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Removal van arrives at empty Frogmore Cottage in Windsor after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left

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A royal removals van was spotted heading towards Frogmore Cottage today as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are believed to be handing over their Windsor home to Princess Eugenie.

The Sussexes’ possessions are understood to have been moved out of the property under the cover of darkness and sent to California where they are now living in a £11million home after stepping down as senior royals.

Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank are in the process of moving into the five-bedroom house on the Queen’s Berkshire estate – and an Abels removal van was seen heading towards the property today.

The Suffolk-based company has a royal warrant to the Queen for removals and storage services, having first worked for the royal household in 1981. The warrant was originally awarded in 1988 and last renewed in 2016. 

Frogmore was given to Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, by the Queen in April 2018 a month before their wedding. 

Among the fittings in the cottage is a £5,000 designer bath produced by luxury firm William Holland, a supplier for the Soho House chain, which is made of gleaming copper and took 120 man hours to be hand beaten out. 

An Abels removal van is photographed heading towards Frogmore Cottage in Windsor today,  as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are believed to be handing over their home to Princess Eugenie

The Abels removal van is photographed in Windsor today. The Suffolk-based company has a royal warrant to the Queen for removals and storage services, having first worked for the royal household in 1981

Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank are thought to have moved into the five-bedroom house on the Queen’s Berkshire estate just over a fortnight ago – and an Abels removal van was seen heading towards it today (above)

Eugenie’s father Prince Andrew is photographed driving into the grounds of Windsor Castle in his Range Rover yesterday

The couple spent £2.4million from the Sovereign Grant on renovations – an outlay of public money which became controversial after they quit as working royals in March.

But the Sussexes reimbursed taxpayers in full for the renovation in September. At the time Harry and Meghan insisted Frogmore would continue to be their UK residence.

Now Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie, 30, and Mr Brooksbank, 34, are said to be making their home there, ahead of the birth of their first child expected in the New Year.

A source told The Sun last week: ‘Removal vans pitched up in the dead of the night and cleared out the cottage. They definitely did not want to be seen. 

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank outside St George’s Chapel in Windsor following their wedding on October 12, 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pictured attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5

Frogmore Cottage in Windsor was given to Harry and Meghan by the Queen in April 2018 a month before their wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan recently bought an £11million nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara

Among the fittings at Frogmore Cottage is a £5,000 designer bath produced by luxury firm William Holland, made of copper

‘Emptying their home and handing over the keys is a pretty strong sign Harry and Meghan have no plans to return. It appears they are tying up loose ends as they plan to extend their stay in the US perhaps permanently.’

What Harry and Meghan have been up to since Megxit took effect:

February 19: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they will stop representing the Queen and become financially independent from March 31

March 9: The couple attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in their last official appearance as working members of the monarchy

March 31: Harry and Meghan officially step down as senior royals and stop using their HRH styles.

April 6: Details emerge of the couple’s plans for a new foundation called Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand and is named in honour of their son.

May 8: The pair are said to be living in a £15million mansion owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry.

July 3: The formal winding up of their Sussex Royal Foundation begins as the Duke and Duchess press ahead with plans for their Archewell organisation.

July 6: Financial documents show Harry and William agreed in December to equally split the future proceeds of their mother’s memorial fund, after they separated their charitable activities.

August 13: The Sussexes are revealed to have bought an £11million nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara, with a £7.5million mortgage.

November 20: The couple are reported to have handed Frogmore Cottage to Princess Eugenie and moved their belongings to the US.

November 24: A removal van is photographed in Windsor heading towards Frogmore Cottage

Suspicions were reportedly raised after lights were spotted inside the Grade II-listed cottage around two weeks ago. Staff are said to have been sent in to prepare the cottage for its new tenants.

The source continued: ‘Frogmore was kitted out to Meghan and Harry’s tastes with son Archie in mind, so it is the perfect place for a couple to bring up a baby.

‘It has the bonus of being around the corner from her parents and, of course, the Queen. Harry and Meghan didn’t fancy Frogmore for whatever reason but Jack and Eugenie are delighted with it.’

Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and Mr Brooksbank had been living at Ivy Cottage at Kensington Palace.

The couple will now be much closer to the Princess’s parents, who live four miles away at Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, and less than a mile from Windsor Castle, where the Queen is spending lockdown with Prince Philip.

Frogmore had fallen into disrepair before Harry and Meghan moved in. Builders worked around the clock for six months so they could move in before the birth of their son Archie in May 2019.

The couple had been paying back the cash for the redevelopment in monthly instalments before announcing they had totally refunded the Sovereign Grant.

The Sussexes recently bought an £11million nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara, with a £7.5million mortgage.

Buckingham Palace said it could not comment on whether Princess Eugenie and her husband are going to be paying rent on the Crown Estate property – and if so, to whom – or how long the arrangement was due to last.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘Frogmore Cottage is the private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and as such any arrangements are a matter for them.’ 

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