THE Queen has demanded Harry and Meghan pay back the £2.4million of taxpayers’ money spent turning Frogmore Cottage into their dream home after quitting “the Firm.”
As payback for quitting royal duties, the pair will foot the huge cost of refurbishing their Windsor residence — where they only moved in last April.
The couple decided to leave Kensington Palace for the Grade II-listed property, which was a gift from The Queen.
Now it’s suspected that the couple could face paying £30,000 in rent a month in order to retain Frogmore Cottage – even though they will spend most of the year abroad.
Builders worked around the clock for about six months so they could move in before the birth of baby Archie.
But right from the start, the move was blighted by controversy over the excessive cost to the taxpayer.
Royal expert and author Robert Jobson said at the time: “It’s cost far too much money.
“They should have seen this coming. They could have avoided this by moving next to William and Kate (at Kensington Palace).”
He added: “The way this has been handled is not ideal.”
The property was totally overhauled by the pair. The project involved knocking five separate houses into one larger residence.
NOT A PENNY MORE
It needed extensive rewiring — including a new electrical substation — and the installation of modern gas and water mains.
The public paid for the kitchen, bathrooms and even fitted wardrobes, as well as the services of a renowned interior designer.
Wooden ceiling beams and floor joists were also replaced while inefficient heating systems were updated.
However, officials said Harry and Meghan did pay for their own “fixtures and fittings”.
Taxpayers also footed an estimated £750,000 bill for security, with more than 20 officers from the Met Police and Thames Valley guarding the property.
Some £20,000 was also spent on shielding the extensive project from the public eye.
The main renovation took around six months but further work was needed on the exterior and landscaping of the grounds.
The nursery was said to be kitted out with latest tech, including cameras, security windows, and a “mood screen”.
REPAY PUBLIC MONEY
And ready for Archie’s arrival it was decorated with organic gender-neutral paint.
Meghan had spoken of the positive vibes she gets from music, and a sound system was installed throughout the cottage.
It was reported some £50,000 of their own money was spent soundproofing their new home to block out the noise of Heathrow planes flying above.
Around 14 flights pass within a mile of the home every half an hour.
Meghan was said to have worked closely with the builders throughout and was heavily involved in the decorating and design.
Her tennis ace pal Serena Williams also offered her style advice with a friend revealing she “played a massive role in helping design it”.
The couple ordered alcove bookcases to go next to newly installed fireplaces and vanity units.
There were said to be luxurious Nepalese cashmere throws in their living room, plus myriad cushions and large photographic books.
Builders were seen on cranes putting in chimney liners for fashionable log burners.
Plans were also approved for two orangeries for the couple to enjoy in the summer months.
A royal source said at the time: “Natural light is important for the Sussexes as Meghan misses the LA sunshine.”
HAVING HIS SAY
Sources said the couple also paid personally to install an “eco-boiler” housed in its own building on the premises which supplies endless hot water and low-carbon heat.
Meghan installed a vegetable garden in the grounds and plans were being discussed for a tennis or badminton court.
It was a race against time to get Harry and Meghan moved in before Archie was born in May.
And the “demanding” couple reportedly insisted on several changes throughout the works.
A royal source said last March: “It’s been all hands to the pump. The builders have worked all week whatever the weather.
“But they keep making changes, particularly on the layout.
“The word is they’ve been quite demanding, which is understandable as what homeowner doesn’t want their house to be perfect?”
The Queen was said to be “privately furious” at the money spent on refurbishment only for Harry and Meghan to subsequently announce they would be moving abroad.
It was revealed this week that the couple’s staff at the cottage were being “let go”.
Employees hired on an ad-hoc basis, such as chefs, maids and footmen, have been told their services are no longer required.
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At least two permanent employees — a house manager and cleaner — are being moved to other duties within the Queen’s household.
Sources said Harry and Meghan operated Frogmore with a “skeleton staff” and nobody was being made redundant.
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