·Yahoo UK royal reporter
Thu, 2 March 2023 at 3:58 pm GMT
There has been a wide variety of reaction to the news that Harry and Meghan are to be evicted from their UK home of Frogmore Cottage.
The late Queen handed them the five-bedroom property in 2019, and the couple are reported to have spent £2.4m refurbishing it — this was initially funded by the sovereign grant, but the couple agreed to repay it when they stepped back from life as working royals.
Harry and Meghan have been told they need to vacate the property by the early summer, and another member of the Royal Family has been offered the keys: Prince Andrew.
King Charles is understood to be trying to cut costs by moving his brother out of Royal Lodge — his long-term home — to the smaller cottage nearby on the Windsor Park estate.
Yahoo UK explores the different reactions these recent reports have garnered and how it illustrates how polarising the couple have become.
‘It’s over for them in the UK’
The Evening Standard has reported that a “well-placed source” has indicated life for the Sussexes in the UK is over.
The source is quoted as saying: “The Sussexes are no longer leasing Frogmore Cottage. That privilege has been removed. It’s over for them in the UK. If they want a residence in the UK they will have to buy one privately.”
The issue with buying a private residence for the Sussexes will be that it will not be afforded the same level of police protection as a royal residence would — a lack of police protection is something their spokesperson has previously said renders them “unable” to visit the UK.
The news also sparked the the type of slanging match that’s become a customary part of Piers Morgan’s popular presenting style — as he and historian Tessa Dunlop went head to head over the eviction.
Dunlop accused Morgan of “shouting [the couple] down since the Netflix thing came out”, whilst Morgan claimed to be “damn sure” Prince William wanted them to be evicted as much as the King.
- Harry and Meghan lose Frogmore Cottage as Palace ‘removes privilege’ (Evening Standard, 2 min)
- Piers Morgan and historian Tessa Dunlop row over royal backlash (Talk TV, 1 min)
Who is on Harry and Meghan’s side?
Some commentators and royal experts have defended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Author and lawyer Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu called King Charles’s decision to give his disgraced younger brother the property over his son and daughter-in-law “repugnant”.
Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt called it “cruel”.
“Much of the UK media will portray this eviction as a righteous act by a strong king.” Hunt tweeted.
“It’s anything but. Instead of building bridges the head of state is torching them. The banishment of his son is cruel, unnecessary and diminishes Charles.”
On Good Morning Britain, Duncan Larcombe — a former royal editor at The Sun — noted that Charles’s decision was a “change of tack” from the late Queen’s methods of rising above and staying out of the fray, and added that it was “Revenge, this is a petty move”.
Sarah Ferguson — Prince Andrew’s ex-wife — has said she has “no judgement for the Sussexes”.
- Duncan Larcombe brands eviction a ‘petty move’ (Good Morning Britain, 2 min)
Who is backing King Charles?
A lot of people have sided with the King and praised the decision to ask Meghan and Harry to vacate their UK home.
Dan Wootton — the columnist, GB News presenter and one-time recipient of Harry’s ire — praised King Charles for the move, tweeting: “Good on him.”
“I was concerned King Charles was being far too weak in his dealings with his treacherous son Prince Harry and destructive wife Meghan. But the decision to boot them from Frogmore Cottage after the unforgivable Spare is proof he isn’t going to take their c**p forever. Good on him.”
Writing for The Sun, Piers Morgan also praised the decision, noting if his son “publicly repeatedly trashed our family” he would behave similarly.
“If one of my three sons publicly repeatedly trashed our family in the way Harry’s trashed his, they wouldn’t be getting the ash from my annual Christmas Day cigar, let alone a luxury home.”
Royal biographer Angela Levin said it was “about time” the Sussexes got a response from the Royal Family and that “Evicting them from Frogmore Cottage is just the job.”