The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been asked by the British Monarchy to vacate Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s official UK residence.
‘We can confirm The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage,’ the Couple’s spokesperson said to CNN.
The statement comes after a report in British newspaper The Sun reported that King Charles III has offered the property to one of his brothers, Prince Andrew, whose royal titles were stripped following allegations that he was involved in an underage sex abuse scandal, alongside Jeffrey Epstein.
Buckingham Palace in a statement on Wednesday, March 1 said it would be offering no comment with royal sources saying it was a private family matter.
Prince Harry and Meghan now reside in the United States but had retained the early 19th-century property as their UK base.
The house was gifted to the Sussexes when they were married by the late Queen Elizabeth II, and the cottage is nestled in a corner of the Windsor estate, west of London.
They refurbished the property and moved in shortly before the arrival of their son Archie in May 2019.
However, the renovation sparked controversy after the couple stepped back from public life and it emerged £2.4 million (about $3 million) of British taxpayers’ money had been used on the cottage’s refurbishments.
They have since paid back the public money following their relocation to California.
Works including the removal of a chimney, re-finishing the roof, new staircases, fireplace installations and a new ‘floating’ wooden floor were detailed in planning application documents to the local council.
The cost of all fittings, fixtures and furnishings were paid for privately by the duke and duchess.
The Sussexes stayed at the property when they returned to the UK last year, including when they attended the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations during the summer.
Prince Andrew currently resides nearby at the Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate.
The Duke of York also stepped back from royal duties in 2019 after a disastrous interview about his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein engulfed the family in an unprecedented crisis.
The relationship between the Sussexes and the rest of the British royal family was tense following this split — also dubbed ‘Megxit.’
But the relations between the two parties has only worsened following the couple’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, the release of the their Netflix documentary series and the publication of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, in January.
This latest move by King Charles to remove his son from the royal family’s estate seems to indicate the relationship has soured even further, outside watchers say.