Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have decided the time has come to find a place of their own to begin family life.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they are to leave Kensington Palace, where they have until now lived close to Harry’s brother Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, and relocate 32km away in Windsor.
The couple will move to the Grade II-listed Frogmore Cottage, on the Windsor Estate, early next year as they prepare for the arrival of their first child in the spring.
They have lived at Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace, since their engagement last year.
A spokesman for the couple said: “Windsor is a very special place for Their Royal Highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate. The Duke and Duchess’s office will continue to be based at Kensington Palace.”
The move follows rumours of tension between the Sussexes and the Cambridges. A palace source said: “The initial plan was for Harry and Meghan to move out of their cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace and into one of the main apartments.
“But there has been a bit of tension between the brothers. Now Harry and Meghan don’t want to live next to William and Kate and want to strike out on their own.”
Earlier this month there were claims that the Queen felt compelled to speak to the Duke about Meghan’s attitude in the run-up to their wedding last May following a disagreement over tiaras. The Queen is also said to have questioned why Meghan needed a veil for the wedding, given it was to be her second marriage.
The source said at the time: “Meghan is used to working in a Hollywood environment”, adding that the Duke is said to have told staff before their wedding: “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”
Kensington Palace declined to comment at the time.
The Sussexes’ new home is likely to hold fond memories since they held their evening wedding party at nearby Frogmore House following their marriage in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Frogmore Cottage has more than enough space for the family to grow, with a nursery for their baby and room for a gym and a yoga studio — should they want one — along with 10 bedrooms. The cottage is divided into five units that were previously home to members of the Royal staff, but it will now be refurbished into a family home with modern amenities.
It is likely that security will be significantly stepped up before the couple move in. Previously, the public could walk within yards of the property, which was surrounded by a small fence with a sign reading “Private”. Frogmore House, built from 1680 to 1684 by Hugh May, architect to Charles II, is set in 14 hectares of Berkshire countryside and is home to the Royal Burial Ground — where Harry’s great-great-uncle, the abdicated King Edward VIII, is buried with his wife Wallis Simpson, later Duchess of Windsor — and the tomb of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The name was inspired by the number of frogs that live in the low-lying marshy area, set within a long sweeping curve of the River Thames.
The winding lakes, wooded mounds, glades, walks and bridges around the Grade I-listed building were laid out in the 1790s, and include a summerhouse designed as a Gothic ruin.
Frogmore House was repaired, restored and redecorated in the 1980s, revealing lost early 18th-century wall paintings by Louis Laguerre showing scenes from Virgil’s Aeneid.