate for the cost of the renovation AND he paid a lump sum towards the lease. The palace is basically admitting as much, saying that the money was “split” between reimbursement and rental income. Is the palace saying that Harry only “paid” £2.4 million and that’s the exact amount of the renovation cost, so they gave him a sweetheart deal on the lease? Yeah, that doesn’t sound like Buckingham Palace. Clearly, Harry and Meghan believed they were paid up on a valid lease too. Anyway, the Sussexes better be reimbursed fully for everything they put into Frogmore (and I think that’s what this is about – Charles looking for a reason to avoid reimbursement to the Sussexes).

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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83 Responses to “The Palace seems to be lying about what the Sussexes spent on Frogmore Cottage”

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  1. Abby says:

    “But last night one critic reacted angrily to the emergence of the deal. Norman Baker, a former Cabinet Minister and Privy Counsellor, said: ‘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.’ He is now demanding to know how many Royal Family properties are rented out below the market rate.”

    I don’t understand why everyone is foaming at the mouth about Frogmore Cottage when everyone else in the royal family has multiple houses, and nobody pitches a fit about their lease rates or renovations. It’s only Meghan and Harry. I wonder why.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I think you know why. We all do.

      • Yes biracial families are not allowed a special rate lease only pedophiles are allowed that privilege.

      • Abby says:

        Of course I do. The royal family / media must think we are stupid.

      • TheFarmer'sWife says:

        @Susan Collins, that line: only paedophiles are allowed that privilege–that should shock any reasonable person, shouldn’t it? Yet, the supposed royal family (of grifters, criminals, and violent offenders) are quite willing to be seen in support of uncle andy–he’s at all the big events, after all. Good Lord! What brand of rose-coloured glasses are those people wearing?

      • Moxylady says:

        Dear sweet granny failed them on every level. She gave them a dilapidated servants house and a year to year lease when everyone else gets 99+ years.
        She was awful.

      • Ihatepeople says:

        Why do the Royals act like they are poor? I really don’t understand.

    • Fuzzy Crocodile says:

      That is exactly the sentence that jumped out at me. How blind can you be.

      ‘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.’

      • lucy2 says:

        Me too! Of all people to say that about, it was the most modest of all royal residences, all the rest of them are rattling around massive palaces and multiple estates.
        I also find it interesting they they’re yelling about market rate for the rental – the value went up because H&M paid to fix up the place, and these idiots then want it to be more expensive for them to lease? Because of improvements they made and paid for? FFS.

    • SURE says:

      Baker was on TV saying that an editor of a major newspaper told him he could say what he wanted about H@M but that he had to lay off WanK. Presumably he’s done that in the past for financial again so I’ll treat his comments with the contempt they deserve. He’s nothing but a selective royal basher who likes to pretend that he’s an honest critic of the British monarchy.

      • Mary Pester says:

        @SURE, Baker is a royal whore, he will bend so far over for them he can kiss HIS OWN backside. Go look at his history and you will see exactly what I mean. Now, let’s all sit down and try and get a running total, royal Lodge, Windsor Castle? Buckingham Palace? Sandringham? Burchall!? Princess Anne’s home, amer Hall? Sorry I can’t remember the names of ALL the properties owned by the Royal estates, BUT if they were paying a market rent for them I wonder how much, and where the revenue would go. It’s no surprise that the Palace has lied, after all we have a Y in the day!! It’s about Harry and his family, so of course they didn’t tell the truth, but again, I will want to keep a close eye on reports THIS YEAR from the national audit office!!!

      • kirk says:

        Norman Baker seems to be happy to be used by the media half of the royal-media cabal when it comes to Harry & Meghan. Otherwise he’s probably done more than most British writers to expose the cost of BRFCo, while also considering the benefit. All serious BRFCo examiners complain that BRFCo withholds information making full examination hard. Unfortunately, Brits get so easily worked up about H-M that they only consider H-M cost and are satisifed at skewed tabloid reporting.

      • Krity says:

        Well, let’s see — “As of March 2022, the Crown Estate reported almost $19 billion in assets. Its holdings include over 287,000 acres of agricultural land and forests, various retail properties across the U.K., almost all of Regent Street, and about 55 percent of U.K. foreshore. It also owns several royal residences, including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.”

        And, “The royal family’s private holdings include Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy of Lancaster holds 45,440 acres of farmland, urban developments, commercial properties, and historic buildings across England and Wales. The holdings include Lancaster Castle, Bolingbroke Castle, and The Savoy Estate.

        The Duchy of Cornwall now belongs to William, who gained the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales after the queen’s death. The Duchy of Cornwall consists of 130,000 acres of land in England and Wales and various London properties. The Cornwall estate is valued at about $1.37 billion.”

        They’re clearly suffering from a lack of properties.

  2. L84Tea says:

    Just when I think this family can’t go any lower…wow.

    • swaz says:

      This is exactly what I expected. CHARLES IS SO MONEY HUNGRY, Meghan and Harry will never get that money back 🤢

      • Krity says:

        I hope they can look at it as a reasonable price to pay to get away from that goat rope.

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Yup. It’s all about not wanting to have to pay the Sussexes back for the renovation money. What if we say it was rental income? And if we figure out the market rate for the property, that would surely eat into any balance we’d have to refund!

    Why can’t they be honest about anything? Why do they lie about everything? Who pocketed and misappropriated that money and is stalling, trying to buy time to reshuffle funds, avoid scrutiny and public accounting before paying it back? Hi, Charles!

  4. equality says:

    So now this Baker guy is worried about crown estates being rented for less than market value? It’s been done and not secretly for years. So yet again, H&M are being treated differently from any other royals (even the “non-working”) and from regular rich people who rent out crown estates property. Why doesn’t this dude complain from the top down? Consider all the houses C&C and W&K have and pay NOTHING while “regular people” struggle.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      do the royals living in these estates pay for the rent themselves or do someone of them have rent paid by the sovereign grant? who pays for the upkeep of these properties? If Baker wants to bitch about this, shouldn’t the focus be limiting what the taxpayers are funding and making sure all the royals pay market value for their homes out of their own fortunes?

    • Becks1 says:

      So, he does complain from the top down. His book, “And What do YOU Do?” pretty much trashes all of them and Charles especially comes across looking like the grifter that he is. he’s not a H&M fan, but he’s not a W&K defender etc either. I also imagine he’s not being asked about W&K or those aren’t the quotes that get printed.

  5. Bisynaptic says:

    They can’t really be that stupid, can they?

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Stupid AND dishonest.

      • Cessily says:

        This is just another made up narrative to try to justify the indefensible. These people are so greedy and sick. The Sussex’s paid the £2.4million and market rate rent in a separate lump at the same time and now that the brf are facing backlash if they have to pay that back they are trying to change the facts and make it look like the Sussex’s got some sort of “deal” instead of being robbed and extorted by their own family members.

    • SarahCS says:

      Ooh I know this one!!!


  6. Miranda says:

    When are they going to learn that Harry and Meghan keep their damn receipts?

    • Yes they do! Now all I can hear in my head is the song Bitch Better have my Money. Chuckles needs to pay up.

    • Jais says:

      Everything about this makes me so angry. They are just lying. I mean it’s what they do. But still. I hope the sussex lawyers are dropping those receipts and the crown estates are telling Charles he owes them some money.

  7. Danbury says:

    Charles is such a vindictive cheap ass

  8. lanne says:

    Gods supposed to save this King? I feel for you Brits. Instead of God Save The King, you ought to sing, God Protect Me From This King.

    Can a father be any shittier to his own son than Charles? He’s starting to make Thomas Markle look good. Thomas Markle is an emotional abuser just like Charles. But Charles is a financial abuser on top of it. Who’d have thunk it? Thomas Markle seemed to be leading the Shitty Father Sweepstakes until ChuckdaTurd said “hold my beer.”

    On another note, my father passed away Sunday. Thank you, Celebitchy community, for all of your kind words. We may all be strangers in real life, but I have come to treasure this Internet community. I’ve gained so much from this community. You all have made me laugh out loud, made me think, made me tear up with some of your personal stories. I took a lot of comfort from your messages. It meant a lot to me.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Wishing you comfort, solace, and joy-filled memories in your time of loss. The death of a parent hits very different.

    • Jais says:

      Deepest condolences @lanne. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounded like a truly special person and wonderful parent.

    • HamsterJam says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, he sounded like such a wonderful man. The world needs more men like him.

    • SarahCS says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, and yes, there is a lot to be said for this community. We’re always here for you when you need us.

    • deborah brangman says:

      So sorry for your loss. Take care

    • MsIam says:

      So sorry for your loss @Lanne! Condolences to you and your family.

    • MSTJ says:

      @Lanne – My condolences on your loss. May his soul rest in peace.

    • notasugarhere says:

      lanne, may your lovely father rest in peace.

    • Midnight@theOasis says:

      So sorry for your loss. Allow yourself time to be able to smile at the memories of your father rather than hurt for the loss. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

    • Acha says:

      Thinking of you and your family, Ianne. My sincere condolences.

    • PC says:

      @LANNE, please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your father. God bless.

    • Jan says:

      Sorry for your loss.

    • Nick G says:

      @ Lanne so sorry for your loss. I know his memory is and will be a blessing.

    • Jojo says:

      Deepest Condolences Lanne 😔.

    • Blithe says:

      I’m very sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to you and to your family. @lanne, I hope that you can find comfort and blessings in your many memories of sweet times that you shared with your father. ✨🙏🏽

    • Jaded says:

      Much sympathy to you and your family Ianne, I know what you’re going through. May you have many beautiful memories of your father to keep the love in your heart for him alive.

    • Mary Pester says:

      @LANNE,I’m so sorry for your loss, but the wonderful memories you have I hope will bring you comfort. When my father passed I got my favourite picture of him smiling and put it next to my bed so that every morning he is the first thing I see. There is an old saying that I hope will comfort you, and that is “Loves last gift is remembrance”, gentle hugs to you sweetie x

    • Gabby says:

      So sorry about your father Ianne. Clearly, I didn’t know him, but from what I have seen of you here, your father contributed a witty and insightful person to this world and I thank him for that. Comfort and warmth from my family to yours.

    • Becks1 says:

      Aw @lanne I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs friend.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ lanne, please accept my deepest condolences to you and your family. You will be in my thoughts and I am sending you and your family excellent juju as you struggle to cope with your immense loss. Sending you all virtual hugs and support. 🤗🤗🤗

      No matter how old we are, the death of a parent always seems to shatter our hearts and world.

    • Angelica Schuyler says:

      My sincerest condolences to you and your family Lanne.

    • GoshTina says:

      Heartfelt sympathy to you and your family from a fellow reader.

    • Nanea says:

      Lanne, I’m so sorry for your loss.

      My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

      May you cherish the memories of happier times!

    • Hummingbird says:

      Heartfelt condolences Lanne on your father’s passing. May his memory be eternal.

    • Scooby Gang says:

      @Lanne – I’m so sorry to learn that you’ve lost your dad. Wishing you so much love and comfort.

  9. Osty says:

    I’m waiting for what this Norman person will say when he gets to know how much other royals are ” paying ” for rent in their twice or three times bigger than frogmore cottage mansions. This selected outrage when it comes to the Sussex is getting old

  10. girl_ninja says:

    That family is so guttural. No dignity or honor. Just pay what is owed the Sussexes and move on.

  11. Snuffles says:


    Sorry for your loss (((HUGS)))

  12. Amy Bee says:

    Yeah the Palace knows they have to reimburse Harry and Meghan and they’re looking for a reason not to. They should have thought about that before they threw Harry and Meghan out of the house. Charles better put his hand in his pocket and pay up.

  13. Feeshalori says:

    @lanne, my deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss. May all your special memories of your dad give you strength and comfort during this difficult time.

  14. MSTJ says:

    I think that’s an article written for clicks – clickbait. That’s what the tabloids do well. Spin, rinse and repeat a lot of nonsense. Not worth the attention. I’ll trust that the Sussexes have their lawyers working on ensuring they are appropriately compensated.

  15. Rapunzel says:

    The Mail had comments like, “if I paid for renovating your house, I’d expect not to pay rent either” so this is not the oen they think it is. Even their lies are worthless.

    • MsIam says:

      Especially when the “landlord” was planning to renovate the property anyway. These folks are for sh*t. They stink to high heaven.

    • Lauren says:

      Also it makes it look like Buckingham Palace might have lied to the public and the Audit board because the earlier information came from BP. Also personally I think Norman Baker is trying to use the outrage the media and royal family direct at H&M to force BP into additional financial transparency

  16. Simba's Mom says:

    So sorry for your loss. Take care

  17. Eurydice says:

    Didn’t accounting reports at the time say the RF would have overspent their budget if it weren’t for H&M’s reimbursement?

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Eurydice, that’s what I remember. It was during the pandemic and I thought they said the money went to QE2. I remember that whoever had to account for the money made some statement that they would need to decide how to account for it. This is article is very shady.

  18. KT says:

    Funnily enough I believe this one.

    Queen Lizzie hated the idea of the grace-and-favour homes she gifted to members of her family as ‘wedding presents’ being treated as rentals. As far as she was concerned housing members of her family is exactly what those properties were for. So she found ways to appease the press calls for ‘market rent’ to be paid without actually charging them money.

    She did this with Prince Michael of Kent as well. And almost certainly the money that Andrew and Edward ‘paid’ for their leases came from her.

    And in all honestly I have no problem with that. Those properties inside the Royal security cordon are never going to be rented commercially, so the idea of ‘commercial rent’ is ludicrous. It’s a bit like saying how much the Crown Jewels are ‘worth’ – they can’t ever be sold, so it’s irrelevant.

    Of course, that was Lizzie. Charlie-boy is a different kettle of fish; he is obviously tight-fisted and petty.

  19. Athena says:

    My guess is that the Sussexes asked for the money back and the Crown Estate doesn’t have it to pay back. The BRF probably overspent for the current year and will need to report all of this in the year end financial report and they’re scrambling. No one thought about the ramifications of this decision. Did they think H&M would say fine, here are the keys and keep the 2.4M I gave you?

    I read the article a few times, I still don’t understand what they’re saying or the math. If the 2.4 was given in 2020 and it’s suppose to be for rent, and the rent is 230,000 a year, aren’t they paid up for 10 years? So we’re back to if the landlord wants them out the landlord has to reimburse the pre-paid rent. Love to hear what Judge Judy has to say about this.

    • Jais says:

      Interesting. That they’re scrambling bc they literally don’t have the money to pay them back. I’m sure money could be moved from somewhere but it would be sketchy and now that’s it’s been made so public it will be picked over v carefully. Welp, Charles did what he did.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Jais, they aren’t hurting for money, they simply want to come up with a plan to refuse to reimburse Harry and Meghan.

        Has Chucky simply lost his ever loving mind????. Has he “forgotten” that FC had already been approved and monies allocated to renovate that falling down shack of FC???? And the reimbursements weren’t a “donation”…..

        But do go on Norman Baker and investigate ALL the other Royal properties that are paying for “rent”, in addition to how much EACH member of the BaRF paid out of their own pockets to renovate and furnish their grand estates and castles. In addition of how many castles EACH and every BRF is costing the taxpayers!!!! All whilst all of the BaRF are living large as the common folks of Britain can’t afford food OR heat. We would all be happy with what you uncover…..

  20. Is That So? says:

    I really don’t know Harry and Meghan business, but I get the sense that Harry oftentimes doesn’t use a lawyer when dealing with his family and he should.

    Except them working with the tabloids I think he expects his family to do the right thing, and he ends up hurt all the time. I hope he used a lawyer on this and got it in writing.

    Silence empowers abusers. The palace keeps dealing with Prince Harry as if he still their fully royally inculcated pawn who won’t contradict in public. He needs to clarify that ‘private’ Frogmore deal in public and send the landlord a link with Riri’s B*tch Better Have Mi Money.

    • Jais says:

      At this point, Harry is pretty well lawyered up. When he paid this back, he was outside of the firm and likely had his own lawyers.

  21. tamsin says:

    I think that jealousy and resentment that the Sussexes have their own money and their own lawyers is a key factor here- aside from the other issues brought out. And that vindictivenss and punishment are the guiding principles in all their dealings with Harry and Meghan.

    • B says:

      Oh yeah they are pissed Harry and Meghan have their own lawyers and spokesperson. Like all bullies their petty and vindictive actions only work when the person can’t fight back or shine a spotlight on their actions.

  22. Miss Kitty says:

    @lanne, I’m so sorry about your dad, he was a shining example of what a parent and family man should be. Blessings to him on his way and to you and your family.

    It is reading about a man like him and contrasting him to a parent like KC3 that infuriates me so much and leaves me feeling sad for Harry.

  23. Okay says:

    Pay him back his money and STFU. All this word salad is making it look more obvious that what they are selling no one is buying. They like the idiots they are paraded the whole “THEY MUST COME TO THE CHUBBLY” then they took the house they would have used to do so. The whole charade was not real since they did this in January. The invite is not sincere or real, its bait to either lure in Harry for more snubbing or cry salty tears that Harry hates the UK because he didn’t come. I think they are getting major backlash over Andrew being treated so differently then Harry. Like its not adding up and only making H&M endearing again in the UK because people got excited that they might come or why keep betting the dead horse and just be ” i took his house get over it”. I think something happened over the chubbly with Cam and Will something that made Charles revisit his stance that Will should get this way.

    1. Mention both as coming and invited

    2. Mention Archies bday

    3. Mention that Arch and Lil are not invited over their age at this point ONLY until they hear from H&M and then they can see if they can come or are coming

    None of this is making Will happy. I hope Chuck doesn’t give a damn anymore about Pegasus and his tantrums.

  24. A says:

    It’s a little shocking to me that Norman Baker, who is otherwise rather discerning about the BRF and what they cost (he wrote a whole book looking into their finances and what they do), is coming out like this against M&H? What gives? Isn’t he someone who presumably does their homework on these matters? It’s baffling to me that he’d put out a comment like that without thinking the subject through?

  25. Katya says:

    Sayeth the man who set up trust funds for kids of his side piece.

    If I were Prince Harry I would rip out all the fixtures I paid for if they aren’t reimbursed. Flooring, crown mouldings, lighting, blinds, toilets etc. when he goes to the freakin’ Chucky&Camilla show.

    but I’m as petty as you can get according to my daughter.

  26. MerryGirl says:

    Dear Lanne,
    Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. The way you spoke about your father it’s clear he was an inspiration in your life and to others. May God give you comfort.

  27. Jenn says:

    Wow, this clarifies a lot to me — Harry & Meghan’s family downgraded them to “two random people who are allowed to Airbnb sometimes.” No one would ever pay those prices unless they were really, really, really fearful of otherwise being attacked in a luxury apartment building. I understand why they fought so hard to have “security,” and renting Frogmore was one way they could obtain it.

  28. Well Wisher says:

    Despite what is said, the paperwork will point to the real facts. One has to balance the books, do a forensic accounting to get to the bottom of the matter.
    Next of interest the manner and conditions that constitute broken lease. So far all points to the Sussexes as the wronged party, consequently it is up to the King to make an reimbursement of all the monies.