Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry moved into Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate in April 2019 after months of extensive renovation. The ten-bedroom house was given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth II. Nestled on the Frogmore estate in the Home Park, the historic home sits in the shadow of the late monarch’s primary residence — Windsor Castle. However, while the Queen’s gift of Frogmore Cottage has been described as a “big deal”, the Sussexes reportedly requested a different property for their marital home.
According to The Times, Meghan and Harry wanted to live within Windsor Castle itself and reportedly asked if “living quarters could be made available after their marriage”.
At the time, only the Queen and Prince Philip had private apartments within the castle, with other family members living elsewhere on the estate.
Windsor Castle has been the home to the Royal Family for almost 1,000 years; the large estate contains a number of properties, ranging from huge mansions to cosier cottages. Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson are among the current residents.
The Queen reportedly deemed the Sussexes’ request “inappropriate” and definitively rejected it. Her Majesty then “politely but firmly suggested” that they live in nearby Frogmore Cottage instead.
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Peter and Margaret’s romance is one of the most notorious in royal history. The pair met while Peter was serving as George VI’s equerry and they later embarked on a secret love affair. Their relationship was particularly scandalous as the former RAF pilot was a divorced man who was 16 years the Princess’ senior.
Adelaide Cottage has also been the home to several royal dignitaries and courtiers, most recently Simon Rhodes, the son of the late Queen’s first cousin Margaret Rhodes who served as a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother. Her Majesty even helped Rhodes move his family to the UK from their home in Zimbabwe after they had to flee amid continuing violence in the country.
The cottage underwent major renovations in 2015 and, according to reports, has some rather elaborate decorations including a ceiling covered with gilded dolphins and a rope decoration, which is originally from a 19th-century royal yacht. It also has a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.
William and Kate’s new home is just a 15-minute walk away from Frogmore Cottage, which has been unoccupied since Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank decided to split their time between London and Portugal.
The Duke of Duchess of Sussex stay at the property when they visit the UK and renewed their lease on their former home earlier this year.
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, there has been speculation that the couple could move into Windsor Castle, should they ever decide to return to the UK.
King Charles III currently resides at Clarence House and William and Kate reportedly have no interest in moving to the Castle having only recently moved into Adelaide Cottage.
However, royal commentators assume that the Prince and Princess of Wales will “eventually move” into the Castle “since they recently made the move to Windsor”. Christina Garibaldi, co-host of the Royally Obsessed podcast, said: “According to the royal collection trust, 40 monarchs have called Windsor Castle home since it was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.
“I think we figured they would eventually move into Windsor Castle since they recently made the move to Windsor and they are really putting down roots as a family there.”