The royal residence Harry and Meghan originally wanted instead of Frogmore Cottage

The Queen gifted Frogmore Cottage to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after their 2018 royal wedding to give the couple 'privacy'

The royal residence Harry and Meghan originally wanted instead of Frogmore Cottage
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle famously moved into Frogmore Cottage after their fairytale wedding in 2019, but it's now been revealed that the historic Windsor mansion wasn't the couple's first choice of royal residences.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were famously 'gifted' Frogmore Cottage by Queen Elizabeth II, but it looks like the couple had initially requested a different royal property to the iconic Grade II building. 

In her 2022 book, The New Royals, Katie Nicholl explains that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had originally hoped to move into Windsor Castle after their extravagant royal wedding in 2019.

The A-list couple reportedly asked for a 'suite of apartments' at the Berkshire property, but were given Frogmore Cottage in Great Windsor Park, which is located just a 10 minutes' walk down the road, instead. They moved into the property in early 2019, only to leave England for a new life in North America just one year later. 


Windsor Castle 

(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's decision to gift Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage, which has been in the Royal Family's extensive real estate collection since 1801, was reportedly considered a "big deal" in Her Majesty's close circle. 

"The Queen's entrance into the gardens is right next to their cottage. It is essentially her backyard, her solitude, and her privacy," the Queen's cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson, told Nicholl. "She was giving that up in gifting Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage. We all thought it was very big of her. She said, 'I hope they'll respect it.'"

A general view of the exterior of Frogmore Cottage as people lay floral tributes to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh

Frogmore Cottage

(Image credit: Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The couple moved out of Frogmore Cottage in January 2020 ahead of their withdrawal as senior royals and emigration to the US. In March 2020, Harry and Meghan bought a £14 million Santa Barbara mansion in Montecito, where they today live with their two children, Archie and Lilibet. 

A statement released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their official website at the time of their royal exit explained that "Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. 

"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 Monarch." 

Prince Harry renewed the Frogmore Cottage lease in February 2022, in a move that suggested he hoped to continue serving the Queen from the US. One of the duke's key roles is Counsellor of State, which requires its holders to maintain a UK residence.  

He and Meghan also resided at Frogmore for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June, before returning to their newlyweds' abode once again in September for a whirlwind tour of England and Germany. They ended up staying at the cottage for an extra week after news of the Queen's death broke, so that they could participate in the royal period of mourning and attend the Queen's state funeral.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.