Queen Elizabeth’s Brief but Cautionary Message to Prince Harry on His Home
In his recent memoir, Prince Harry provided intriguing details about his housing journey, including his experience at Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage and the surprising transition to Frogmore Cottage. The Duke of Sussex described Nottingham Cottage as “charming but too small” for their needs, as it couldn’t accommodate their energetic dogs and young son, Archie.
Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s visit to Frogmore Cottage, Queen Elizabeth II had expressed reservations, referring to it as “a bit of a shell.” The late monarch had cautioned her grandson about the state of the residence, which he mistakenly believed to be Frogmore House. Clarifying the situation, Queen Elizabeth clarified that it was Frogmore Cottage, nestled near Frogmore House, with a sense of seclusion and historical significance. Prince Harry recollected the queen’s description of Frogmore Cottage as a “lovely place” and part of the Crown Estate.
Prince Harry vividly recounted his meeting with the queen regarding his “housing situation,” where she thoughtfully considered his request. Ultimately, she suggested Frogmore Cottage as a potential solution, acknowledging its current state as “a bit of a building site” but encouraging the couple to explore it and evaluate its suitability. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex promptly visited the property and found themselves captivated by its charm, potential, and proximity to the Royal Burial Ground. Prince Harry expressed his indifference to its proximity, humorously remarking that they wouldn’t disturb the deceased if they reciprocated the favor.
Expressing his gratitude to Queen Elizabeth over the phone, Prince Harry enthusiastically shared his excitement about Frogmore Cottage becoming their dream residence. With the queen’s permission, the couple embarked on a thorough planning process with builders, focusing on essential renovations to ensure habitability, such as plumbing, heating, and water systems. These improvements were undertaken at their own expense, with the couple reimbursing the Sovereign Grant for the renovation costs. This gesture enhanced the value of the property and ultimately benefited the Crown, as reported by The Telegraph.
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially moved out of Frogmore Cottage, speculation arose regarding its future occupants. Reports suggested that King Charles had extended an offer to his brother, Prince Andrew, to reside at the cottage. However, concrete details about the cottage’s new occupants remain uncertain.
Prince Harry’s memoir offers a unique glimpse into the couple’s housing challenges and the transformation of Frogmore Cottage. It underscores their efforts to create a comfortable home for their growing family while also exemplifying their commitment to taking financial responsibility for the property’s renovations. The story of Frogmore Cottage serves as a testament to the couple’s resilience and their desire to carve out a meaningful space within the confines of the royal estate.
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