Inside Frogmore Cottage, the residence at the centre of a new royal row
The Grade II-listed Frogmore Cottage has been part of the royal family’s property portfolio since the 19th century.
Over the years, various members of the royal family have lived in the 10-bedroom house, which was first built as a retreat for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, in 1801.
It is currently known for being the first marital home and UK residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
However, it has now been reported that King Charles III has “evicted” the couple from Frogmore Cottage and is offering the keys to the Duke of York instead.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly preparing to ship their remaining belongings to their home in the US. Their representative declined to comment, however, the couple are said to be “stunned” by the decision to move Prince Andrew into the property.
While it is unknown whether Prince Andrew will accept the offer to move out of his current residence at the Royal Lodge into Frogmore Cottage, we take a closer look at the property.
Here is everything you need to know about Frogmore Cottage.
Where is Frogmore Cottage?
The cottage is located on the Frogmore estate, part of Home Park in Windsor, England.
It was built near Frogmore House under the Queen Charlotte’s orders.
However, it was not always known as its current name. It was originally named Double Garden Cottage.
In 1875, Queen Victoria had breakfast there. A volume of letters written by her, it was revealed that she had seen an “immense number of little frogs” during her brief time there, which she found “quite disgusting”.
Who owns Frogmore Cottage?
It is ultimately owned by the Crown Estate, but is used as a private royal residence and is not open to the public. Ownership of Frogmore Cottage is passed from monarch to monarch.
Since 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have used Frogmore Cottage as their official home base while in the UK. It was gifted to them by the late Queen Elizabeth after they married in 2018.
Harry and Meghan carried out renovations on the cottage using £2.4 million of taxpayer’s money, but have since paid it back in full by making a contribution to the Sovereign Grant.
The payment “fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage”, which remains “the UK residence of the duke and his family”, Harry’s spokesperson said in 2020.
The couple most recently spent time at the cottage in 2022, when they came to the UK to attend the late Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations. They also hosted their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday there.
Who’s lived there in the past?
Frogmore Cottage was first used by Queen Charlotte and her unwed daughters as a retreat. Later, American theologian Henry James Sr and his family leased the property in the mid-1840s.
In 1897, Queen Victoria’s personal secretary Abdul Karim moved into the house with his wife and father.
It also became a refuge for Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, who stayed there in the 1920s while under exile from Russia after the Russian Revolution.
Frogmore Cottage was divided into five separate housing units in the early 21st century and was occupied by Windsor estate workers.
In 2019, Harry and Meghan renovated it prior to the birth of their first child, Archie. But since they stepped down as senior members of the royal family in 2020 and moved to Montecito, the house has been largely unoccupied.
However, it was reported that Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her husband Jack Brooksbank moved into the property in 2021 after they had their first child.
But this appeared to be a temporary arrangement, as reports said they moved out only a few weeks later.
How many bedrooms does it have?
When Frogmore Cottage was built, it had 10 bedrooms. However, after Harry and Meghan’s major renovation of the place, it became a five-bedroom property but now includes two orangeries, a vegetable garden and a yoga studio, reports House & Garden.
The couple reportedly turned to Vicky Charles of Charles & Co design studio to design the interiors of their newly renovated home. Charles decorated the famed Soho Farmhouse and worked for Soho House for 20 years before starting her own practice in 2016.
It is believed that Harry and Meghan gave fans a sneak peek inside Frogmore Cottage in a photograph featured on their Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which was released last December.
In the black-and-white photograph, the couple are seen sharing a kiss while Meghan sits on a kitchen counter.
When did Meghan and Harry live there?
The Sussexes lived in Frogmore Cottage from April 2019 until their move to the US at the end of March 2020.
Prior to moving there, they lived in Harry’s residence at Nottingham Cottage, in Kensington Palace.