Image: Instagram / @kensingtonroyal
When you’re a royal, having one place to live is never enough. While it’s enviable to us regular people, it makes a lot of sense. Royals spend a lot of time dealing with the public considering who they are. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no different. And they also travel and awful lot. So it’s nice to not only have a place to have as your main base, but it’s also nice to have a place you can go to escape the hectic lifestyle that is a part of your everyday life. And frankly, if you could have more than one house, why wouldn’t you? We all want a place to hide sometimes.
Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are married, they’re really settling into that life. And with Meghan due to give birth in less than six months, she’s definitely looking for a place to put down roots. Since around the time of their engagement and wedding, the question of where they were going to live has been hanging. They currently live on the grounds of Kensington Palace, and much of the royal family is nearby. But they’re newlyweds and want their own place. So, within the next couple months, they will be moving into their new permanent residence, Frogmore Cottage. But Frogmore isn’t the only place they’ll call home.
Frogmore Cottage has an incredibly deceiving name. Unless of course you consider an estate to be small. But if you do, you’re probably a duchess. As of right now, the “cottage” consists of five apartments — which currently house staff working on the grounds. It’s currently under renovation to house Harry, Meghan, their dogs and make room for the coming baby. Plus, they will need space for security, a nanny, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland. Frogmore Cottage offers Harry and Meghan more privacy than they currently have, which will be incredibly important when they bring their little one home in the spring.
So, here’s the quick deets on Frogmore Cottage. About 30 miles west of London, it sits on 35 acres. Frogmore Cottage and Frogmore House are apart of property that also houses Windsor Castle. Its original use was as a retreat for Queen Charlotte and her unmarried daughters. And yes, the reason it has “frog” in the name is because there were frogs everywhere. According to the book, The Letters of Queen Victoria, after a visit she mentions she found the frogs “quite disgusting.” Same, Queen Victoria, same. Can you imagine a bunch of tiny, slimy little frogs jumping around? Yuck.
The Frogmore property holds a special place in the Sussexes heart — it’s where their wedding reception was held. And it was also the location for their engagement photoshoot. So, now they get to have those special places close by. Apparently the property is the place to be for iconic couples from the royal family. The mausoleum that contains the remains of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are on the grounds. Their love story is one for the ages right? Additionally, Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson are buried there as well. Their love was so strong, Edward gave up the throne. So, maybe being around these romantic ghosts will bless their marriage?
Privacy is also a huge part of the reason Prince Harry and Meghan will be living at Frogmore Cottage. Right now, they’re constantly on display living on the grounds of Kensington Palace. Plus they’re constantly surrounded by people. And living in such close quarters with Prince William, Kate Middleton and their brood doesn’t provide the newlyweds much room. Plus with a baby coming, they want their little one to have space to run and play as they grow. "Frogmore, which is inside the Windsor security zone, is secluded, peaceful, tranquil and, most importantly, private. No one will see them coming or going,” a source tells The Daily Mail.
Renovations on Frogmore Cottage are currently underway since there are only a few more months until baby Sussex arrives. Meghan is allegedly working with designers Vicky Charles and Julia Corden of Charles and Co. on the interior. And yes, Julia Corden is the wife of late night host James Corden. There are no details of the exact kind of design Meghan is going for. But given what we know about her and her style, it will likely include chic neutrals. The renovations will cost approximately £2-3 million (which is about 2.6 to 3.9 million dollars American.) Prince Harry and Meghan will pay for the interior design and personal touches.
Image: iStock / Pat_Hastings
If the renovation sounds expensive, that’s because it is. According to multiple reports, Frogmore Cottage is “dilapidated.” So, this means that it will require a lot more work than when William and Kate were moving into Kensington Palace. Plus, it has to be basically put back together since the apartments have been separated. Things also need updating, since it seems that much of the “cottage” has been out of use for a long time. And since Prince Harry and Meghan care about the environment, making the property more eco-friendly is also important. There will be a green energy that costs $60,000, according to Marie Claire.
Image: iStock / Mark-W-R
But until Frogmore Cottage is ready, Prince Harry and Meghan will continue to live at Nottingham Cottage. Unlike Frogmore, Nottingham Cottage (which has the nickname Nott Cott) is slightly more cottage like. Meaning that it’s not a mini estate. But more like a regular person’s house. Nott Cott (how cute is that name?) has only two bedrooms and one bathroom, two reception rooms, a kitchen, living room and small garden out back. Sounds like a pretty typical starter home, except for the two reception rooms. The pair have been living there since before they became the Sussexes. But it is kind of small, so it makes sense they’re moving.
It seems that Nottingham Cottage is the common starter home for newlywed royals. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also inhabitants of Nott Cott once. After William’s time as a helicopter pilot, they called Nott Cott home for two years. Prince George actually spent the first few months living at the cottage too. Apparently, the ceilings in Nott Cott are low enough that William constantly had to stoop to avoid hitting his head. Once the Cambridges took over Apartment 1A, Harry became the resident of Nott Cott, and like his brother and Kate had done, he and Meghan began living together before their marriage.
So, what do we know about Nottingham Cottage? Not a ton actually. One of the most famous inhabitants aside from Wills and Kate is Marion Crawford. Crawford’s claim to fame is being the nanny for Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret. After retiring in 1948, Crawford was given Nottingham to live in for the rest of her life. After all, she was a huge part of raising the queen, it was the least they could do honestly. However, Crawford didn’t get to live in Nott Cott for life. She left the cottage only two years later in 1950. Why? Because she was selling stories about the royal family to newspapers. She even wrote a book!
Apparently, Nott Cott is quaint, especially by royal standards. Rumor has it that it doesn’t even have air conditioning. Although that isn’t entirely uncommon in many homes in England. But you’d think if you live on the grounds of a palace, there would be air conditioning. According to Vanity Fair, William and Kate had fans everywhere. Growing family aside, it’s no surprise they gave up Nottingham in favor of Apartment 1A. And any woman who’s pregnant can tell you about how hot they are all the time. Even though it’s winter, no air conditioning must be brutal for poor Meghan.
But even though it may not be the lap of royal luxury, it’s still a very special place for Prince Harry and Meghan. Since choosing to live together before marriage was the way they went about things, Nott Cott holds sentimental value. When Meghan moved in, it became their little (literally) love nest. It’s where they began their life together, even before getting engaged. During their post engagement interview, Harry admits proposing to Meghan in the tiny kitchen of Nott Cott. They were making a roast chicken together (perhaps Ina Garten’s famous “engagement chicken.”) So it is literally the place where their love story begins.
Image: Instagram / @sohohouse
If you’re a Duke and Duchess, naturally you need a place to unwind. And a nice place to entertain your friends who come to visit. For this, Prince Harry and Meghan have a lovely little getaway cottage in the Cotswolds. As it seems, they spend a lot of time there already, as it seems a little more homey than their place at Nottingham Cottage. Everyone needs a home away from home. They’re currently renting the place on a two-year lease. It’s worth about £2.5 million, which is about $3.5 million American. They began renting it before their wedding this past spring.
Even though they have Frogmore, they will continue to stay in the Cotswolds house. And why wouldn’t they? You can never have too many places to run away to. This little spot is a literal country dream house. It was once a farmhouse and has a separate outhouse (we’re assuming in England that means guesthouse) and converted barn. In the house are four bedrooms and two kitchens. There is also a large dining room to eat all the food made in the two kitchens. The sitting room has floor to ceiling windows, which is so idyllic, and outdoor seating for watching the dogs and eventually the baby play.
Apparently, the Duchess spends a lot of time there already, according to a source talking to People in September. "Meghan adores the area. She and Harry love walking the dogs there, and they can entertain their friends in complete solitude," a “friend” told royal reporter Emily Andrews. Those friends include Amal and George Clooney, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian and of course her mom Doria. It’s the perfect getaway for having some private time before the baby comes too. Privacy is very important, especially to Harry, who "wants to escape the goldfish bowl of royal life for the sake of his marriage and his unborn child," according to The Daily Mail.
Though there are rumors constantly swirling around about why Prince Harry and Meghan are choosing to move, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with their relationship to William and Kate. Some people were suspecting that the Sussexes would continue to live at Kensington Palace, moving into Apartment 1. It sounds amazing — 21 bedrooms is nothing to look down on. But Apartment 1 is right next door to where William and Kate live with their kids. Naturally, Harry would like to start his family in their own space, out from under his older brother. Plus again, Kensington Palace doesn’t really offer them any privacy from the general public.
Before announcing the couple would be living in Frogmore Cottage, there were two other rumored locations for them to live. One was Luckington Court, which is not far from where Harry spent a lot of time as a child at Highgrove House. Around the time of the engagement announcement, Luckington Court went off the market, sparking speculation. And then there was another report going around that Queen Elizabeth was gifting them a home on her Sandringham estate called York Cottage. It’s not far from Will and Kate’s country estate. But since they have their place in the Cotswolds, this is also unlikely.