Last week, a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan told PEOPLE, “We can confirm The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.”
The statement followed a report by The Sun that King Charles plans to move his brother Prince Andrew to the residence. The second son of Queen Elizabeth, who stepped back from public duties over his ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, currently resides at the much larger Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
PEOPLE understands that the couple knew about the move before the release of Prince Harry’s book, Spare, in January.
Prince Harry and Meghan lived at Frogmore Cottage from 2019 to 2020. The couple relocated from the two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, to the residence before the birth of Archie in 2019. After stepping back from their working royal roles in early 2020, they briefly stayed in Canada before settling in Meghan’s home state of California.
It remains to be seen whether the couple will receive a refund for part of the $2.9 million they spent on refurbishments and rental costs on the property over several years, as the time on their lease has not yet expired.
Royal historian Robert Lacey tells PEOPLE that King Charles is making moves that Queen Elizabeth did not.
“Charles is now the guardian of the institution. The King just can’t sit back,” he says. “It shows Charles has a steel that his mother lacked. The Queen could never bring herself to confront Harry as an adult.”
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It’s still unclear if Prince Harry and Meghan will return to the U.K. in May for Charles’ coronation.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement this weekend, “I can confirm The Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the coronation. An immediate decision on whether The Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”
Buckingham Palace had no comment.