Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan made a new home for themselves over in Windsor. The move out of London was a big deal for the couple, especially given everything they were leaving behind. However, judging by new reports, it seems that staying in Kensington Palace was never an option for the pair. They were desperate to get out of there by any means possible because Meghan apparently couldn’t handle living there any longer
Not what they’d expected
When the news broke that these two were going to raise their family in Windsor, many people were surprised.
They’d expected Harry and Meghan to settle down in London, especially given that’s where most royal business is dealt with. However, the couple had other ideas.
Time for an upgrade
Their desire to pack their bags and move away from the English capital was reportedly Meghan’s doing. She’d found it increasingly difficult to live at Kensington Palace because she considered it to be too claustrophobic.
Given the size of the place, it’s hard to imagine anyone deeming it to be too small. However, Meghan apparently found that the Palace simply wasn’t to her liking. It attracted far too many tourists, and the Duchess wanted somewhere quieter where she could raise her baby. So, Windsor seemed like the best option.
A demanding diva?
Meghan’s notion of Kensington Palace being too small will no doubt impact her popularity with the public. She’s already considered to have an ego because of her supposedly demanding nature, and this just backs that up.
People may well start finding a worse name than “Duchess Difficult” to start calling her now. Of course, nothing about Meghan being a diva has ever come from her or anyone that she’s close with. The reports that say she’s too demanding may well just be rumors from those who know nothing about her.
Finding a family home
There’d always been an understanding from the public that Meghan and Harry would eventually move. Nottingham Cottage was a nice enough residence on the Kensington estate, but it was no family home. If the duo were hoping to have children, then a move was definitely in the cards.
However, the assumption had always been that the couple would find somewhere relatively close to their old place. Why would they need to move across the country when everything they needed was right there in London? It’s no wonder people didn’t see Windsor coming.
Baby on the way
The move came relatively quickly after these two tied the knot, thanks to a new addition to the family. A few months after their wedding, they revealed Meghan was expecting, and the couple couldn’t wait to start the next chapter in their lives.
Of course, the revelation about the Duchess’ pregnancy meant the pair were suddenly racing against time. They needed to find a new home and get themselves settled in before baby Archie arrived and took up all their attention. That was the kind of stress Meghan didn’t need.
The home for them
Fortunately for these two, it didn’t take long for them to find the perfect forever home for their family. They opted for Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate, believing it to be the right size for all their needs.
However, in its current state, the house wasn’t really much use to them. It had been designed as living quarters for the estate’s staff, so renovations were necessary if the pair wanted to live in it. That’s why they put millions into remodeling the home and making it perfect for them.
Putting their privacy first
Although it’s unclear if Meghan really did find Kensington Palace claustrophobic, we doubt she regrets moving to Windsor. After all, living at Frogmore Cottage has afforded her and Harry far more privacy than they would have ever gotten in London.
Having a space to themselves was something these two desperately wanted when it came to growing their family. Although they appreciated the public’s support, they wished to raise their son away from prying eyes. Privacy is a luxury the Royal Family can’t always afford, but Meghan and Harry were determined to get it.
Moving to Windsor may well have put these two out of the loop, but that doesn’t bother Meghan. She’s apparently glad that people have to visit her now that she’s not a few minutes away. In a way, it’s brought her closer to her loved ones, because they’ve learned to appreciate the moments they spend together.
In London, she was surrounded by friends and family all the time, and it supposedly became too crowded for her. Thankfully, being in Windsor is like a breath of fresh air for the Duchess.
Living in the countryside
Not only is Frogmore Cottage far quieter than her old digs, but it’s also more suited to Meghan’s tastes too. That’s because Windsor is more immersed in the countryside compared to Kensington Palace. As an environmental activist, the Duchess is fond of spending time in nature, and Windsor seems to have plenty of that.
In fact, she and her husband are so passionate about looking after the planet that they reportedly plan on only having two kids. They want to avoid putting too big of a strain on resources and the environment.
It served him well
Meghan is probably grateful to be out of Nottingham Cottage given it was never really her home. Although she spent months living there, the property always felt more like Harry’s place than hers. That’s not surprising given it was the Duke of Sussex’s bachelor pad before Meghan came along.
The property served him well while he was single, but by the time he got married, things started to feel a little too cozy. That’s why Harry agreed it was time to move on and find somewhere they could both call home.
Interior designer at work
Now that they’re in Frogmore Cottage, it’s far easier for Meghan to put her stamp on the place. They both had a say in how the house was designed during the renovations, although the Duchess may well have taken the lead with this.
After all, Meghan is a huge fan of interior decorating, so she probably relished the opportunity to make the house her own. Not only did it give her something to do, but it also likely served as a pleasant distraction from her pregnancy. That was definitely needed.
Keeping the staff at bay
Privacy is so vital to Meghan and Harry that they haven’t even allowed staff to stay with them at Frogmore Cottage. Although the house was once used as living quarters for the workers, its original purpose has officially run its course.
The Duke and Duchess are apparently hoping that limiting the staff’s time at the property will prevent Archie from being too spoiled. They want him to have a more normal life than his cousins, so they’re limiting the amount of luxury he gets to enjoy. Will it work, though?
Escaping their in-laws
Plenty of rumors have suggested that moving away from Windsor wasn’t merely about finding somewhere bigger for the Duke and Duchess to live. There’s been a lot of talk about the couple wanting to get away from William and Kate who live in Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A.
According to reports, relations between the siblings hasn’t been great as of late, so moving was a chance for the couple to escape the drama. Would Meghan and Harry really do something like this though? Many people seem to think so, and with good reason.
Before Windsor was in the picture, it seemed almost certain that Meghan and Harry would be staying at Kensington Palace. Rather than living at Nottingham Cottage, though, they’d be setting themselves up in Apartment 1.
With around 20 bedrooms throughout the property, there was more than enough space for the duo to start their family. However, the residence was right next door to William and Kate, and it even had doors connecting their house with their neighbors. If the couples were feuding, that’s the last thing they would have wanted.
A last-minute decision
The assumption from the public was that Apartment 1 was definitely in Meghan and Harry’s sights. That’s why when Frogmore Cottage was announced, people were left confused. They weren’t sure if they’d been led astray by false reports, or if Windsor had been a last-minute change of plans.
Most people assumed it was the latter, believing that tensions between the couples had driven Meghan and Harry out of London. After all, talk of them being at war had been all over the press, particularly in regards to Meghan and Kate.
Rumors of a feud started long before the move to Windsor was revealed. The two duchesses had supposedly been struggling to get along ever since Meghan reportedly made her sister-in-law cry at a dress fitting. Neither woman has ever spoken about the feud, so it’s difficult to know for sure if they really do hate each other.
However, the prevalence of the story definitely suggests things aren’t what they could be between the two sisters-in-law. It’s a shame given how much the pair could achieve if they worked together.
Going their separate ways
Although the royals haven’t confirmed a feud, there’s certainly plenty of evidence to suggest tensions are high. The Fab Four have been gradually drifting apart over the last year, with Harry and Meghan’s move to Windsor resulting in some significant changes.
This includes the establishment of their own royal household following their departure from Kensington Palace. The pair also set up a royal foundation for their charitable endeavors, which was a particularly controversial move. After all, it meant bidding farewell to the foundation Harry had established with his brother a decade ago.
All is not lost
While it might have seemed like all hope was lost for these two couples, recent events have suggested there’s still a chance for them. Meghan and Kate’s appearance at Wimbledon certainly insinuated that relations are better than they used to be.
The pair put on a positive display at the women’s final, with Kate even reportedly comforting her sister-in-law after Serena Williams lost. While they might still have a long way to go before things are truly mended, this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Vacations in Norfolk
Although William and Kate enjoy their time at Kensington Palace, they also need a break from the royal residence every now and again. That’s why the couple regularly takes vacations to Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
Much like Frogmore Cottage, this residence is surrounded by countryside, so it’s an excellent place for the couple to go for walks and enjoy nature with their kids. Kate apparently used it a lot for recuperation after she gave birth to her children. A bit of peace was exactly what she needed at the time.
These two aren’t the only ones that like to go away. Although they’re settled in at Frogmore Cottage now, Meghan and Harry will no doubt want to take some breaks every now and again. It wasn’t that long ago that they hopped on a plane and enjoyed a vacation in Ibiza and Nice with their newborn son.
Unfortunately, one place they won’t be able to stay again is their residence in the Cotswolds. After pictures of the property emerged online, they were forced to abandon it due to privacy concerns.
At home in Scotland
Traveling the world and owning various vacation residences are all part of the Royal Family package. Most people in the monarchy have several properties that they use to enjoy some time away, particularly the Queen. While Buckingham Palace might be her base of operations, the monarch has a second home at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
According to her family, it’s the place where she’s happiest, so it’s no wonder she loves going there. Plus, given everything she does, the Queen definitely deserves a vacation every now and again.
She made the right call
Whether Meghan deemed Kensington Palace to be claustrophobic or not, there’s no doubt that she’s far happier living in Windsor. The quieter nature of the place means she can raise her son in peace without people interfering. Plus, she gets to put some distance between her and the in-laws.
Given how overwhelming the monarchy can be, that must be reassuring. While being outside of London isn’t always ideal, Windsor thankfully isn’t too far away from the city. So, she can still easily travel into the capital if she needs to.
(Not) taking care of business
Meghan and Harry’s move away from Kensington Palace had some far-reaching ramifications, some of them being very official. Beyond where the two royals lay their heads at night, the move also signalled going their own way officially.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their official office at Kensington Palace, meaning all of their official engagements were coordinated through there. Since the move, however, they moved the office to Buckingham Palace. This only happened, however, after they asked the Queen for permission to open their own independent offices in Windsor – and heard a resounding “No.”
Trouble letting go?
Just because their offices have officially disengaged from Kensington Palace doesn’t mean everything is working smoothly quite yet, however. Royal well-wishers got a firsthand look at just how much that’s true this past August, when Meghan celebrated her 38th birthday.
Naturally, many fans went to the trouble of sending her happy birthday notes, and received a stock thank-you card in return. The only problem? Those cards came in a Kensington Palace envelope, adding yet another gaffe to Harry and Meghan’s seemingly ever-lengthening list.
Snubbing the Queen’s invitation
With the move done, you might think Meghan and Harry suddenly have a lot of free time on their hands. Well, every year during the summer, the Queen goes off to Scotland for a little R&R at her Scottish estate, Balmoral. The whole family is invited, and usually attends.
This year, Harry and Meghan said they were “too busy” to go, and that Archie was “too young.” Okay… except all three of them just vacationed in Ibiza and France, and Meghan traveled to New York City to watch pal Serena Williams play at the U.S. Open.
A tough truth to tell
It seems like Harry and Meghan’s public relations disasters all have a common theme – namely, their insistence to go it alone. Meghan is said to have brought in her own team of PR people, on top of those already working at Buckingham Palace.
In addition, an American crisis management firm was paid $7,500 to try and rehabilitate Meghan’s public image. Despite it all, they’ve suffered one embarrassing gaffe after another. It seems like whenever they get an answer they don’t like, they go to someone who’ll tell them what they want to hear.
All about perspective
All that having been said, we shouldn’t forget the fact Harry and Meghan lead very different lives to most of ours. Meghan was a successful actress, while Harry’s been a royal his entire life. Diana’s efforts to give her children a normal life notwithstanding, he isn’t a normal person.
So when Meghan said Kensington Palace was too “claustrophobic” despite not being raised in a palace, it sort of makes sense. They’re both fiercely independent people, who love entertaining their many friends. Viewed from that angle, it doesn’t seem so strange anymore, does it?
Those early days
Of course, in the early days of Harry and Meghan’s courtship, we’re betting Kensington Palace didn’t look “claustrophobic” one bit… Before the two got married, before the world even got wind of their romance, Harry and Meghan would skulk about to spend time together on the down-low.
According to royal expert Ashley Pearso, Harry would often sneak into Meghan’s Toronto pad, while she was smuggled into his apartment at Kensington Palace. “They were used to spending a lot of evenings at home having home cooked meals,” Pearso explained, “because they couldn’t go out to restaurants.”
Ready for the all-American pastime
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? Well, the Duke and Duchess are now married, but they still can’t go out to restaurants! Don’t go feeling too bad for them, though. When they left Kensington for Frogmore Cottage, sources say entertaining was very close to the top of Meghan’s priorities list.
To that end, they’ve reportedly built a $5,000 “’outdoor seating and cooking area” at Frogmore – paid for with their own money. The area’s built-in barbecue allows the two to have company over and feed them themselves.
More like Kate?
Meanwhile, despite her push to split from Kensington Palace and the very prominent Duchess who still occupies it, it seems Meghan has taken a page or two out of Kate’s book after all. Returning from maternity leave, Meghan made a triumphant return unveiling her new line of clothes for charity.
She realized, one well-placed but anonymous source revealed, that she’d lost her mojo. To get it back, she looked to her sister-in-law, who “provided a princess masterclass” for the American Duchess. Meghan was purportedly now strive to be more “humble and considerate” – just like Kate!
While Meghan did look to Kate for inspiration on some things, she most certainly is doing her best to stand apart from her on others. It’s been well documented, for instance, that Kate is an avid amateur photographer, and snaps she took were even featured on Kensington Palace’s official social media.
Kate’s images, as well as those she’s featured in, are usually bursting with color. Many photos of Meghan on the Sussxes’ official account, however, are noticeably monochromatic. That’s not an accident. Photographer Glenn Grat said Meghan was “imagine-conscious” and that she chose black-and-white to “make an impression.”
Playdates with the future King
Kensington Palace first opened in 1605 – pretty old even by the Royal Family’s lofty standards – but it’s still a home to people in 2019. And some of those people just so happen to be children! One of those kids is Prince George, who recently started his second year at Thomas’s Junior School in London.
George, perhaps unsurprisingly, has turned out to be a popular kid, and reportedly has his friends over for playdates at Kensington Palace! Of course, it’s still a palace, so anyone who comes in has to be vetted by security.