Why Evict Harry’s Kids From Frogmore If Charles Wants to See Them?

Why Evict Harry’s Kids From Frogmore If Charles Wants to See Them?

In a surprising turn of events, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been asked to vacate Frogmore Cottage, a property they have held since their marriage. This news, confirmed by the couple’s PR representative, has left many questioning the motives behind this decision, especially given King Charles III’s expressed desire to maintain a relationship with his grandchildren.

Frogmore Cottage was “gifted” to Harry and Meghan by the late Queen Elizabeth II. However, this “gift” did not entail a transfer of ownership. Instead, it was a lease at a significantly reduced rate, a common practice for royal properties. The couple was responsible for the upkeep and any refurbishments, but the property remained part of the Crown’s portfolio.

The term “eviction” might seem dramatic, but it appears that Harry and Meghan were on a yearly lease, renewed every March. Given that they received notice in January, it aligns with the standard two-month notice period if the Crown decides not to renew a lease. This timing suggests that the decision was not a reaction to Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” but rather a strategic move by King Charles to streamline royal expenses.

King Charles has been clear about his intention to slim down the monarchy and cut costs. Harry and Meghan, having stepped down as senior royals and relocated to California, have distanced themselves from royal duties and the family. Frogmore Cottage, which they rarely use, stands mostly vacant. The couple documented their return to the property and the packing of their belongings in their Netflix series, indicating that it is not a functional second home for them.

In the context of a cost-of-living crisis, maintaining a spacious, rarely-used home for the Sussexes seems excessive. Additionally, their public approval ratings are low, making it unlikely that public sentiment would support such an expense. King Charles also has practical needs for the property, as he plans to downgrade Prince Andrew from the 30-room Royal Lodge.

The shuffling of royal properties is not unprecedented. While it is unusual for senior working royals to be moved, it is more common for those lower in the pecking order. For instance, William and Kate’s country home, Anmer Hall, has had both royal and non-royal occupants over the years. The Everretts, who leased the property in 2011, were asked to vacate early to accommodate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

There is also the question of whether King Charles should repay the Sussexes for the cost of refurbishing Frogmore Cottage. Typically, renovation costs are borne by the lessee, who benefits from a significantly reduced lease rate. The Sussexes reportedly paid back £630,000 of the estimated £2.4 million renovation cost. If the Palace deems it fair, they might receive this repayment. However, it is not customary for tenants to recoup improvement costs, even in royal circles. For example, Prince Andrew has spent millions updating the Royal Lodge, from which he is now being pressured to vacate, without expecting reimbursement.

The decision to ask Harry and Meghan to vacate Frogmore Cottage seems practical and reasonable. While it may sting for the couple, who likely view the property as a status symbol, it aligns with King Charles’s strategy to cut costs and streamline the monarchy. If Harry and Meghan wish to visit their relatives, they can always stay as guests at one of the many royal residences in and around London.

This move underscores the changing dynamics within the royal family and the practical considerations that come with managing royal properties. It also highlights the delicate balance King Charles must maintain between familial relationships and the financial realities of the monarchy.

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