Plenty has changed since the day Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged - the couple are now husband and wife, and have welcomed their first baby together, Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor.
Shortly before their son arrived, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved from their two-bed city pad in Kensington Palace to a more family-friendly home – Frogmore Cottage, in the grounds of the Queen’s Windsor Estate.
According to reports, the royal couple moved into their new home in April 2019, just a few weeks before their son Archie was born.
It came after a lengthy delay to the move, which was pushed back due to the extensive renovation the pair ordered on the building.
But now that they are settled in their new, five-bedroom abode, it seems Harry and Meghan are keen to do even more work to their new property.
Reports have stated that they have applied for planning permission to do work on the exterior of the cottage, including to the windows and doors. Documents also allegedly state that Harry and Meghan have applied for permission to install outdoor lighting, both for aesthetic and security reasons, as well as permission to update an outbuilding in the grounds of their home.
According to a source, the Duke and Duchess are keen to make their home perfect for their new son Archie, hence why they’ve called their builders back.
The source said, “Frogmore Cottage will be the perfect place for a royal prince to grow up with the Duke and Duchess.
“The Duchess is very involved in the project and wanted the final design to be perfect for them and Archie so they have called the builders back again to sort some parts of the build out.”
So given that Frogmore Cottage is the place the couple will likely be calling home for years to come, we thought we’d find out everything there is to know about the royal abode…
So where do Harry and Meghan live? And what’s living in Frogmore Cottage like?
So what exactly is the new royal residence like? The home, situated just in front of Frogmore House, and the stunning lake ahead of it, is a Grade-II listed building. And while it has a rich royal history, it’s not actually that grand a building – at the moment.
Most recently, the cottage had been used as five separate housing units for people working on the Windsor estate – meaning it’s not quite in royal condition as yet.
But the ramshackle home underwent intensive restoration, overseen by the Duchess of Sussex, in order to prepare it for her and Harry, who have installed a nursery, floating yoga landing, and a private gym.
The house was first built during Queen Charlotte’s reign in 1801, and later, Queen Victoria’s personal assistant Abdul Karim lived there, in 1897.
Later, it was occupied by Russian royal the Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, during the 1920s.
Frogmore Cottage’s interiors
Harry and Meghan are keen art fans, with Harry having wooed his wife with a piece of art worked entitled Everybody Needs Somebody to Love by British artist Van Donna, during their courtship.
And now the Queen is said to have gifted the pair a series of paintings from her own personal collection. “Meghan and Harry have been told they can choose some art work for Frogmore Cottage,” a Palace insider told Vanity Fair.
“They have been presented with a list of paintings that would be available to them and they are making up their minds as to what they would like to hang in their new home.”
It’s reported that Prince Harry and Meghan have drafted in the interior designer of the trendy Soho House, to decorate their new home.
Vicky Charles designed many of the private member’s clubs around the world, and it’s probably no surprise that the pair want her to kit out their new home, as they enjoyed many dates at the London and Toronto venues at the beginning of their relationship. Could Frogmore Cottage nod towards Soho House’s country idyll, Soho Farmhouse?
So how might she style the Duke and Duchess’ cottage? If the Soho House clubs interior is anything to go by, the home will include plenty of plush, luxury furnishings.
It could well feature a whole heap of comfy pillows, alongside daring prints and patterns thrown in there too. It also looks as though the home may be full of colour and antique items as well – like many of the rooms in the Soho House venues.
However, designer Vicky has said that designing private homes is very different to the public venues she dresses.
Speaking to the Soho Home website, she admitted, “Private homes are incredibly different. The clients come to us because they want the Soho House aesthetic but you have to make it right for that family or whoever lives there in their space, so it’s not a cookie cutter thing you can just drop in.”
So we can only wonder how Meghan and Harry will show her influence in their new home…
Why did the couple choose Windsor?
The Windsor estate is a special place for Meghan and Prince Harry, as it is the place where they had their wedding, St. George’s Chapel – and of course, holds within it Frogmore House, where they took their official engagement pictures and had their wedding reception.
In their official announcement, Kensington Palace stated, ‘Windsor is a very special place for their royal highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate.’
Frogmore Cottage also offers the royal couple the kind of privacy and seclusion they likely wouldn’t be able to have in London.
Although Catherine and Prince William are rarely seen around their home, the Duchess of Cambridge and her children have previously been photographed on a walk in the Kensington Palace gardens.
The Frogmore Estate, near to Windsor Great Park, on the other hand is made up of a huge 33 hectacres of stunning gardens. The estate is only open to the public for just six a year, and even then, access to most parts of the royal retreat is restricted.
Plus, increased security is being implemented around Frogmore Cottage to ensure there are no security breaches too, when Harry and Meghan move in.
Frogmore Cottage offers the Duke and Duchess an escape from the ‘goldfish bowl’ of London, and it’s still only an hour or so drive back to the capital, for when the pair are conducting royal engagements.
When they do move to their new home, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official office will still be at Kensington Palace, meaning they’ll likely often need to head back to their old abode for work too.