Prince Harry has renewed the lease of Frogmore Cottage, in a move that could signal his intention to continue serving the Queen from the US.
- Prince Harry has renewed the lease of his British residence, Frogmore Cottage, suggesting he may not be ready to cut ties with his homeland just yet.
- The Duke of Sussex must have a UK postcode to continue serving the Queen as Counsellor of State, according to legal experts.
- In other royal news, Queen’s message of support to Team GB amid COVID diagnosis prompts outpouring of concern—‘we are so worried’.
The Duke of Sussex has renewed the lease of his UK residence, sparking speculation that he could continue to serve the Queen from the US.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle famously withdrew as senior members of the Royal Family and emigrated to North America in January 2020, leaving behind their plush Windsor home of Frogmore Cottage for a £14 million Santa Barbara mansion in California. The Sussexes have yet to return to the five-bedroom retreat as a family, but it looks like they're determined to keep the option open.
Frogmore Cottage is currently on loan to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, who moved in with their baby, August, in November 2020. It's understood the couple has since redecorated the Grade II listed building, which is just a 10-minute walk from the Queen's Windsor Castle, with modern, neutral furnishings.
However, it looks like Harry isn't about to part with the lucrative property any time soon.
The Duke has reportedly renewed Frogmore Cottage's lease, which was due to expire on 31 March, allowing him to maintain a UK address while he resides in the US. The posh British postcode doesn't just guarantee the 37-year-old a place to crash when he flies home to visit—it also enables him to continue serving the Queen.
As one of the Royal Family's four remaining Counsellors of State, Harry is currently entitled to fulfil some of his grandmother's duties should she be unable to do so. According to legal experts, however, the prestigious role—which is also held by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Andrew—requires its leaders to be 'domiciled' in the UK.
Harry's eligibility to continue as Counsellor of State has become even more important in light of Her Majesty's recent health concerns. Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen has Covid on Sunday, 20 February, less than two weeks after it was announced that Prince Charles had caught the virus for a second time.
While the 95-year-old will continue to undertake 'light duties' at Windsor Castle, it's likely she'll be relying on close family members more than ever to uphold the Royal Family's busy calendar of engagements.
It doesn't help that Prince Andrew has stepped back from public life, in light of his recent sex abuse scandal. In 2019, the Duke of York was accused by Virginia Giuffre of committing 'sexual assault and battery' against her when she was 17—allegations he vehemently and repeatedly denied. The case was settled out-of-court in February 2021, with Andrew paying the Australian-American campaigner a reported sum of £10 million.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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