Friday, 30 Oct 2020

Royal bombshell: How Kate and William’s renovation bills dwarfed Meghan and Harry’s

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Meghan and Harry hit the headlines this week after claiming their 2018 wedding brought in a whopping £1billion to the British taxpayer. The couples’ lawyers suggested this far exceeded the cost of the £32million lavish ceremony, held in Windsor. The claim was made in the Sussexes’ court case against Associated Newspapers.

Meghan and Harry have been admonished by the public during their two-year marriage for their spending habits — criticism which only escalated when they decided to step back from the Firm in January.

The couple initially lived in one of Kensington Palace’s apartments, like Kate and William.

However, they later decided to pursue more privacy so moved into Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor.

The Sovereign Grant pays for essential maintenance work at royal residences, but the pair are estimated to have cost the taxpayer £2.4million when renovating their new home.

Hello! Magazine explained last year: “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.”

According to the report, the couple needed to restore the Grade-II listed building’s structure and turn it into a single home over six months before it was liveable.

Meghan and Harry paid for fixtures and fittings privately.

Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens explained at the time: “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.”

However, a 2014 Sovereign Grant report revealed that Kate and William spent a shocking amount of money renovating their home, too, and it was more than the Sussexes.

The report revealed renovations of their 1A apartment at Kensington Palace cost the taxpayer £4.5million over two years.

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It is now a four-storey apartment with 20 rooms, five of which are reception rooms, and three main bedrooms and staff quarters.

Hello! explained: “The work included major roof repairs and asbestos removal, while Prince William and Kate paid privately for a second family kitchen to supplement the ‘working kitchen’ that is used for official events.”

The couple are currently spending isolation in Anmer Hall, Norfolk, their second home which was a wedding gift from the Queen and is near to the monarch’s Sandringham Estate.

When Megxit was announced in January, the public were outraged that £2.4million had gone towards the couple who would no longer be on the royal frontline.

In response, the pair promised to repay the money to the taxpayers once they left the Royal Family.

The property is still thought of as their British residence despite the fact that the couple have moved to California.

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