Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Begin Repaying $2.9 Million for U.K. Home Frogmore Cottage Refurbishment

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have started repaying $2.9m of public money spent on U.K. home Frogmore Cottage, reports claim.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are said to be paying £18,000 a month for the home in Windsor given to them by Queen Elizabeth II.

When they first moved in, the cottage needed significant work to turn it into a family home as it had previously been divided into five flats where courtiers stayed.

Some £2.4 million ($2.9 million) came from the Sovereign Grant, the royal family's public funding.

When Meghan and Harry decided to step back as senior royals it was agreed they would pay it back.

The Mail on Sunday reports that their repayment plan has started and at £18,000 a month, it will be 11 years before they settle the bill. Representatives for Harry and Meghan and Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

The revelation comes at a time when Prince Harry and Meghan are reportedly living in Hollywood producer Tyler Perry's $18 million luxury hillside mansion in Los Angeles.

It is not known whether the couple are paying rent or simply looking after the place while the producer and comedian stays in Atlanta, Georgia.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Canada House
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Canada House, in London, England, on January 7, 2020 in London, England, after their stay in Canada. Daniel Leal-Olivas

The mansion holds a swimming pool, eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms as well as dizzying views across Franklin Canyon Park.

However, screens have been erected around the Tuscan-style villa as the paparazzi have set up camp outside.

The house is on a former hiking trail creating plenty of spots where photographers can look straight into the expansive gardens around the swimming pool.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the duke and duchess would repay the Frogmore Cottage money when the terms of their departure were announced in January.

A statement read: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.

"The couple will continue to stay at the property on trips to Britain while beginning a new life in Los Angeles, where they are house hunting."

Prince Harry and Meghan explained their move from Kensington Palace in London to Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor Homes Park, on their now dormant Sussex Royal website.

The post read: "Their previous residence of Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace could not accommodate their growing family.

"The option of Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace was estimated to cost in excess of £4 million for mandated renovations including the removal of asbestos.

"This residence would not have been available for them to occupy until the fourth quarter of 2020.

"As a result, Her Majesty The Queen offered The Duke and Duchess the use of Frogmore Cottage, which was already undergoing mandated renovations, and would be available to move in before the birth of their son.

"The refurbishment cost equated to 50 percent of the originally suggested property for their proposed official residence at Kensington Palace."

The Sovereign Grant comes from a portion of the profits made by the Crown Estate which is owned by the sovereign of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

However, she does not own the estate personally. She cannot sell it and the profits are not her personal funds.

They are paid to the treasury who use some of the money to fund public services in Britain while giving the rest back to the royal family as public funding.