Buckingham Palace released their annual financial report on Monday and in it is revealed exactly how much the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent on renovating their Windsor family home, Frogmore Cottage.
The Grade-II building, which was gifted to Prince Harry and Meghan by the Queen, was in need of extensive renovations both inside and out, re-working it from the five-apartment staff quarters building it had been turned into, back to its original form as a five-bedroom house.
While previous reports estimated that the couple used more than £3 million (NZD $5.75 million) of British tax payer's money for the renovations, the new financial report shows the couple in fact spent less – around £2.4 million (NZD $4.6 million) to be exact.
While $4.6 million still sounds like a hefty amount for a couple to spend on their first family home, the cost is just a small part of a larger amount of money spent by the Queen for maintenance of the royal palaces over the past year – the 10-year restoration project of Buckingham Palace cost £32.9 million (NZD $41.9 million) this year alone.
This is largely funded by the annual Sovereign Grant given to the Queen by the UK Government to maintain the royal palaces on behalf of the nation, People reports, with officials estimating the total cost of the monarchy equates to just £1.24 per British citizen a year.
In comparison to the Frogmore Cottage renovations, the Sovereign Grant report in 2014 revealed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had spent £4.5 million on the renovation of their apartment, A1, at Kensington Palace for their them and their family.
Talking to press at Buckingham Palace, Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said Frogmore Cottage had been "earmarked for renovation in line with our responsibility to maintain the condition of the occupied Royal Palaces Estate."
According to Town & Country Magazine, palace sources say the major work undertaken included the removal and replacement of defective ceiling beams and floor joists as well the replacement of a heating system that was "outdated and inefficient", and not up to modern environmental standards.
Talking to People, a source said the amount of money used from the Sovereign Grant by the Sussexes only covered aspects of the renovations that were not moveable – therefore all the furniture, interior decorating and the cottage gardens were paid by Harry and Meghan themselves.
"All fixtures and fittings were paid for by their Royal Highnesses," the source tells People.
"Curtains, furnishings – all that would be paid separately, paid privately."
While previous reports had stated that a yoga studio with a 'floating floor' had been installed in their home, this has proven to not be the case, with the floating floor in question, referring the fact they were not able to uplift the original flooring of the building, so placed "floating" timber on top of the old floor board.
Harry and Meghan moved out of their cottage at Kensington Palace and into their Frogmore Cottage home in early April, after the house on the Windsor estate underwent a complete overhaul which began in November 2018.
The move was just in time for the couple to settle in before welcoming their first child, Archie, in early May with sources close to the couple have previously revealed they are loving the space and privacy that Windsor affords them.
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