Home is where the hatred is: Meghan and Harry reportedly ‘evicted’ from Frogmore Cottage
Ahead of King Charles' coronation, the monarch has reportedly offered Harry and Meghan's U.K. residence to Prince Andrew.
Should the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — more familiarly known as Meghan and Harry — choose to attend King Charles’ coronation on May 6, they will reportedly not be able to stay at Frogmore Cottage, which was gifted to them by Queen Elizabeth. Following multiple reports out of the U.K., a spokesperson for the couple’s Archewell Foundation confirmed to People magazine that the Sussexes — and presumably, their two young children — “have been requested to vacate” the residence they have retained on the grounds of Windsor Castle, which King Charles has reportedly offered to the scandal-plagued Prince Andrew.
Buckingham Palace has yet to release a statement on what the BBC described as “a private family matter.” However, Yahoo UK Royal Executive Editor Omid Scobie, who also co-authored “Finding Freedom,” the bestselling chronicle of the couple’s divestment from the royal family, reported his sources said the move “has left Harry and Meghan stunned, and at least two members of the Royal Family ‘appalled.’”
A sense of surprise might be warranted, given that as Harry and Meghan further settled in California and loaned Prince Andrew’s daughter Princess Eugenie and her young family use of the residence in early 2021, a source stated, per People: “Frogmore Cottage continues to be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s residence in the U.K., and they are delighted to be able to open up their home to Princess Eugenie and Jack as they start their own family.”
That may no longer be the case, but the couple was all smiles as the news broke Tuesday night, and they dined out in Los Angeles, their first public outing since the publication of Harry’s bombshell memoir, “Spare.” In fact, reports that Meghan and Harry had been asked to relinquish Frogmore Cottage first surfaced in January, only days after the book’s publication, notes the BBC.
“Spare” included explosive claims about King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, and Princess Kate, and proved a new breaking point in the already tenuous reconciliation between the Sussexes and the British royal family. Following the couple’s March 2020 exodus from royal life, their subsequent interview with Oprah in March 2021 further strained the relationship, and despite the deaths of both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth in the nearly two years since, there has been little progress in repairing it. The rift deepened with both the publication of “Spare” and the December 2022 premiere of “Harry & Meghan,” the couple’s docuseries for Netflix.
Similarly, the Sussexes’ image and goodwill continue to suffer in the British media. British tabloid The Sun was the first to report the “eviction” of the couple from their U.K. home, a term gleefully latched onto as the news made the rounds in international media. Notably, The Sun is the same outlet that published a deeply misogynistic op-ed by Jeremy Clarkson in which the columnist proclaimed his visceral hatred for Meghan and fantasized that she be paraded naked through the streets and shamed, as was a character in a scene from “Game of Thrones.” It’s also worth noting that in addition to Meghan’s successful legal battle against another British tabloid, The Daily Mail, at least one analysis revealed a “coordinated” campaign of social media hate against the former actress-turned-princess.
As noted by a Sussex spokesperson in response to Clarkson: “[T]his is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate.”
Nevertheless, Harry has continued to declare his hope for an eventual reconciliation with his estranged family, telling ITV’s Tom Bradby in January [h/t People], “the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed, and I really hope that they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
There is also no reason to assume the Sussexes had any immediate intention of giving up their U.K. residence. In 2019 they refurbished the property at their own expense, converting it from a 10-bedroom estate into a five-bedroom, single-family home and eventually reimbursing taxpayer money used to do so through the Sovereign Grant. The couple even celebrated daughter Lilibet’s first birthday at Frogmore Cottage while visiting the U.K. in 2022. Harry and Meghan have not confirmed their attendance at King Charles’ coronation, which takes place on the same date as son Archie’s fourth birthday. As of early February, an invitation hadn’t been extended.
Coincidentally, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is also provided residence by the Sovereign Grant and has long lived in the nearby Royal Lodge, a 31-bedroom estate he shares with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Having fallen into disgrace following revelations of his longstanding friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and settling the civil sexual assault case brought against him by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre for an undisclosed sum, Andrew has also stepped down as a working royal. As a result, the BBC reports he is rumored to soon have his annual grant cut, forcing him to downsize by August of this year.
“He is said to be resisting the offer of the smaller property, according to a source quoted by the Sun,” the BBC reports.
TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black‘ with Maiysha Kai.