Where will Harry, Meghan and Archie live after 'stepping down' as senior members of the Royal Family?

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

On Jan. 8, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan stunned royal fans by announcing on Instagram that they plan to "step down" as senior members of the Royal Family and divide their time "between the United Kingdom and North America."

The shocking news has led royal watchers to ask many questions, including whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to live at Frogmore Cottage while they are in the UK.

In November 2018, it was announced Harry and Meghan would relocate from London to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor prior to the arrival of their son Archie. Before the couple officially moved in, the Grade II-listed property was converted from five separate apartments into a single home to become their official residence.

Before moving to Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan lived on the grounds of London's Kensington Palace, pictured above. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

On their new Sussex Royal website, Meghan and Harry discuss their decision to move to Frogmore in more detail. They say their previous residence – Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace – could not accommodate their growing family. They also say other residences at Kensington Palace would not have been suitable for them to move in before 2020.

MORE: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan to 'step down' as senior members of Royal Family

Frogmore Cottage's renovations were covered by the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen and her family’s official activities, with Harry and Meghan covering other costs privately, including fixtures and fittings. On their website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex state they will no longer use the Sovereign Grant as they move forward and aim towards financial independence.

The Sussex Royal website also addresses whether Harry and Meghan will continue to live at Frogmore Cottage in light of their goal of financial independence.

"Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen," explains the site. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom."

Harry and Meghan's announcement said they still plan to support the Queen in addition to focusing on their charity.

"After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution," they wrote. "We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.

.

View this post on Instagram

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

"It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment," they continued. "We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.

"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!