Meghan Markle: Nottingham Cottage discussed by expert
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now live in a vast mansion in Montecito with their son Archie, but their first marital home was more humble. Tom Quinn, author of Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle claimed that the Duchess had initially been “drawn in” by the fantasy element of joining the Royal Family. However, she was disappointed when she found out she and Harry would be living “in a little cottage”, Mr Quinn claimed.
He told Pod Save the Queen host Ann Gripper: “I think that actually, she wasn’t too keen on that.
“It seemed like they were being shunted off to a little prefab in the grounds.”
Harry had lived at Nottingham Cottage since 2013 and Meghan finally left Toronto to move in with him shortly before they announced their engagement.
The two-bedroom, one-bathroom property on the Kensington Palace estate is tiny compared to their property in Montecito, which is complete with nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms.
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Meghan Markle filled up nearly a whole room with clothes at Nottingham Cottage
Nottingham Cottage is in the grounds of Kensington Palace
What’s more, one of their bedrooms at Nottingham Cottage ended up being essentially used as a wardrobe for Meghan to keep all her clothes.
In pro-Sussex biography ‘Finding Freedom’, co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: “There was work to be done on the domestic front.
“During her previous stays in London, Meghan left clothes and a few decorative touches, but now she had to find room for all her belongings.
“Her natural eye for design had gone a long way towards dressing up the house, but there wasn’t really anything she could do to change the size.
Meghan moved into Nottingham Cottage shortly before the couple’s engagement announcement
“There were parts of the second floor where the drop ceilings were so low that Harry was forced to stoop his 6’1’’ frame to avoid hitting his head.
“And Meghan’s wardrobe nearly filled one of the bedrooms.
“But a little crowding was hardly a problem. After months of long-distance, Meghan was thrilled to finally be sharing a zip code, W8 4PY, with her partner.”
The book also claimed Meghan loved living at Nottingham Cottage, despite its size.
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Meghan, Harry and Doria Ragland in the grounds of Kensington Palace
The authors wrote: “She felt at home at Nott Cott with Harry — she’s always been able to bloom where she was planted, but she hadn’t moved to London to start a new job.
“She had moved to London to start a new life.”
She made herself feel at home by making it “as comfortable and chic as possible”, which helped her cope with the huge life change.
While rumours were flying around the world that the couple were engaged, they were “holed up in their lovenest” just enjoying spending time together.
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They enjoyed “cosy nights in front of the television, cooking dinner”, including their favourite dishes like pasta with courgette and parmesan.
They also liked to socialise with friends like Charlie von Straubenzee and his girlfriend Daisy Jenks, or Meghan’s friend Lindsay and her husband Gavin Jordan.
Nottingham Cottage was also where Prince Harry finally popped the question as they were “trying” to cook a chicken.
This low-key proposal was a wholly different experience to his brother Prince William, who waited until the end of a holiday to Kenya.
Eventually, Meghan and Harry decided to leave Nottingham Cottage and move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
After stepping down as senior royals, they spent some time in Canada, before staying at Tyler Perry’s house in Los Angeles before finally buying their own house in Montecito.
Finding Freedom’ was written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand and published by Dey Street Books in August 2020. It is available here.