This week came confirmation from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s spokesperson that they have been asked to vacate their UK home, Frogmore Cottage.
The Windsor residence was the first place they had lived as a married couple and held a special place in their hearts. Amongst other things, they marked daughter Lilibet’s first birthday at the cottage by holding a little picnic – see their celebrations in the video below…
Harry and Meghan considered the cottage a gift from the Queen (although it was only the lease, not the actual property she gave them) and used the cottage any time they returned to the UK – including for the Queen’s state funeral last year.
However, royal watchers have also noted that Harry and Meghan now live permanently in Montecito in California with their trips back to England increasingly less frequent. As such, the property stands vacant for much of the time.
But what does King Charles‘s decision mean for the couple – and more specifically for their children, Archie and Lilibet?
Security is known to be a big issue for Harry and Meghan. They are no longer entitled to access royal police protection when they visit the UK – Harry has been taking legal action to counter this decision – and have stringent measures in place to secure their Montecito home.
Meghan’s 2022 interview with The Cut revealed they have an in-person security team who escorted Meghan and Archie on the school run and they also have guards on the perimeter of their grand mansion.
Protecting their children is clearly of the utmost importance.
Harry’s representatives have previously stated that he wants to bring Archie and Lilibet to visit from the US, but that they are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is “too dangerous”.
Frogmore, however, was the one place that did meet the couple’s security needs in the UK thanks to the extra levels of protection on offer.
The cottage is located a very short walk from Windsor Castle and, as such, is covered by the Metropolitan Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Unit, which surrounds the whole Windsor estate.
After Harry and Meghan decided to step back from royal duties in 2020, it was decided that the Prince should be taken off the list for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), whose members receive automatic security funded by the taxpayer.
Following King Charles’s decision, the question of Harry and Meghan’s attendance at the coronation on 6 May remains up in the air.
Given the couple’s concern over security for their family, and with Frogmore Cottage no longer at their disposal, it seems increasingly less likely Archie and Lilibet will make the trip.
That being said, Harry and Meghan have confirmed they will vacate the property after the coronation – will May mark their last trip to the UK as a family?
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