Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to repay taxpayers for home renovation

Last March, the couple moved out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage, just ahead of baby Archie's arrival in May.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

On Saturday, Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle announced they intend to repay taxpayers for renovations made on their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage.

The announcement from Buckingham Palace comes after the couple said they wanted to "step back" from their roles as senior members of the British royal family and live a more independent life.

"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 said in a statement.

In March, the pair moved out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage, just ahead of baby Archie's arrival in May. According to their website, they chose that location because their previous residence, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, “could not accommodate their growing family."

Frogmore Cottage was already being renovated when the couple chose to move there. The renovations were done because it’s the monarchy’s responsibility to maintain buildings with historical significance, but Harry and Meghan footed the bill for other updates, the site said.

“Expenses related to fixtures, furnishings, and fittings at the official residence — which is owned by Her Majesty the Queen — were funded privately by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the Sussex Royal website said.

The Buckingham Palace statement on Saturday also announced that the pair will no longer use "royal highness" titles and they also won't receive public money for their public duties going forward.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family," Queen Elizabeth II said in her own statement that was released alongside the Buckingham Palace statement. "I recognize 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."

The queen also said she hopes that Harry and Meghan will be able "to start building a happy and peaceful new life."