HARRY and Meghan paid £2.4million to cover the cost of their Frogmore Cottage refurbishment AND 18 months' of rent, it can be revealed.
The couple quit the Grade II listed home and handed the keys to cousin Eugenie and her hubby Jack but the circumstances surrounding their financial deal has been shrouded in secrecy.
It can now be revealed the couple paid five months rent between April and August 2020 after quitting royal duty.
A month later they handed a further £2.4million which covers the refurbishment and rent up until March 31 next year when their current lease runs out.
With the couple now in a £11million Montecito mansion with their children Archie, two, and one-month-old Lily, insiders believe they may give up the cottage.
Buckingham Palace said they believed the payments represented a "good deal for the Sovereign Grant and for the public purse."
But royal expert Phil Dampier said: "It wouldn’t surprise me if they didn't renew the lease regardless if Harry makes it up with the Royal Family or not.
"His life is now in California and I don't see him and Meghan coming back to the UK often.
"Harry uses the place as a crash pad for when he's here for certain events and Eugeine and Jack are no doubt going to want their own place in the future.
"It is a very large house – and an expensive one – to have empty."
No further instalments have been paid and none are due after due until March 2022, the palace said.
A senior royal source said: "They have a licence to occupy till the end of March 2022.
"That's the agreement that is in place and that stated within the accounts.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have stated Frogmore cottage remains their UK home. I can't speculate on beyond 31st of March 2022."
The palace source added: "The 2.4 million that we received from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex this year, on top of the rental payments, has been beneficial to the sovereign grant because of the impact it has had in mitigating the reduction in supplementary income that we suffered. It has made a major contribution.
They added: "The cost of the refurbishment was £2.4million. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid £2.4million. And we are satisfied that on the basis of that payment, it satisfies all their current obligations.
"We are absolutely confident that this reflects a good, good agreement for the sovereign brand. And for the taxpayer.
"We contend that the arrangement represents a good deal for the sovereign grant, and the taxpayer alike."
Property expert and investor Karl Edwards said the Queen was “clearly” getting a good deal.
He said: “The simplest way of explaining this is that the Queen is missing out on 18 month’s rent in exchange for having a £2.4million refurb on her property.
“We do not know how much their monthly rent payments are meant to be, which makes it impossible to crunch the exact numbers.
“But if for example the rent was a very expensive £20,000 a month, Her Majesty has bagged a multi-million pound refurb for just £360,000.
“She’s clearly the winner.”
It was last night revealed that Prince Charles gave the Sussexes and Cambridges a share of £4.45million – despite claims Harry was “cut off financially” when he quit royal life.
Harry, 36, is expected to isolate at Frogmore Cottage as he flies in for next Thursday's Princess Diana statue unveiling at Kensington Palace.
He and Meghan have allowed Eugenie and Jack, and their newborn baby August, to live in the cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
It has been split in two to allow Harry to isolate and socially-distance while he is in quarantine.
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