The Frogmore Cottage has been an inseparable part of the Royal Family’s heritage for centuries. It was offered to Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2018 by the late Queen before their wedding. However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the cottage their humble abode for a short while only. If you’re eager to learn more about the Frogmore Cottage and its interiors, here are seven things to satiate your curiosity.
The cottage has a long history
The United Kingdom has several heritage locations and buildings that are a sight to behold, including the Frogmore House. King Charles II started building the original Frogmore Cottage between 1680 and 1684 on land purchased by King Henry VIII in the 16th century. This estate is part of the larger Windsor Estate and is close to the River Thames. The Frogmore Mausoleums and the Royal Burial Ground are also situated here. These are the final resting places of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, King Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson, and other late royals. As for the cottage’s purpose, it’s said that the place was a retreat for Charlotte, the queen consort of King George III, in 1801.
It had a different name
The residence of several members of the royal family was originally named Double Garden Cottage. It earned the name Frogmore Cottage because of the unusually high number of frogs living in the low-lying, marshy region near the River Thames. Surprisingly, the royal records showed that building the house didn’t cost much. The ten-bedroom cottage is said to have cost about $560, which, by today’s money, is about $65,000.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle remodeled the place
All homes require improvements occasionally, and the Frogmore Cottage is no different. Before moving here, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to overhaul the home. The couple remodeled various aspects of the cottage and turned five living quarters into one large residence. If you want to look at the photos of the Frogmore Cottage’s interiors, reports say the Sussexes gave fans a sneak peek at the kitchen in their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, released last December. The couple lived here from April 2019 until they moved out of the United Kingdom toward the end of March 2020. Since then, the royal house is usually unoccupied.
They hired a professional
Renovating a home as big as the Frogmore Cottage requires a professional hand. According to sources, Price Harry and Meghan Markle hired Vicky Charles of Charles & Co Design Studio to design the interiors of their living space. Charles had worked for Soho House, where the couple went on their first date, for two decades before setting up her own practice. Vicky Charles also designed the Soho Farmhouse in Cotswolds, where Price Harry and Meghan Markle have spent time during their country getaways.
The renovations were expensive
Remodeling the interiors of any home is expensive, let alone a royal residence. Frogmore Cottage’s renovation project cost about $3.05 million, as per the royal family’s annual financial report. The funds were sourced from the Sovereign Grant, which the Queen receives from British taxpayers to carry out royal duties. As a part of the project, the Frogmore Cottage was upgraded from a five-unit building into a single-family residence meant to accommodate the couple and their growing family. According to sources, the funds for the elements like the fixtures, fittings, and furnishing were paid out of pocket by Harry and Meghan. While this money was initially borrowed from the public purse, the royal couple returned it in full by contributing to the Sovereign Grant. They were able to repay the money after signing a multi-million dollar contract with Netflix.
A few home additions were made
Besides remodeling the entire home, the couple made new additions to the space. Reports suggest they replaced the crisscross interior staircase with a more elegant-looking double staircase. Other additions included an eco-friendly green energy unit, extensive landscaping to accommodate privacy for the couple and their child, and two conservatory extensions. Reports also say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle installed a nursery decorated with vegan-infused paint in neutral grays and a mother-and-baby yoga studio with a floating floor. Further, they installed triple-glazed windows for soundproofing, which cost about $62,000. This was done to block the noise of the Heathrow planes that usually passed overhead each hour within a mile of the house.
Who lives there now?
Although Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a permanent move to the country and settled in their Santa Barbara mansion, it’s understood that they retain the lease on Frogmore Cottage, which serves as a home whenever they travel to the UK. The couple celebrated their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor’s first birthday in the cottage in 2022 when they retired for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. At times, even Princess Eugenie, her husband Jack Brooksbank, and their son August have spent time at this royal home. As of today, reports suggest that King Charles III may have offered Frogmore Cottage as a place of residence to Prince Andrew.