03:12PM, Thursday 09 January 2020
Duke and Duchess on their wedding day (Photo: Emma Sheppard)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hope to keep Frogmore Cottage as their official UK residence despite announcing their plans to step back from Royal duties.
The Royal couple intend to keep the property in Home Park, Windsor, as ‘a place to call home in the United Kingdom’ as they prepare to spend more time abroad.
In a shock message posted online on Wednesday evening, the Duke and Duchess said: “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
A statement on their new sussexroyal.com website said the couple ‘will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence’.
Last year it was revealed refurbishments on the cottage cost £2.4million. They were paid for using Sovereign Grant money, which is funded by Crown Estate profits.
Work was completed in March, two months before the birth of the couple’s first child Archie.
The move to Windsor was decided as ‘their previous residence of Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace could not accommodate their growing family’.
Subsequently, the Queen offered the couple the use of Frogmore Cottage ahead of the birth of their son.
The website states the Duke and Duchess ‘value the ability to earn a professional income’ which they are both prohibited from doing under the current structure.
It adds: “For this reason they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence.
“Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally.”
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage.
“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
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