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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been asked to leave Frogmore Cottage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex pictured on April 17, 2022.
Peter Dejong
/
AP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex pictured on April 17, 2022.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to vacate Frogmore Cottage, the couple's official U.K. residence, the couple's representative confirmed to NPR.

The British newspaper The Sun has reported that King Charles III has offered the property to one of his brothers, Prince Andrew, whose royal titles were stripped following allegations that he was involved in an underage sex abuse scandal, alongside Jeffrey Epstein.

Buckingham Palace has not responded to NPR's request for comment on those reports or on the decision to evict the Sussexes.

Prince Harry and Meghan have lived in California following a highly publicized split from the British royal family three years ago. The couple have since given up formal royal roles and some titles, but they maintained the Frogmore home for visits to the U.K. The lease for the cottage, which is near Windsor castle, was given to the couple as a gift when they were married.

The relationship between the Sussexes and the rest of the British royal family was tense following this split — also dubbed "Megxit." But the relations between the two parties has only worsened following the couple's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, the release of the their Netflix documentary series and the publication of Prince Harry's memoir, Spare, in January. This latest move by King Charles to remove his son from the royal family's estate seems to indicate the relationship has soured even further, outside watchers say.

Spare pulled no puncheswhen it came to discussing issues within the royal family. Among other things, Harry wrote about his arguments and at least one physical fight with his brother, Prince William, who is the future king. Harry has also gone on the record multiple times criticizing the royal family for its perceived complicity in his wife's suffering during their time as working royals.

There are wider implications here for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, other reports indicate.

The cottage was not just a residence, but a crucial and secure place for their family to reside when in the U.K., according to Omid Scobie, Yahoo News' royal executive editor. The couple's armed security protection was removed following their departure from the U.K.. But the Windsor Estate, and thus Frogmore, is covered by the Metropolitan Police's Royalty and Specialist Protection Unit.

"Though the Sussexes travel with their own private security team, royal protection officers provide a level of security – including access to essential intelligence information – that is already deemed necessary for other members of the Royal Family," Scobie wrote.

The family likely would've stayed at the cottage for King Charles' coronation set for May. It's unclear whether they will be in attendance.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.