Renovations at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new family home have cost the taxpayer £2.4 million, according to the latest royal accounts. Frogmore House was converted from five separate apartments into an official residence for Prince Harry and Meghan and their newborn son Archie, with the majority of the work completed in the month before he was born. Significant structural work to restore the Grade II-listed property to a single home over a period of six months was covered by the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen and her family’s official activities. The couple paid for fixtures and fittings privately. Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, who is responsible for royal accounts, said "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. 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."
Frogmore Cottage has cost the taxpayer £2.4 million
"The building was returned to a single residence and outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property. Substantially all fixtures and fittings were paid for by Their Royal Highnesses." A royal source said that major works included replacing and relocating defective ceiling beams and floor joists and replacing and rewiring the electrical system, including the installation of an upgraded electrical substation. New gas and water mains also had to be installed. The source added: "The heating systems were outdated and did not meet the environmental standards that we would expect today.”"
Prince Harry and Meghan got most of the renovation work done before Archie's arrival
The Sovereign Grant, which comes from the Treasury and funds the royal family’s official activities, provides an allowance for facilities like kitchens and bathrooms, but if members of the royal family require a higher specification than the one on offer, they have to pay the difference themselves. A royal source revealed the renovation of Frogmore was "80-90 per cent" completed ahead of Archie's birth on 6 May, but work on the exterior is ongoing, as part of a five-year programme of building maintenance to properties in the Home Park at Windsor. The threshold for reporting building costs in the annual accounts is £350,000 and officials do not anticipate reporting further costs incurred by the renovation at Frogmore Cottage next year.
The Queen gave the property, which is owned by the Crown Estate, to Harry and Meghan. A royal source said: "The Queen has been informed of the progress of the project, throughout the project." The cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage was part of a more than £43million spend on property maintenance across occupied royal palaces.
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