Duke of Sussex pays back £2.4m of taxpayers' money for Frogmore Cottage

7 September 2020, 17:21 | Updated: 7 September 2020, 17:42

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Duke of Sussex has paid back the £2.4 million of taxpayers' money used to renovate Frogmore Cottage.

A spokesman for the Duke confirmed he had paid the bill in full by making a contribution to the Sovereign Grant.

The payment was made possible thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new multi-million pound Netflix deal, a source said.

His spokesman said: "A contribution has been made to the Sovereign Grant by the Duke of Sussex.

"This contribution as originally offered by Prince Harry has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage, a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the UK residence of the duke and his family."

Last year's royal accounts showed the cost of the renovations - paid for from taxpayers' money - was £2.4 million.

Harry and Meghan agreed to pay back the money as part of the plans drawn up when they quit as senior working royals in March.

Last June, campaigners called for a parliamentary inquiry to be launched after the cost to refurbish their home was revealed.

Campaign group Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, questioned why the funds had been "thrown" at Meghan and Harry's residence while public services were under financial pressure.

Following the announcement, Graham Smith of Republic said: "Harry should have paid this bill from the outset, rather than expecting the taxpayer to stump up the cash.

"They've now paid for the refurbishment while continuing to use the home whenever they stay in the UK.

"Their statement claims the cottage is the Queen's property, which is untrue.

"It belongs to the Crown Estate, which is there to raise revenue for the treasury, so we have a right to know what rent they are paying for the place."

The building underwent major work for the couple and their baby son Archie, however all of the fixtures and fittings were paid for privately by the duke and duchess.

The property will remain a UK residence for the duke and his family.