Here’s the main thing to know about Frogmore Cottage, the new home of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan and their baby expected in the spring: It’s 25 miles away from noisy London and from nosy paparazzi.
That could be one of the main reasons for the surprise announcement Saturday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will move to the “cottage” next year as they prepare for the arrival of their first child and a new great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth II.
Privacy, which has long been a preoccupation for Harry, may be key to Frogmore Cottage’s appeal. It’s located on the lush, 35-acre Windsor Castle Home Park estate and thus is within a tight security zone around the castle where the queen usually spends most weekends.
Kensington Palace did not disclose how Harry and Meghan came to take possession of their new digs but since all such royal properties are under the control of the queen, it is likely she gifted it to them.
The couple have lived at Nottingham Cottage on the Kensington Palace grounds since their engagement was announced in November 2017, but it’s too small for a growing family: It’s little more than a two-bedroom flat.
Plus, some of Kensington Palace is regularly open to the public, which might be a reason why Harry and Meghan want to move away from it and from brother Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge.
“Frogmore Cottage will be ideal for privacy which Harry and Meghan set such store by for obvious reasons,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told USA TODAY. “William and Kate will one day be King and Queen Consort; Harry as sixth in line to the throne has freedoms which together with Meghan he will want to exploit.”
Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter tweeted a picture of the cottage and his delight that Harry and Meghan will move there.
“Pleased to see The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are moving to Frogmore Cottage Windsor next year. It’s set in a delightful location, safe and secure – away from prying eyes – and lots of space to bring up a family. The only downside – aeroplanes in and out of Heathrow,” he tweeted.
Will and Kate also lived in Nottingham Cottage and brought their first baby, Prince George, 5, home to the apartment. But they soon moved into a sprawling 20-room home in the main palace, once occupied by the late Princess Margaret and known as Apartment 1A, which is their London base. They now have three children, including Princess Charlotte, 3, and baby Prince Louis, born in April.
Harry and Meghan, too, were expected to move into a similar large apartment nearby to his brother’s at the palace but plans changed after the couple returned from their three week tour last month of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
The palace announcement offered only a cryptic explanation: “Windsor is a very special place for Their Royal Highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate. (Their) official office will continue to be based at Kensington Palace.”
Translation: Windsor Castle, specifically St. George’s Chapel, is where Harry and Meghan’s spectacular wedding took place on May 19. Frogmore House, on the Windsor estate, is where they posed for some of their engagement photos in November. And Frogmore House is where Prince Charles the Prince of Wales hosted a sit-down dinner reception for his son and new daughter-in-law following the wedding.
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Harry and Meghan are known to be taken with the Frogmore estate and gardens, which is why they chose it for the engagement photos where Meghan is wearing a $75,000 Ralph & Russo couture gown as they posed on the steps to the house. They are believed to have had a summer picnic on the grounds before the engagement.
Frogmore House is a 17th-century manor about a mile from the castle in the town of Windsor in the London exurbs. It’s best known as a former royal family residence, and is open to the public only three times a year.
Frogmore is also the site of the Royal Burial Ground, the cemetery that surrounds the Royal Mausoleum where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are buried.
(Also buried there are the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – the ex-King Edward VIII who abdicated his throne in 1936 to marry another American divorcée, Wallis Simpson, earning both of them estrangement from the royal family until their deaths.)
But the two-story Frogmore Cottage, located north of the house in a marshy area near the Thames River, is different. It’s not really a “cottage.” if the term is defined as a small house; it’s more like the term used to describe the robber baron mansions built in Newport, Rhode Island, in the late 19th century.
Most recently, Frogmore Cottage was used to house royal staff in a half-dozen apartments. It’s now going to be refurbished to create a five-bedroom home for Harry and Meghan, plus the baby and granny Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mom, who is expected to visit frequently from Los Angeles.
Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, used the cottage as a country retreat for her and her unmarried daughters starting in the 1790s. Queen Victoria had breakfast at the cottage in the summer of 1875 and reported an “immense” number of frogs, which she found “quite disgusting,” according to one of her letters.
Over the years, various royals and royal staffers of note have lived at the cottage, including Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, and Victoria’s Indian servant and language teacher, Abdul Karim, as seen in the 2017 movie “Victoria & Abdul.” Later, Grand Duchess Xenia, a royal relation in exile from her native Russia, stayed there in the 1920s after the Russian Revolution.
Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2018/11/26/frogmore-cottage-what-know-harry-and-meghans-new-home/2114477002/