It looks like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be spending even less time in the United Kingdom than originally thought. Mere days after the Queen called an emergency meeting to sort through the Sussexes’ surprise announcement that they are stepping back as senior members of the royal family, new reports about the status of the couple’s current U.K. residence suggest they may be prepping to have a stronger stay elsewhere in the world.
Frogmore Cottage, where Meghan and Harry have lived since before the birth of their newborn son Archie, is possibly in the process of closing down, according to several news outlets. Last year, the Queen offered the cottage, which sits on the larger Frogmore Estate in Windsor, to the Sussexes so they could begin to nest and settle in as a family with the arrival of baby Archie.
Now that they plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America, particularly in Canada, many have speculated about the future of the property and whether the couple will continue to use it as a home base during their visits across the pond.
“Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage — with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen — as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy,” reads the funding section of their new website.
So, when it comes to the future of Frogmore Cottage, what is the truth? Reports indicate that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in the process of laying off the Estate staff, though that may not be the case just yet. “No members of staff have been let go,” a royal aide told Harper’s BAZAAR. “In quiet periods staff are often redeployed elsewhere around the estate.” The aide also indicated that the original reports were a stretch from the truth.
Whatever the case may be, these new reports that staff members at the cottage are either being laid off or “redeployed” elsewhere further indicate that the Sussexes will be substantially scaling back their U.K. presence moving forward. This means the couple will be able to focus on their new lives as not-so-senior royals and on becoming financially independent from the Queen.
We all know breaking up is hard to do. But severing ties with a centuries-old monarchy? Well, that’s a whole different level of complicated.