The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new home near Windsor Castle has been renovated with £2.4 million of taxpayers' money, royal accounts have revealed.

Harry and Meghan's new country residence Frogmore Cottage underwent major work to turn five properties back into a single home for the couple and their baby son Archie.

Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, who is responsible for monarchy's accounts, said of Frogmore Cottage: "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."

He said the Harry and Meghan had paid for fixtures and fittings themselves.

A royal source said the major work on the couple's cottage included replacing defective wooden ceiling beams and floor joists.

Outdated and inefficient heating systems were updated.

The home needed substantial new electrical rewiring, including its own electrical sub-station and new gas and water mains were installed.

The renovation took around six months and was completed a few months before Harry and Meghan's son Archie was born on May 6. Some works remain to be completed, such as repainting the exterior.

Frogmore Cottage, which is owned by the Crown Estate was a gift from the Queen, who was kept updated on the work.

The new interior of the house has reportedly been designed by the couple themselves with dining and entertaining in mind and with extra bedrooms to accommodate guests, like the duchess' mother Doria Ragland.

Accounts for the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen and her household's official expenses, show the monarchy cost the taxpayer £67 million during 2018-19 - an increase of almost £20 million on the previous financial year.

A large amount of the rise was due to work updating the decades-old services at Buckingham Palace and maintaining the occupied royal palaces.

The Core Sovereign Grant which helps fund the work of the Queen and her household and pays for other activities like official royal travel, increased by £3.6 million to £49.3 million.