Frogmore Cottage: What to Know About Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Former Home

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have been asked "to vacate" their home in the U.K. Their Archewell organization confirmed on Wednesday that King Philip has requested they leave Frogmore Cottage. Harry and Meghan are preparing to move the rest of their belongings from their cottage and have them shipped to the U.S. after giving up their full-time royal duties and settling in California with their two children, The Sun reported. Frogmore Cottage has become an iconic backdrop in the couple's relationship narrative. A scene from the couple's Netflix documentary shows the kitchen where Harry and Meghan kiss while Meghan sits on a countertop in the ten-bedroom property. A short visit to the country in 2022 was their most recent visit when they prepared for an early September European tour. During the Queen's Platinum Jubilee earlier last summer, they also hosted daughter Lilibet's first birthday, a casual picnic party with royal guests, at the cottage. 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. 

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.