Frogmore Cottage: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Former Residence

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were asked to vacate the home after stepping down as royals.

In March 2023, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were asked to leave Frogmore Cottage, a five-bedroom Georgian house on Windsor Castle's ground. Their Archewell organization confirmed that King Philip had requested they leave the home. It was another indication of the bitter rift between them and the British royal family that was created after they resigned from their royal duties and left the country.

They resided at Frogmore Cottage on their occasional visits to Great Britain after Queen Elizabeth II offered it to them at the time of their wedding. In 2020, Harry and Meghan said they planned to split their time between Britain and North America and would strive to become "financially independent." They eventually settled in Montecito, California, with their two children.

A report in the autumn of 2020 indicated that Prince Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, had occupied Frogmore Cottage. With arrangements for the tenancy kept secret, the couple moved into the property owned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in early 2021 after giving birth to their first child together. However, despite Eugenie recently giving birth, a source told OK! Magazine  in October 2023 that she risks being "turfed out" if her father, Prince Andrew, doesn't intervene.

It is noted that Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice, both use the Windsor property, but this insider claims that they are not interested in renting out the property from their uncle King Charles. It was reported that one year at Frogmore Cottage cost $£360,000 ($442,490.40).

"The estate doesn't want to leave the property vacant and are keen to find a tenant," the insider told the outlet. "Royal residences within the security cordon have been leased to people outside of the family before. Close family friends will be given the option to lease the property if a full-time tenant can't be found."

When Harry and Meghan were told to retrieve their belongings, Charles hoped Andrew would leave the Royal Lodge to move into a smaller residence."The Frogmore keys were handed to Andrew earlier this year so that he could move out of Royal Lodge," the source explained. "He hasn't moved in, and he won't. However, he's allowed his daughters to make use of the property when they visit the Windsor estate."

 Due to the impending arrival of their new tenant, The Sussexes hauled their prized possessions out of Frogmore Cottage in the middle of the night, according to The Sun. However, within a few weeks, the couple was reported to have moved out. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle purchased the property in March 2023 and used £2.4m in taxpayer funding to renovate it before moving to California and repaying it in full. They were also reported to no longer receive funding from King Charles III, as they had when the couple first left the U.K., following confirmation that they signed a multi-million dollar contract with Netflix. 

After extensive renovations on the Windsor Estate, the ten-bedroom house was completed in April 2019. The cost was considerable, even though the couple paid mainly for the fixtures and fittings. Prior to returning the home to being a single residence, it had been split into sections for offices. Major work included rewiring the electrical system, replacing ceiling beams and floor joists, and installing new gas and water mains, among other things.

There was some controversy about the cost of renovations to the British public when news broke that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be stepping away from royal duties and moving to North America to focus on commercial ventures instead of receiving public funds. When Prince Harry was negotiating his new role, he appeared to offer to cover the cost early on. As part of their move to become financially independent, the couple is said to be paying the commercial rent to Frogmore Cottage.            

It is no secret that Harry and Meghan are fond of the surroundings of The Cottage; their engagement photographs were taken on the grounds of Frogmore House, the larger, more extravagant house on the estate, where they also held their evening reception. As the country retreat of Queen Charlotte in the seventeenth century, that house was occupied by a number of royals, including Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent; Princess Helena, Queen Victoria's third daughter; and King George V and Queen Mary. 

Even though Frogmore Cottage is a tad smaller, it is still charming in its own right. A young Henry James and his family spent some time there in the 1840s after Queen Charlotte built it for her daughters at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The ten-bedroom building was formerly used for staff accommodation. There were a number of modern and unanticipated changes to the cottage during its renovations, which took months. In addition to the general refit, which has led to a five-bedroom house, the couple has also added two orangeries as well as a vegetable garden and a yoga studio to the house.  

A royal source told the Daily Mail, "The duchess has a passion for cooking so it was suggested to include a small plot in the spacious garden where they can grow some of their own produce." In order to combat noise from planes landing and taking off at Heathrow, soundproofing was installed, which reportedly cost £50,000 but was paid for by Meghan and Harry. As reported, the couple looked to designer Vicky Charles of Charles & Co design studio to decorate their home, opting for vegan and organic paint in the nursery.  In 2016, Charles opened her own business after spending 20 years at the Soho House as global head of design. She previously worked with the Clooneys, the Beckhams, and Bon Appétit's Test Kitchen.