Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle), said they have been “requested to vacate” their UK residence, Frogmore Cottage, following a report that King Charles III evicted the couple from the property shortly after the publication of Harry’s autobiography, Spare.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that they have been asked to move their belongings out of the property, which is located on the grounds of Windsor Castle and has been used by the couple (and their children Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1) on their trips to the UK following their 2020 move to California.
UK tabloid the Sun broke the news of Harry and Meghan’s forced departure from Frogmore Cottage on Tuesday, reporting that the King made the decision to evict the couple “days after his son’s controversial memoir Spare was released.”
In his memoir, Harry made many headline-grabbing revelations, including an accusation that members of his family and their staffers had leaked stories about him and his wife to the press, and revealed that his brother, Prince William, knocked him to the ground during a fight about Meghan. The book, published Jan. 10, has set massive, record-breaking sales numbers and as of Jan. 17 is officially the UK’s bestselling nonfiction book since the industry began keeping track in 1998.
According to the Sun, the King plans to offer the property to his brother Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. Andrew, a longtime friend of financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was forced to step back from royal life when one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, said she had been sexually assaulted by the duke. Andrew denied the allegations, but in 2022 settled a lawsuit brought against him by Giuffre for an undisclosed amount.
Queen Elizabeth II granted Harry and Meghan the use of Frogmore Cottage in 2018. The building underwent massive renovations, which were funded by the Crown Estate at an estimated cost of £2.4 million ($3.1 million). The couple reimbursed UK taxpayers for the cost of the repairs when they officially exited royal life in 2020 and have been leasing the home since.
Frogmore Cottage has nonetheless remained the Sussexes’ home away from home, a fact that was made clear in intimate family footage included in the Sussex-produced Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, released in December. The final episode featured pictures of the duke, duchess, and their children in and on the grounds outside of Frogmore Cottage during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. They also held their daughter’s first birthday party at the property during that visit.
As Yahoo News royal executive editor (and Sussex biographer) Omid Scobie pointed out in a story calling the eviction a “cruel punishment,” the loss of Frogmore Cottage means that Harry and Meghan will face significant security concerns on future trips: Though the couple have private security, they are no longer granted police protection while in the UK. The duke is currently suing the UK government for the right to obtain police protection for himself and his family while they are traveling in the country.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment.