A not-so-royal surprise. King Charles III’s decision to evict Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from their royal residence at Frogmore Cottage is one the couple didn’t see coming, a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly.
“The word is that this is both a blow and a shock to them, especially given the timing [right after the release of Harry’s memoir, Spare], but there’s nothing they can really do,” the insider says.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation confirmed the request to Us on March 1, noting that Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, were “requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.” Weeks earlier, the prince had released his tell-all memoir, Spare, in which he made multiple allegations against his father, 74, and older brother Prince William.
According to the source, supporters of the Sussexes — who stepped down from their senior royal duties in 2020 — think that “Charles could just as easily have kept it open for them if he’d wanted to but it seems clear he doesn’t.”
On the other hand, “King Charles maintains the royal family regaining Frogmore is being done for practical purposes,” the insider notes. “The official line will be that the Sussexes are so rarely in the home and it needs to be occupied and maintained by a full-time resident.”
When it comes to who Charles could pick to fill the soon-to-be-empty residence, the source shares, “He feels it would be far more suitable for [Prince] Andrew, who of course is no longer a serving royal yet [and] still has business to remain in the local area.” Andrew, 63, stepped down from his duties as a senior royal in 2019 amid sexual assault allegations, and was later stripped of his royal patronages and military affiliations in January 2022.
Given that Charles’ relationship with his younger son and daughter-in-law has been strained for years — and perhaps only more so since the January release of Spare — the insider says, “It’s not hard to put two and two together and deduce that they’ve lost currency with him as well as the rest of the royals.”
Ultimately, Frogmore Cottage is “the property of the Crown Estate, meaning Charles still has control and the final say on who dwells there at the end of the day,” the source tells Us.
The decision to remove Harry and Meghan from Frogmore was likely a difficult one for the monarch to make, as royal expert Angela Levin exclusively told Us on February 7 that Charles has maintained a soft spot for his youngest son.
“King Charles is a monarch, but he’s also a father,” Levin shared. “He loves Harry. He might not like what he’s doing, but he loves him and there’s a weakness there for him. He doesn’t want to lose him as a son.”
For more on the latest royal family drama, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.