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Taxpayers’ £2m wedding gift to duke and duchess

Grace and waver: Royals after their wedding

THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s home near Windsor Castle has been renovated with £2.4million of public money, royal accounts reveal.

Frogmore Cottage underwent major work to convert it from five properties to a single residence for Harry and Meghan and baby son Archie.

The couple, who married last year, paid for all the fixtures and fittings themselves. Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens said: ‘The property had not been the subject of work for some years and had already been earmarked for renovation in line with our responsibility to maintain the condition of the occupied royal palaces.’

A royal source said the six-month renovation included replacing defective beams and joists, rewiring and updating heating systems. The £2.4million was paid from the Sovereign Grant, accounts for which show taxpayers contributed £67million in 2018/19, up by almost £20million.

Much of the rise resulted from repairs at Buckingham Palace. Leaving aside such projects, the amount granted to fund the work of the Queen and official royal travel rose by £3.6million to £49.3million.