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Cottage which royal couple must ‘vacate’ has royal links going back to 1680

Frogmore is a Grade II listed two-storey, stucco-faced house sitting in the north of the Frogmore Estate at Windsor.

Frogmore Cottage

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been asked to “vacate” Frogmore Cottage.

It is a Grade II listed two-storey, stucco-faced house sitting in the north of the Frogmore Estate on the Windsor Estate.

The estate is the site of Frogmore House, a beautiful 17th century manor which has been a royal residence since 1792, which was where Harry and Meghan had their evening reception after their wedding in May 2018.

Owned by the Crown Estate, it was a gift from Harry’s grandmother, the late Queen, and had been the couple’s UK home.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex Netflix documentary
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Joe Giddens/PA)

The house was built from 1680 to 1684 by Charles II’s architect, Hugh May, on the estates of Great and Little Frogmore, which were bought by Henry VIII in the 16th century and let to various tenants.

The name comes from the high number of frogs which live in the low-lying marshy area, which is set within a long sweeping curve of the River Thames.

The lease passed through many hands until 1792 when Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, purchased it to use the house as a country retreat for her and her daughters.

It later became the home of the Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria’s mother, who is laid to rest in a mausoleum in the grounds.

Frogmore House was repaired, restored and redecorated in the 1980s, revealing lost early 18th-century wall paintings by Louis Laguerre illustrating scenes from Virgil’s Aeneid.

The Duchess of Kent’s lilac-coloured sitting room is recreated as accurately as possible from how it appears in old photographs from 1861.

There is also the Britannia Room where, following the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht in 1997, the Duke of Edinburgh arranged a selection of items to reflect the interior of the much-loved vessel.

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.

The grounds include the Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and 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.

In 2019, royal accounts revealed that Meghan and Harry paid £2.4 million to cover the refurbishment and rental of Frogmore Cottage.

The couple faced a public backlash when the cost of refurbishing the home initially fell to the taxpayer.

The bill included structural work, rewiring and flooring, among other costs.

A spokesperson for the couple said: “We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.”

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