Meghan Markle's engagement ring isn't the only thing in her life that's recently been redesigned. A new report released by the royal family is giving us all some new details about the renovations to her and Prince Harry's new house.
The Sovereign Grant Report is basically a breakdown of spending by the royal family that comes from public funds. (The family, of course, also has enormous personal wealth that is not funded by the taxpayers, and Markle had amassed her own money before marrying Harry last year.)
The report shows that the renovations to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, a gift to the Sussexes from Queen Elizabeth II, cost over $3 million. (That's in U.S. dollars—the renovations are about 2.4 million pounds.) Obviously, that's a lot of money and more than most of us could ever imagine spending on…anything. But the home was built all the way back in 1801 and had previously been broken down into multiple apartments, necessitating a conversion back into a single home. “A very large proportion of the ceiling beams and floor joists were defective and had to be replaced,” a source told People. Updates were also necessary for the heating, water, and electrical systems to get them up to modern standards.
And some of these renovations to the historic structure were going to be necessary, even if Markle, Harry, and baby Archie weren't calling it home. “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 Estate,” Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the Privy Purse, told reporters at Buckingham Palace.
Per People, British taxpayer money funded the structural renovations of the home, including the exterior doors, windows, and walls, and the upgrading of some of the other buildings on the property. But "anything movable," for example, was paid for personally by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. “All fixtures and fittings were paid for by their royal highnesses,” a royal source told the magazine. “Curtains, furnishings—all that would be paid separately, paid privately.”
“If a member of the royal family says, ‘We want a better kitchen than you’re prepared to provide with public money,’ then that would fall to them privately and they would have to meet the cost,” the source continues. “If they want that higher specification, they have to pay the extra.” Apparently those rumors of a yoga studio with a "floating" floor were simply that, rumors, as that luxe feature is not mentioned in the report.
Royal reporter Omid Scobie said the numbers are likely to make headlines but called out that Kate Middleton and Prince William were similarly scrutinized back in 2014 when they renovated their apartment at Kensington Palace.
Markle is set to guest-edit the September issue of British Vogue and the accompanying photos are reportedly being taken at Frogmore Cottage, so hopefully, we'll get a glimpse of the redesign later this year.
Originally Appeared on Glamour