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Architect behind Harry and Meghan’s top secret £2.4m refurb revealed

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Kent practice AHP has been revealed as the architect behind the major renovation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s ‘official residence’ in Windsor

According to official Royal Accounts published yesterday, £2.4 million of taxpayers’ cash was spent on the Frogmore Cottage project, which completed this spring.

Planning documents show that AHP was granted permission in May 2018 to turn the row of separate houses back into one residence combining three separate dwellings and a studio apartment.

Seven months later the same practice – which has previously extended a farm shop on the Windsor Castle estate – received consent for further ‘internal and external works’ at Frogmore Cottage.

Most of the planning documents have been kept under wraps for the scheme, but it has been reported that it converted all the units into just one home for the Royal couple.

A planning officer report for the first application said the royal family had ‘found it difficult to let out three of the five properties’ and that these had ‘fallen into disrepair’.

‘In order to ensure that the building can be used to its full potential, and following an assessment by the applicant that three-bed dwellings are in demand within the estate, there is a need to make internal changes to the existing dwellings,’ said the report.

Other projects revealed in the latest royal accounts included replacing the copper roof and ‘inadequate’ rainwater drainage system at the Victoria & Albert Mausoleum in Windsor, as well as works to the West Range Roof at Buckingham Palace Mews.

In total 176 projects costing more than £6,000 were carried out by the royal family in 2018/19, with 13 of these costing more than £350,000.

The cash for the renovation came from the Sovereign Grant, which is funded by the Royal Family’s commercial property arm, the Crown Estate. 

Separate accounts show the Crown Estate provided a record £343.5 million to the Treasury in 2018-19, up 4.3 per cent on last year.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • 'Turn back into one residence' begs the question of what on earth sort of 'cottage' such an extensive rambling long building was in the first place.

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