Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are kissing Kensington Palace buh-bye! After months of speculation about where they will raise their first child, who is expected in April, the royal family has confirmed that the couple are ditching their abode at Nottingham Cottage in London’s Kensington Palace and moving on—to Frogmore Cottage.
This 10-bedroom, stucco-faced cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 30 miles west of London, is reportedly a special spot for the newlyweds. For one, it’s a stone’s throw from Frogmore House, a sprawling estate where they hosted their wedding reception and shot their engagement photos.
But don’t be fooled—Frogmore Cottage isn’t as luxurious as Frogmore House. In fact, it’s currently inhabited by Windsor Castle staff!
Even weirder? Turns out Frogmore Cottage gets its name from an actual amphibian infestation. The cottage earned its name in 1875, when Queen Victoria visited and noticed an “immense number of little frogs” on the property, which she found “quite disgusting.” Yikes!
So why did Harry and Meghan choose such run-down digs?
Why Harry and Meghan chose Frogmore Cottage
While this housing choice might seem like a head-scratcher, it makes sense if you remember Markle’s love of home design—and her own humble beginnings. The fact that she had a lifestyle blog suggests that she might love the process of overhauling a house, rather than simply moving into one that’s already picture-perfect.
And wouldn’t you know it, before the royal couple moves in, Frogmore Cottage is slated to undergo extensive renovations, whose cost will run into millions of pounds?
The first order of business? Security. In the past, Windsor Castle visitors could walk within yards of Frogmore Cottage, right up to the small fence surrounding its gardens. Now that a royal couple will be living here, that just won’t do.
If Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex move into a renovated Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate, as reported @byEmilyAndrews, then safety considerations will have to be addressed, including access by the public. This is my photo of the cottage from 2016. pic.twitter.com/Iy308brp0W
— Patricia Treble (@PatriciaTreble) November 23, 2018
“Any public roads immediately adjacent to the home will need to be assessed for possible closure, with the installation of security bollards to prevent attacks,” he says. “Other likely additions include bulletproof and blast-resistant windows, security fencing, chemical/biological weapon detection devices, and, of course, alarms and video cameras.”
Joe DiRosa, a real estate agent at RealtyTopia in Wyomissing, PA, agrees that a ton of new security features should be installed on the property.
“Everything from motion sensors to fiber-optic cameras should be installed,” he says. “In addition, I expect the couple’s personal security team will make a visible presence on the property to protect against both the paparazzi and any unwelcome intruders.”
Additional renovations at Frogmore Cottage
Security aside, the cottage itself is in desperate need of renovations to suit this royal duo’s more modern tastes. After all, Markle’s former home in Toronto oozed California cool, rather than stuffy Old World charm. How will the twain meet? DiRosa expects the decor to retain a Victorian look, but with contemporary upgrades.
“Artwork, tapestries, and furniture will be shifted around, as I would expect they will have access to the Royal Collection,” he says. “I am sure several of the paintings will be swapped out with more modern English artists that are more within the couple’s taste.”
Real estate experts also say they’d expect to see a lot more baby-proofing.
“I’d think the renovations would include a main-level family room where parents and children can play on the floor without fear of damaging heirloom sculptures and art,” says Dana Scanlon, a real estate agent in Bethesda, MD. Furthermore, she’d recommend “heated bathroom floors throughout, to ward off the damp English chill, and a glass conservatory for breakfasts and family meals.”
Only time will tell what Frogmore Cottage will become, but let’s just say the members of the royal renovation team have a lot of work ahead of them!