Prince Harry renews soon-to-expire lease on Frogmore Cottage – making him still eligible to serve the Queen as a Counsellor because he has a UK address despite living in California
Prince Harry has renewed his lease on Frogmore Cottage and will continue to deputise for the Queen, despite living abroad.
The Duke of Sussex, who lives in California with his wife Meghan Markle and their two children, Archie and Lilibet, is eligible to continue serving his grandmother as one of her four Counsellors of State because he qualifies as being domiciled in Britain due to his old Windsor address.
Princess Eugenie, husband Jack Brooksbank and their son August are reported to have been living at the cottage while the Sussexes are in the US.
He and the Duchess of Sussex have decided to renew the lease on the cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, which is due to run out on March 31
The Sussexes paid back the £2.4m of renovations to the Windsor home, including rent up to March 2022
The Sussexes paid back the £2.4m of renovations to the Windsor home, including rent up to March 2022.
Details of Harry’s UK living arrangements have become a constitutional matter due to his role as one of the Queen’s four Counsellors of State.
As the four adults next in line to the throne, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York are able to undertaken some of the Queen’s duties if she is temporarily indisposed.
The issue was clear earlier this year when the Duke of Cambridge was overseas while the Prince of Wales was isolating with coronavirus.
Prince Andrew has stepped down from public duties since his Newsnight interview about his friendship with Jeffery Epstein.
This week, he paid out a reported £12m to Virginia Guiffre to settle a US civil lawsuit in which he was accused of sexual assault and rape when Ms Guiffre was under age.
Counsellors of State must be over 21 to act for the Queen and can only be changed through legislation, according to Buckingham Palace. The decision on any changes lie with Parliament.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured together in Brixton, south London in 2018
Before moving into their nine-bedroom, £10 million home in Montecito, California, the Sussexes were given the use of a mansion (above) owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry, who also provided the couple with security
Constitutional experts claim this would not happen unless the Queen requested it, as she has done previously, allowing the Queen Mother and her late husband Prince Philip to step into her shoes.
At the Queen’s request, counsellors are able to carry out most of her official duties such as signing documents and Privy Council meetings. They cannot play a larger role, such as appointing a Prime Minister, and can only dissolve Parliament with instruction from the Queen.
It is thought the Duchess of Cornwall could be made an additional Counsellor of State following the Queen’s announcement, expressing her wish for Camilla to be known as Queen Consort when her son, Prince Charles, takes the throne.
Camilla is set to become a Counsellor of State upon the accession of Prince Charles as the wife of the monarch.
Earlier this week, Harry said he still considers the UK to be his home, but feels unsafe visiting with his family because of security arrangements.
Harry last returned to the UK for the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace with his brother William in July
He wants to return to the UK for the service of thanksgiving for his grandfather Philip which will be held at Westminster Abbey on March 29,
The Duke is currently in a legal battle and is suing the UK Government over a decision not to allow him to pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.
The Home Office have claimed his offer was ‘notably not advanced’ to the Royal and VIP Executive Committee (Ravec) when he came for the Diana statue unveiling in June.