Yet ANOTHER bill for Frogmore Cottage: Taxpayers are paying £750,000 for security at Harry and Meghan’s new home – on top of the £3million cost of refurbishing it
- Couple understood to have spent the money on fixtures and fittings at the house
- This includes ‘fine furnishings’ for a kitchen, living room and nursery for Archie
- And more than 20 officers from Met and Thames Valley police to guard cottage
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid £250,000 towards the refurbishment of their new home – on top of £2.4million from taxpayers.
The couple are understood to have spent their money on fixtures and fittings at Frogmore Cottage, including ‘fine furnishings’ for a kitchen, living room and nursery for baby Archie, while the cost to the public purse may hit £3million.
Royal officials in charge of the project at Windsor, which involved knocking five separate houses into one larger residence for the couple, set the newlyweds a strict budget for the works, which included basic kitchens, bathrooms, floors and wardrobes.
The couple are understood to have spent their money on fixtures and fittings at Frogmore Cottage (pictured), including ‘fine furnishings’ for a kitchen, living room and nursery for baby Archie, while the cost to the public purse may hit £3million
Taxpayers are also understood to be paying a £750,000 bill for security.
Retired Chief Superintendent Dai Davies, a former head of royalty protection, said the Sussexes’ decision to quit Kensington Palace has resulted in a sizeable bill for new provisions.
More than 20 officers from the Met Police and the Thames Valley force will be required to guard Frogmore Cottage.
Mr Davies said: ‘Many might question the wisdom of moving out of a perfectly adequately guarded royal residence.’
A well-placed source said: ‘The final figure is excellent value for money for the taxpayer. Whilst the £2.4million has covered the basic renovations costs, the couple have spent £250,000 so far ensuring that the highest standards are met inside the property.
‘Security for the couple is of the utmost importance and a large scale planting programme worth up to £20,000 is proposed to shield the property from the public eye.
If the couple (pictured with baby Archie) wanted more upmarket or bespoke items, they were asked to pay for them personally
‘The final renovations are likely to fall between £2.8 and £3.2 million. We will know this figure once all work is completed.’
If the couple wanted more upmarket or bespoke items, they were asked to pay for them personally.
Sources have revealed that work is continuing over the summer, including exterior painting and landscaping, the installation of security lights and the planting of £20,000-worth of fast-growing shrubs and trees to seclude the cottage.
The final bill for the renovations is expected to reach between £2.8million and £3.2million, including Harry and Meghan’s contribution (pictured, Frogmore Cottage)
Plans are being discussed for a badminton or tennis court.
It means that the final bill for the renovations is expected to reach between £2.8million and £3.2million, including Harry and Meghan’s contribution.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night but the bill for taxpayers has attracted widespread criticism, with calls for a parliamentary review into royal finances.
Harry and Meghan were offered the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester’s grand Apartment No 1 at Kensington Palace (pictured) after a year in Nottingham Cottage – but opted to move 20 miles away to take on the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage
Former transport secretary Lord Adonis said: ‘It is disappointing to see royal spending rise so sharply when school budgets are being cut and austerity remains the norm for most public services.
‘I hugely admire the Queen, but the Royal Family should lead by example… the big increase in royal spending would otherwise go to public services like education.’
Harry and Meghan moved from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage, on the Queen’s Windsor estate, in March amid reports of a rift with their neighbours, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
They have converted it into a five-bedroom official residence. Royal officials admit the current £2.4million cost to taxpayers is likely to rise.