Anger as King could offer Sussexes taxpayer-funded accommodation

Duncan Larcombe says King has played into Harry and Meghan’s hands

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be offered an apartment in Buckingham Palace by King Charles III after they were asked to vacate their UK residence of Frogmore Cottage. However, a new poll has shown that 73 percent do not support them taking up this accommodation offer.

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The King is offering the Duke and Duchess of Sussex an “olive branch” by allowing them to stay at Buckingham Palace on future visits to the UK.

Palace sources told the Mail on Sunday that the couple is set to be offered a suite of rooms, which previously belonged to Prince Andrew, whenever they need it.

A source told the publication that the King has “no wish to deprive the Sussexes of a base in the UK”. They added: “London is a better fit. The Sussexes have always wanted rooms at Buckingham Palace. They could have Andrew’s old rooms there, which are currently being vacated.”

Buckingham Palace is the official administrative headquarters for the Royal Family and many members have offices and accommodation at the central London property.

In a poll that ran from 1pm on Monday, March 6, to 11am on Wednesday, March 8, asked readers: “Should Meghan and Harry accept the King’s olive branch and have a UK base in Buckingham Palace?”

Overall, 4,277 votes were cast, with the vast majority of readers, 73 percent (2,123 people), answering “no” they should not accept the King’s offer.

In contrast, 24 percent (1,033 people) said “yes” they should, and a further three percent (121 people) said they did not know either way.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the King’s offer.

Many readers commented that the couple should not be offered a permanent base in any royal property. Username Cal007 wrote: “No, they shouldn’t be offered anything.”

Username liquarise said: “They should not use any residences that we pay for at all. They are not royal.”

Similarly, username amberamerican said: “Non-working royals should not have offices or ‘apartments’ in Buckingham Palace. They have no royal business to conduct, and should therefore be a guest when visiting their family, in their family’s home, like any of us do when travelling to visit our loved ones.”

Another, username Sidenada, remarked: “They should not avail of any property belonging to the Crown Estates. If Charles wants to put them up in his private residences he can do so.”

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Username Guinevere said: “This disloyal duo should not be accommodated in any Crown property, for any reason. It is an affront to the public.”

Username Valantine added: “No they should not be given any accommodation whatsoever. They are no longer working royals. If they want to visit then they should book a hotel or a B&B like the rest of us.”

And username JanetWCQ1958 said: “No, free them a guest room for the duration of their visit if they attend the Coronation but they should not be given a permanent residence in any Crown property. If they want a permanent home here they can afford to buy their own.”

However, a minority of readers were more favourable towards the idea, with username Canadaexpat writing: “Only if this apartment has not been renovated at taxpayers expense!”

The move to Buckingham Palace may ensure the King can still have a relationship with his grandchildren – three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet. One source told The Telegraph: “It’s not just his son, it’s his grandchildren too.”

Harry and Meghan were issued an eviction notice for Frogmore Cottage in the days after the publication of Harry’s tell-all memoir Spare in January. Last week a spokesperson for the couple said: “We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.”

They were gifted the Grade-II listed property on the Windsor Estate by Queen Elizabeth II in 2018 and retained it when they stepped down as senior royals and moved to the US.

A source close to the couple told The Times they have accepted be decision: “They are not fighting it. They realise they have a home [in California]. They have a roof over their heads. They were very privileged to have a second residence. It’s not going to work out for them there, and that’s OK.”

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