bitchy | Are Prince Harry & Meghan cancelling the lease on their Cotswold cottage?


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

A weird thing happened last week: I wrote about something related to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the story barely got any comments! I actually found it interesting though – less than a year ago, Harry and Meghan did a long-term lease on a “Cotswolds cottage.” They were apparently fine with not receiving a country estate from the Queen for their wedding, so they seemed content to just do a long-term rental of this home. In the past year, photos of the cottage had not been revealed or widely circulated (because I never saw any). Then, last week, suddenly the Sun got the exclusive look at the Cotswold country cottage. It looked charming and English-country, but not really a cottage (nor was it an “estate” or mansion to be clear, it was just a nice-sized converted farmhouse). So, just after we got to see the first photos of the cottage, what happens? Suddenly, Meghan and Harry don’t want to live there anymore? And it might be about money? What the what?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to move out of their Cotswolds bolthole within weeks. The couple took a two-year lease on the £2.5million former farmhouse in a picturesque hamlet in the run-up to their wedding last year and spend most weekends there. Friends say it gives Harry and Meghan the chance to escape the ‘goldfish bowl’ of royal life at Kensington Palace, where they live in two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage.

It had been anticipated that the couple, who are expecting their first child in April, would keep the house on after moving from London to Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor estate this spring. But the Daily Mail has learnt that the couple will be cancelling the lease early and moving out in March.

One source suggested yesterday that the sudden move is down to the fact they are struggling to pay for the upkeep of two properties, particularly as the building works on Frogmore Cottage are expected to cost up to £3million. While taxpayers will shoulder the bulk of the bill, Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, are having to pay for all the fixtures and fittings themselves.

However, another source insisted that finance was not an issue and suggested that the real reason behind the move was security. The isolated luxury home, which the Mail has chosen not to identify, is near the trendy private members’ retreat Soho Farmhouse, where many of Meghan’s UK-based friends hang out. The estate, owned by multi-millionaire Old Etonian Nicholas Johnston, lies eight miles north-east of Chipping Norton and is at the heart of an area described as ‘Poshfordshire’ thanks to its regular celebrity visitors and weekend residents.

[From The Daily Mail]

First and foremost, it’s not a financial issue. It just isn’t. Harry has his inheritance, Meghan has her own money, and security is paid for by the taxpayer. Meghan and Harry aren’t spending their money to “fix up” a RENTAL property either – the homeowner, Nicholas Johnston, would need to pay for any renovations to his own property, don’t you think? That angle of the story – that Meghan and Harry are suddenly poor or pinching pennies – is utter bullsh-t and just another careful piece of Meg Slander.

What I think is happening is that Nicholas Johnston got word that Meghan and Harry were moving out, and that’s why we suddenly got photos of the property – Johnston is looking for new renters, or he’s looking to sell the place at a big mark-up because the Sussexes lived there. As for why they’re moving out? I suspect they have several reasons, and none of them are financial. For one, Frogmore Cottage is their new “country house” so why do they need a place in Cotswold? Two, perhaps they’re looking to buy and not rent now that they have a better idea of what their future needs will be. Three, it’s possible that the Queen has already told them that she’ll be giving them some property when they welcome little Royal Polo Baby. She gave Anmer Hall to the Cambridges right after George was born, so she does seem to like to mark a birth with some royal property.

Sussex Birkenhead visit

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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