In a new twist in the ongoing tensions between the British royal family and its disgruntled Prince Harry, reports emerged this week that King Charles III has initiated the effective eviction of his second son – also known as the Duke of Sussex – from Frogmore Cottage, the U.K. home in which he resided with wife Meghan Markle before the pair relocated to the United States, as the Daily Mail reports.
The outlet noted that notice of the eviction was issued almost immediately after Harry's incendiary memoir, Spare, which contained numerous allegations against – among others – his brother, Prince William, was released to the public.
According to the Mail, the eviction of the Sussexes from the grace-and-favour home they received as a wedding gift from the late Queen Elizabeth in 2018 represents a watershed moment in the continued hostilities among the royals and comes amid speculation as to whether Harry and Meghan will attend King Charles' coronation in May.
The gravity of the King's decision to evict the duo cannot be overstated, according to one royal insider who reportedly told The Sun, “This surely spells the end of Harry and Meghan's time in the U.K.”
Though the couple have not spent much time at the five-bedroom property that sits on sprawling grounds in Windsor in recent years, they kept it as their official residence for use whenever they did visit England, including during Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee last summer.
Even so, according to the source who spoke to The Sun, “Meghan and Harry are powerless to stop the eviction.”
According to Omid Scobie, a reporter known to have close ties to the Sussexes, an insider close to the situation revealed that the couple has been left “stunned” by the King's actions.
“It all feels very final and like a cruel punishment. It's like [the royal family] want to cut them out of the picture for good,” the insider explained, according to Scobie.
Noting that the Sussexes have received a slight concession in terms of timing, Scobie added that Harry and Megan “have until early summer to vacate” after having initially been given a deadline of mere weeks.
The Mail further noted that Harry and Meghan have begun making arrangements to move any personal possessions that remain at Frogmore Cottage to their home in Montecito, California.
In another wrinkle to the Sussex eviction, the Mail reports that King Charles would like to see his beleaguered brother, Prince Andrew, take up residence at the property soon to be officially vacated by Harry and Meghan.
That news comes in the wake of suggestions that Andrew is poised to be constructively evicted from his home of 20 years, Royal Lodge once King Charles withdraws the annual grant of £249,000 his brother received while Queen Elizabeth was alive and provided him the wherewithal to maintain the massive estate that boasts 30 rooms and includes 98 acres of land, as the U.S. Sun noted.
Prince Andrew is reportedly resisting the notion of moving to Frogmore Cottage, holding fast to his preference for remaining at Royal Lodge, a residence to which he took a 75-year lease back in 2003.
According to the U.K. Independent, Sarah, Duchess of York, Prince Andrew's ex-wife, with whom he still shares Royal Lodge, has vowed to do “all she can” to generate the income necessary to remain in residence at the property, hoping, as a source explained, to be her former husband's “financial savior” and to prevent what she views as a significant loss of status that would come from the loss of his home.
It remains to be seen whether their eviction from Frogmore Cottage will tip the scales in the Sussexes' deliberations about whether or not to attend King Charles' coronation later this spring, but even if they do decide to travel to London for the event, reports suggests that the focus will be deliberately trained elsewhere.
The Mail recently reported that the new monarch is determined to shine a spotlight on the direct line of succession by placing a specific focus on his grandson Prince George, who will also someday become king.
According to royal commentator Dr. Tessa Dunlop, Charles' well-known desires to streamline the monarchy will be in evidence during the coronation proceedings, and as such, “we're going to see a lot of camera shots of Charles, of William, of George.”
Though several of the so-called “working royals” will be part of the procession into Westminster Abbey on coronation day, according to Dunlop, they will not be where the true emphasis lies, and considering that Harry and Meghan long ago removed themselves even from that category, they could conceivably decide to remain stateside to avoid the potential embarrassment altogether.