x Eve Woman Wellness Readers Lounge Leisure and Travel My Man Bridal Health Relationships Parenting About Us Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise BULK SMS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
x

Queen's incredible wedding present to Meghan Markle and Harry - and why it caused huge row

Entertainment By Mirror
It was a very, very generous gift! (Image: Getty Images)

Despite asking people to donate to charity instead of sending them gifts, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were still treated to some incredible presents on their wedding day.

But the most extravagant token of celebration by far came from Harry's granny the Queen - who gave the newlyweds the keys to their very own house.

And, obviously, it wasn't a two-up, two-down semi - it's a huge mansion with lots of room for their future family.

Frogmore Cottage, a 19th Century Grade II-listed building, sits in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and a Kensington Palace spokesman said at the time that it was a "very special place" for the couple.

Prior to them moving in, Meghan and Harry had the whole place refurbished - costing the taxpayer Sh320 million (£2.4million).

Renovations on the cottage were funded through the Sovereign Grant - a sum of money given to the Monarch from the Government each year.

They enlisted the help of designer Vicky Charles to turn the building into their dream home, and she's believed to have helped them decorate the new nursery and yoga studio.

Vicky is behind the design of the trendy Soho Farmhouse, a favourite hangout of Meghan and Harry and where Meghan is believed to have spent three days on her hen do.

It was the perfect home for baby Archie (Image: PA)

However, the stunning Frogmore Cottage was the subject of a huge debate after Meghan and Harry decided to quit the royal family.

Despite stepping back from their duties and saying they wanted to be privately funded, they announced they planned to keep their Windsor home as their UK base.

In a statement on the Sussex Royal website, they said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom."

The announcement didn't go down well, and they faced public backlash over their continued claim to the cottage, which subsequently emerged as a key focus of the Queen's 'Megxit' negotiation deal.

Many people felt that as they're no longer working royals, they shouldn't live in a home which was refurbished at the expense of the taxpayer.

Meghan and Harry's final quitting deal saw them offer to reimburse the taxpayer for massive renovations costs.

Frogmore Cottage (Image: PA)

They could also be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in rent if they wish to continue using the home as they start their new life in LA.

The Queen made it clear the outgoing Duke and Duchess of Sussex should keep Frogmore in their landmark 'abdication' deal because she worried they might not otherwise return to the UK, the Mail reported at the time.

Sources told the newspaper that the Queen wanted Harry, Meghan and baby Archie to have a home in the UK to maintain the family's bond.

The source told the Mail: "It is very telling that the Queen makes clear [in her statement] that she has given them a home on her favourite estate and that they are going to keep it. She wants them to have a family home in the UK.

"But they were constantly being beaten up about the cost of the Frogmore renovations. So there was no hesitation in their mind of offering to pay the money back in order to be free of any public obligations."

In a statement released by the Queen after the negotiations, she said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home."

It sits in the grounds of Windsor Castle

Before their wedding, the couple lived at Harry's old bachelor pad - Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace.

It was just a few doors up from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and George, Charlotte and Louis.

It's also near where Harry's mum Diana lived.

They were also given the option to move into Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace - at cost of Sh534 million (£4million) in renovation.

However, they changed their minds and decided to make Windsor home instead.

However, the family moved to Canada after announcing their plans to quit and have now set up home in LA.

Share this article

RELATED STORIES

Stay Ahead!

Access premium content only available
to our subscribers.

Support independent journalism
×
Log in
Support independent journalism
Create an account    Forgot Password
Create An Account
Support independent journalism
I have an account Log in
Reset Password
Support independent journalism
Log in