Where will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stay during Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?
The scheduled June visit to the UK, which comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a secret visit to the Queen last month before travelling to The Hague, Netherlands for the Invictus Games, will mark the first time the 96-year-old monarch has met the couple’s daughter, Lilibet Diana, 11 months.
However, the visit also raises the question of where the couple will stay during their time in the UK.
According to The Sun, the duke and duchess, their daughter, and their son, Archie Harrison, three, will stay in their old home, Frogmore Cottage, during their time in the UK, as the outlet reported that “heightened security measures” are already being put in place ahead of the Sussexes arrival.
The couple lived in the Windsor home before they stepped back from their roles in the royal family and relocated to the US in April 2020. However, at the time, it was reported that the duke and duchess, who undertook a $3m renovation of the cottage, would continue to keep the residence so that they would still have a home in the UK.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home,” Buckingham Palace confirmed in 2020.
In February 2022, it was also reported that the couple, who currently live in California with their children, had renewed their lease of Frogmore Cottage.
According to The Telegraph, which noted that the lease was set to expire on 31 March, the duke renewed the lease on the home so that he could continue serving as one of the Queen’s four counsellors of state.
On the official Royal Family website, it states that the counsellors of state will be appointed by Letters Patent to act in Her Majesty’s place in the event that the Queen “cannot undertake her official duties as Sovereign on a temporary basis due to illness or absence abroad”.
The current counsellors of state are Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
However, in order to continue being a counsellor, Prince Harry had to be “domiciled” in the UK.
As Prince Harry and Meghan have only returned to the UK together once since they stepped down from royal duties, Frogmore Cottage has since become the residence of the duke’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her husband, Jack Brooksbank. The couple live in Frogmore Cottage with their one-year-old son August.
According to The Sun, it is expected that Princess Eugenie and Jack will host the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the guest rooms of Frogmore Cottage during their visit to the UK next month.
The duke also stayed in the residence when he returned home to attend his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April of last year.
While Prince Harry, Meghan, and their children will attend the weekend of celebrations, they will not be appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour, as the Queen has limited the balcony appearance during her official birthday celebration to working members of the royal family only.
The decision means that Prince Andrew, who stepped down from public duties in 2019, will also not be present on the balcony during the Thursday 2 June celebration.
Although the Sussexes will not be present on the balcony during the monarch’s birthday parade, they are likely to make appearances during other celebrations over the weekend commemorating the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
“Other family members will be invited to events. We’ve always made that clear and they are likely to be public events,” a palace source said.
The confirmation that the Sussexes will be returning for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations comes amid Prince Harry’s case against the Home Office over police protection in the UK.
Harry brought a claim against the Home Office earlier this year to challenge the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), which told him he would no longer be given the “same degree” of personal protective security when visiting from the US.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with a four-day public holiday starting 2 June and ending 5 June.