Prince Harry and Meghan Markle must re-pay $4.7m for Frogmore Cottage renovation

Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

When taxpayers spent £2.4 million ($4.5m) renovating Frogmore Cottage for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, many expressed their outrage.

It turns out they weren't alone.

The Queen was "privately unhappy" with how much Harry and Meghan spent renovating the cottage and the monarch is even less pleased now that Frogmore staff are having to be "redeployed" after the couple's bombshell announcement that they intend to move to Canada.

Photo / Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have to repay the NZ$4.7 million of taxpayers' money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home.

The repayment is part of the deal the couple has struck with the Royal family in order to step down from their senior roles with the British monarchy.

The decision was reached today after Palace aides spent days thrashing out a new arrangement for the young couple.

Workers are "already being offered other roles at Buckingham Palace", according to a source who spoke to the Daily Mail.

"There is a skeleton staff there all the time, consisting of one cleaner and a house manager," the source said. "Others work as and when needed."

"This has all come as a bit of shock," the source added.

"They took great pride in working for them and being at Frogmore."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say the cottage will remain their official residence as they "continue to support the monarchy", so their family "will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom".

However, sources say it is unlikely Meghan will ever return to the UK to live.

The couple will also lose their HRH titles and will no longer receive any public funds.

They will no longer represent the Queen in an official capacity.

The Queen said in a statement: "Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family.

"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.

"It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

"As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments.

"They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties. With the Queen's blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations.

"While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.

"The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.

"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. Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements.

"There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security. This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020."

This article was originally published by NZ Herald and reproduced here with permission.