MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry reportedly spent taxpayer cash on TWO orangeries and a floating floor as part of their £2.4million home refurb.
The Frogmore Cottage residence also boasts a designer kitchen – part of a makeover which will cost nearly £3million when all the costs are added.
Harry and Meghan’s refurb of their Frogmore Cottage home has so far cost taxpayers a whopping £2.4million[/caption]
When all the costs are added included, its likely the couple will have spent £3million on the house – which was a gift from the Queen[/caption]
Frogmore was formerly made up of five “dormitory-style units”, which were used as staff accommodation.
So the project to turn the building into one large five-bedroom home was a complicated and costly job.
The Daily Mail reported that all the old staircases have been removed and new doors created.
A source told the paper the old original chimney stacks have been transformed to accommodate fashionable log burners.
Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council also reportedly approved plans for two orangeries.
It’s also understood that planners required the couple to have a “floating floor” in the kitchen.
Builders were not able to remove an existing floor, so they reportedly laid timber on top of the old floor.
Royal accounts show work on the couple’s home has so far cost the public far more than original estimates, sparking fury from campaigners.
Their five-bedroom property — a gift from the Queen — is said to have required a “substantial overhaul” before they were able to move in, including new heating, wiring and utilities.
But the public also coughed up for the kitchen, bathrooms and even fitted wardrobes and storage, as well as a renowned interior designer.
However, officials said the couple did pay for their own “fixtures and fittings”.
The books for all the royals show the monarchy cost the taxpayer £82.2million last year.
TRUE COST TO TAXPAYER WILL BE CLOSER TO £3MILLION
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, moved into their new home in April, a month before baby Archie Harrison was born.
When the Sun last year revealed their planned relocation, officials tried to downplay the cost, saying it would be closer to £1.5million. But accounts yesterday revealed the refurbishment of the property near Windsor Castle cost £2.4million in the financial year to April alone.
Any work carried out since then has not been included, and the exterior has yet to be repainted — so the true cost is expected to be closer to £3million.
The books revealed major work was undertaken to turn five properties back to a single home.
A luxury kitchen was installed, while an existing studio with a bedroom was renovated, and fireplaces, floors and staircases replaced.
Meghan chose eco-friendly, toxin-free and vegan paint for the redecoration, which was reportedly overseen by designer Vicky Charles.
She was responsible for the interiors of Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, a hotel and members’ club popular with celebs.
Interior work at Soho Farmhouse[/caption]
Revealing the royal accounts, Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, insisted that Frogmore Cottage had been neglected and needed doing up.
He said: “The property had not been the subject of work for some years and had already been earmarked for renovation.”
He added: “The building was returned to a single residence and outdated infrastructure was replaced to guarantee the long-term future of the property. “Substantially all fixtures and fittings were paid for by Their Royal Highnesses.”
A royal source said defective wooden ceiling beams and floor joists were replaced, while inefficient heating systems were also updated. The home also needed substantial electrical rewiring and new gas and water mains installed.
The main renovation took around six months but some work is still outstanding, such as repainting the exterior and landscaping the grounds.
Palace sources said that cost will not be revealed as it is “part of a five-year repainting and repair programme”.
‘BLATANT MISUSE OF PUBLIC MONEY’
They also said there was a cap on installations such as kitchens and bathrooms, and the couple had to pay extra if they wanted a more bespoke version.
Accounts for the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen and her household’s official expenses, show the monarchy cost the taxpayer £82.2million in 2018/19, or £1.24 per person in the UK.
It spent £67million of that — a year-on-year rise of almost £20million — thanks partly to work at Buckingham Palace.
The latest revelations sparked fury among republican campaigners, who called for an inquiry into a “blatant misuse of public money”.
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Graham Smith, of the Republic pressure group, said: “This year’s increases are outrageous at a time of widespread spending cuts.
“If even one school or hospital is facing cuts we cannot justify spending a penny on the royals.
“Yet with all public services under intense financial pressure we throw £2.4million at a new house for Harry.”
The five-bedroom property — a gift from the Queen — is said to have required a substantial overhaul before Meghan and Harry were able to move in, including new heating, wiring and utilities[/caption]