The lives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to change any day now. Since last fall, the Duchess of Sussex has been pregnant with her first child, and her due date is fast approaching. Once that baby arrives, she and Harry are going to have to get used to putting someone else’s needs before their own as they tackle the hard task of being parents.
Meghan has already had to embrace so much change since getting married last year, so adapting to motherhood will probably seem like a walk in the park. She’s proven by now that she’s capable of taking on any obstacles thrown her way, so it’s unlikely this is going to phase her. Then again, with this being her first kid, the Duchess is probably under a lot of pressure to give them the childhood they deserve.
That’s why she and Harry have a specific idea of where they want to raise their little family, and surprisingly, it’s not in London.
Deciding on where to live
When it comes to needing somewhere to live, the couple already has several properties to choose from. They’ll soon be moving out of Nottingham Cottage, Harry’s former bachelor pad, which sits on the grounds of Kensington Estate. The building doesn’t provide a great deal of space for a growing family, so it’s not surprising that the pair can’t wait to leave.
It’s served them well since the duo tied the knot, but it’s time for them to move somewhere a little bigger. They’re set to become residents of the Windsor Estate when they take up residence at Frogmore Cottage this spring, though they could easily go elsewhere. The Duke and Duchess have a place over in the Cotswolds, as well as several other properties they were rumored to have been gifted by the Queen. So, they’re certainly not short of anywhere to start their family.
Main base of operations
It was reported in late 2018 that Meghan and Harry would be moving into Frogmore Cottage the following year to start their family. The property was undergoing renovation work at the time, so the couple had to remain at Nottingham Cottage until the multi-million project was completed. It came as quite a shock that the Duke and Duchess had chosen Windsor as their main base of operations given they were heavily rumored to be staying at Kensington.
However, picking Frogmore Cottage made a lot of sense for the couple. It was a little outside of London and would give them the space they’d been seeking. The property would make for an ideal place to start their family. Well, for the most part anyway. Even though the pair were excited to move there, there was still somewhere else they’d have preferred to raise their baby.
The Windsor property likely swayed Meghan and Harry because it holds a sentimental attachment for them. It’s next to Frogmore House which is where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex held their wedding reception last year. The couple will reportedly be able to see the building from their window, providing them with a constant reminder of that wonderful day in 2018.
Memories such as this are important for any family, and the Royal Family aren’t different than others, in this case – they’ll want to hold onto these precious memories. Once their child is old enough, they’ll be able to share that special moment with them, giving even more of a reason to set themselves up there.
Transforming Frogmore Cottage
Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can move into Frogmore Cottage, it needs to be extensively renovated. Before the couple announced their plans to move there, it was divided into five separate units where staff members lived.
Harry and Meghan hired top designer Vicky Charles to help them redo their new home. Charles is the main designer behind the popular Soho House and has worked with many of Harry and Meghan’s celebrity friends including the Beckhams and the Clooneys.
One of the biggest changes that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are making to Frogmore Cottage is making it more eco-friendly. The couple reportedly installed a green energy unit that cost around $65,600.
The unit will provide electricity, heat, and hot water to the home. In addition, Meghan and Harry used vegan, organic paint in the nursery to make sure that the house lives up to their ethical standards. This fits with Meghan’s standards, as she is known to follow a mostly vegan diet.
A yoga studio
Another addition that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning to make to their new home is a yoga studio. Meghan is a long time fan of yoga, and has talked about practicing with her mom, too.
Soon she will be able to do yoga whenever she wants in the comfort of her very own studio. It’s a great way to stay fit and healthy, and with all of the stress that comes with the royal lifestyle, we understand why Meghan would want a studio of her own.
Looking further afield
Unfortunately, while Frogmore Cottage certainly provides a lot of benefits, it doesn’t quite match up to their dream property. Its location is convenient for work, and they’ll still be near to the Queen, but it’s not where they reportedly want to spend the rest of their lives. In fact, some sources say the couple has their eye on a secret love nest out in the country.
It seems that the Duke and Duchess’ ambitions are a little further afield than Windsor, with their sights set firmly on a property several hours outside of the capital. It’s somewhere they’re already familiar with, and they now want to make it their permanent home.
The ideal home
So, where is it Meghan and Harry would most like to raise their family? Apparently, they’ve got their eyes on the Cotswolds where they currently have a vacation home. They’ve got a two-year lease on the property which they’ll probably extend once it’s over because they love the place so much.
The house provides the couple with everything they could want, and it seems ideal for starting a family. The pair could certainly see themselves permanently living there, especially if they end up having more children.
Peace and quiet
The best part about the Cotswolds residence is that it gives the couple a place to enjoy some peace and quiet. When they’re there, their lives are nowhere near as hectic as they are in London. Plus, they receive very little attention from the press while there, compared to the constant presence of the paparazzi in the English capital.
Considering they want to give their child some semblance of normality growing up, keeping them away from the media as often as possible is incredibly important to them.
Close to friends
What’s more, their home in the Cotswolds is close to some of their good friends, including David and Victoria Beckham. The power couple has their own place in the area, and it’s reported that the four visit each other whenever they can.
While the Windsor estate might be home to the Queen for most of the year, Frogmore Cottage doesn’t provide the same kind of proximity to their friends. They would only have Harry’s grandmother for company, and we’re sure she doesn’t have much time to sit down and chat.
Immersed in nature
Another benefit of the Cotswolds house is all the opportunities for the couple and their child to get immersed in nature. Meghan is a big fan of the outdoors, and she loves being able to look out of her window and see so much beauty.
There are so many places she can walk her dogs without being followed, and it makes a nice change from being in London. If Meghan and Harry want their kid to be fit and healthy, taking them for regular walks in the countryside will be ideal.
All in all, there isn’t a better place for Meghan and Harry to start their family. If a normal upbringing is what they’re after, the Cotswolds definitely offers that. It keeps their baby away from the spotlight and allows them to raise it without the media watching their every move.
While they won’t be able to avoid the press outright, this house at least puts some distance between them and everyone else. Unfortunately, while it might be exactly what they’re looking for, there is one big problem with the property.
Too far away
The biggest issue with this house is that it’s a little too far away from London. Although the couple may want to escape from the city so they can have their own space, their obligations to the Royal Family require them to be near the English capital most of the time.
They can’t turn their backs on their duties, which means a permanent move to the Cotswolds would never work out in their favor. They’d spend so much time traveling back and forth rather than enjoying their time there.
Putting distance between them
It’s hard not to wonder if their desire to move all the way to the Cotswolds has anything to do with the reported feud between Meghan and her in-laws. For the longest time, it appeared that the Duke and Duchess would be taking up residence in Apartment 1 on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
The property was right next to William and Kate’s home, with doors even connecting the two together. However, after talk of bitterness between the two couples hit the media, Meghan and Harry suddenly did a complete u-turn.
A whole new world
A move to the English countryside might seem a bit extreme for the expectant parents given that both of them were raised in a completely different environment. Meghan and Harry are certainly more accustomed to city life than anything, especially with them spending so much of the last few years living in London and Hollywood.
Although they enjoy being in the countryside, would they be able to cope with having a home there permanently? It may feel like a dream at first, but it could soon turn into a nightmare.
Eager to move
It was only a couple of years ago that Meghan was living it up in Hollywood. Marrying Harry forced the former actress to pack her bags and move across the pond, and that sudden change may explain why she’s already prepared to find another home.
The Duchess has barely had time to settle down and establish herself in London, so she probably isn’t too upset by the prospect of moving again. She’s now in the perfect position to find somewhere that suits her family without worrying about what she’s leaving behind.
Leaving his family behind
Of course, while Meghan might not be bothered about sticking around London once the baby’s here, her husband may feel differently. Given he’s spent nearly all of his life in the city, it’d be understandable if he had reservations about leaving it. All of his family are there, and the further he and Meghan travel outside of London, the harder it will be for him to see them.
However, despite this, it seems the Duchess of Sussex isn’t the only one that’s excited to leave the hustle and bustle of the English capital for somewhere quieter. It appears that Harry and Meghan are united in their desire to jump ship and find a place that’s more suited to raising a family. They want to give their child the best start in life, and apparently, that means raising them somewhere that’s a little more out of the way.
A normal upbringing
Before Meghan’s bump was even showing, the couple were already sure of the kind of childhood they wanted their baby to have. They’re well aware of how damaging a privileged upbringing can have on a kid once they grow up, so they’ve decided to make things as normal as possible. From doing chores to using public transportation, their kid is going to experience life very differently from their cousins.
There will obviously be exceptions – they are the child of a duke and duchess, after all – but for the most part, their childhood will be perfectly ordinary. It might not be easy, especially with the paparazzi hounding them all the time, but that’s precisely why they want to move somewhere quieter. The further they go from London, the easier it will be to distance themselves from the press.
Avoiding the press
Meghan probably appreciates the solitude a house in the Cotswolds provides given how frequently she’s discussed in the media. Ever since marrying Harry, people have had something to say about her, and their opinions have grown increasingly negative.
While she still has millions of fans, loads of supporters seem to be turning against her. As the animosity worsens, it’s understandable for Meghan to want to move somewhere that people can’t get to her so easily. She needs a break from the press so she can focus on her baby.
Somewhere to settle
We’re just weeks away from Meghan and Harry becoming parents, and the couple is as prepared as they’re ever going to be. It looks unlikely they’ll be making the Cotswolds their permanent home, but maybe they’ll be able to move there once things calm down.
For now, Frogmore Cottage will have to do, not that it’s a bad place for them to live. In fact, with all the renovation work that’s been done there recently, it’s actually an excellent place for them to settle down and start their family.
Part of the reason the Sussex couple wants to move into Frogmore as opposed to staying in Kensington Palace – aside from the alleged feud brewing between them and Cambridge duo – is because they want the separation.
The two simply want a little bit of freedom and independence from the crazy life that is being Royal so that they can raise their family in private. They requested that their home be completely independent from the Buckingham Palace. This was their hope, but it didn’t go according to plan.
Getting no for an answer
In fact, the Queen came along and stopped them in their tracks. While she approved the couple moving into their own place, she denied their right to total independence. It is against tradition and the way things are done within the Royal Family, and she was having none of it.
The Queen – and others – potentially thought that if they were granted so much freedom, they might just go off and do their own thing. The couple is still under the Queen – Buckingham Palace’s – jurisdiction, so she jumped in and said ‘no’.
Shaking things up
The couple has certainly shaken things up from the second they announced their engagement, back in 2017. Meghan and Harry have proven that they want to do things their own way. They’ve also proven that they want to do those things on their own.
As many of the Royal staff members have been moving around – and up and leaving – most of the Sussex’s employees have completely changed. They’ve had a few people quit, some change positions, and they’ve also hired a few new faces to go with their new home.
A housewarming gift
Even though Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have yet to move into their new house, they have already received a housewarming gift from Queen Elizabeth. Harry’s grandmother gifted the couple several pieces of art from the Royal Art Collection.
The Queen reportedly told the pair that they can choose from a list of some of the treasured paintings to help decorate their new home. Queen Elizabeth also gave Prince William and Kate Middleton several works of art which are on display in their home.
Plenty of space
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have one child on the way, but Frogmore Cottage has lots of space. The house has ten bedrooms, so if the Duke and Duchess decide to expand their family, they won’t need to make too many changes.
They also have plenty of room to host visitors, which Meghan reportedly loves to do. All in all, it sounds like Meghan and Harry have designed the perfect new home for themselves, and they probably can’t wait to move in.
A little help from mom
If you’re worried about that ten-bedroom house feeling awfully empty for the young couple – don’t! The royal rumor mill has it that Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, will be moving in with them to make the adjustment to parenthood as easy and seamless as possible.
In fact, with Meghan’s due date fast approaching – late April or early May, as has been reported – Ragland is expected to jet across the Atlantic to be with her daughter, who doesn’t have any other family she’s still in touch with.
A second baby shower?
Another potential reason Meghan’s mom might soon be making the trip to the United Kingdom is a second baby shower, after the lavish – and secretive – one Meghan held in New York City.
While baby showers are not really a British tradition, it’s been rumored Meghan might soon throw a baby shower in her adopted country, where members of the Royal Family might actually get to attend. There have even been murmurs of Kate organizing it. Whether it’s held at Frogmore Cottage, or at all for that matter, remains to be seen.
Lights, camera… childbirth?
While Doria has yet to fly across the pond to be with Meghan, someone else near and dear to her heart has. Daniel Martin, the expectant mother’s friend and makeup artist, was spotted walking along the English capital’s Soho neighborhood, just a few miles off from Kensington Palace.
This led to speculation that Martin was in the U.K. to get Meghan camera-ready for her birth. Martin himself later posted a social media story clearly taken at Windsor, making it likely that he was Meghan and Harry’s first guest at their new home.
Leaving Lindo Wing
In fact, it seems like Harry and Meghan’s move out to the country also means that Meghan won’t be giving birth at the famed Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London.
The hospital wing, which is more like a five-star hotel than anything else, has hosted Meghan’s mother and sister-law, Princess Diana and Duchess Kate, when they gave birth to their children. Leaving in Windsor, however, means they will be much closer to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, which is just half an hour from their new home.
Breaking with tradition
It seems like the Sussexes can’t seem to stop breaking with tradition. In another deviation from the royal norm, Meghan has been reported to want a birth that’s as natural as possible.
That means that Royal Household gynecologists Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston (yes, that’s a position that actually exists) will have to wait in the wings as Meghan doesn’t want “men in suits” supervising her birth. And if royal scuttlebutt is anything to go by, her handpicked delivery room team might just be led by a female doctor. Scandalous!