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The real reason Prince Harry and Meghan Markle turned down Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace for Frogmore Cottage

The Sussexes moved to Windsor in spring 2019

Sharnaz Shahid

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to split their time between the UK and America after announcing will "step back" as senior members of the royal family. But why did they turn down the chance to live at Kensington Palace and settle for Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Castle? Prince Harry and Meghan decided to move for various reasons as their previous residence, Nottingham Cottage located on the grounds of Kensington Palace, would not be able to accommodate their growing family.

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Moving close by to Apartment 1 would have been a good option. However, the royal residence had an estimated cost of £4 million for renovations. This would have meant the couple and their baby son Archie would have to wait until winter 2020 before they could actually move in. As a result, the Queen offered the use of Frogmore Cottage before the birth of the couple's first child. According to royal accounts published last year, renovations for the Windsor-based home cost the taxpayer a more respectable £2.4 million in comparison.

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Prince Harry and Meghan moved to Windsor in 2018

Frogmore House was converted from five separate apartments into an official residence for Prince Harry and Meghan and their newborn son last year, with the majority of the work completed in the month before Archie was born. Significant structural work to restore the Grade II-listed property to a single home over a period of six months was covered by the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen and her family's official activities. The couple paid for fixtures and fittings privately.

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Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, who is responsible for royal accounts, said "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. The Sovereign Grant covered the work undertaken to turn the building into the official residence and home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their new family." Now, it is likely the royal family will split their between the UK and North America, Meghan's homeland and where her mother lives.

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