Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to live in a ‘suite of apartments at Windsor Castle’ but the Queen gave them Frogmore Cottage instead, bombshell book claims
- Sussexes had hoped live in a ‘suite of apartments at Windsor Castle’, book claims
- However the Queen reportedly gave them Frogmore Cottage instead
- Lady Elizabeth Anson, who was a close friend of the Queen and died in 2020 said that the gift of Frogmore Cottage to the Sussexes was still a kind gesture
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had hoped to move into a ‘suite of apartments at Windsor Castle’ but were given Frogmore Cottage instead, a bombshell book claims.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly had their hearts set on a home in the heart of the Queen’s Berkshire home but were left disappointed, according to claims published in Katie Nicholl’s book, The New Royals.
‘When Harry and Meghan announced their wish to move out of Kensington Palace, the Queen offered them Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park as their new home,’ Nicholl writes, in an extract first published in the Mail On Sunday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had hoped to move into a ‘suite of apartments at Windsor Castle’ but were given Frogmore Cottage instead, a bombshell book claims. Pictured, the Queen with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly had their hearts set on a home in the heart of the Queen’s Berkshire bolthole but were left disappointed, according to claims published in Katie Nicholl’s book, The New Royals. Pictured, the couple in London last week
Lady Elizabeth Anson, who was a close friend of the Queen and died in 2020 claimed that the Sussexes hoped for a suite of apartments at the royal residence of Windsor Castle (left) following their relocation from Kensington Palace in 2018. But the Queen gifted them Frogmore Cottage (right)
‘This was not the suite of apartments at Windsor Castle they had hoped for.
‘It was a generous gesture nonetheless, recalled Lady Elizabeth Anson, who died in 2020.
‘”The cottage was a big deal,” she said. “The Queen’s entrance into the gardens is right next to their cottage.
‘It is essentially her back yard, her solitude, and her privacy. She was giving that up in gifting Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage. We all thought it was very big of her. She said, “I hope they’ll respect it.”‘
‘In April 2019, the couple finally moved in. Then, the following month, Buckingham Palace announced a still more significant departure: Harry and Meghan were moving their Royal Household – effectively their office – from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace.’
The move was particularly significant because it signalled the end of Harry and William’s ‘double act’, Nicholl notes, and was ‘deeply disappointing’ for the Queen.
The month after the Sussexes moved from Windsor, the couple relocated their office from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace, effectively ending the Harry and William ‘double act’. Pictured, the couples during a walkabout at Windsor Castle following the Queen’s death
Royal editor Nicholl has published one of two bombshell books that make explosive claims about the Royal Family.
A second, Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown by Valentine Low, claims Meghan believed she would be the ‘Beyoncé of the UK’ when she married Prince Harry, before she found that she hated the strict rules of royal life and later sensationally quit her duties.
The book, which was previewed in The Times, also ran allegations that the Queen was forced to put her foot down over Megxit and told the Sussexes they were ‘either in or out’ at the crunch Sandringham summit where the royals decided Harry and Meghan’s future.
Mr Low said that the royals met at a so-called ‘Sandringham summit’ five days after the Duke and Duchess announced their plans to step down as senior working royals on January 8, 2020.
During initial deliberations, the Queen wanted all four royal households to work together quickly in order to find a solution.
Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown by Valentine Low, claims Meghan believed she would be the ‘Beyoncé of the UK’ when she married Prince Harry, before she found that she hated the strict rules of royal life and later sensationally quit her duties
In the days that followed, meetings were held at Clarence House, then Prince Charles’ home, including secretaries from the four households, before discussions moved to Buckingham Palace.
Simon Case, Prince William’s private secretary, was also involved, ‘talking to both sides’, the newspaper reported.
These included five possible scenarios including giving the Duke and Duchess a month each year for their own activities, or taking on only a small number of engagements and spending most of their time doing other things.
As part of these options, blanket rules on not making decisions for financial or material gain – either for themselves or friends – would apply.
A former palace insider said: ‘I think Meghan thought she was going to be the Beyoncé of the UK. Being part of the royal family would give her that kudos.
‘Whereas what she discovered was that there were so many rules that were so ridiculous that she couldn’t even do the things that she could do as a private individual, which is tough.’
But another called it an impossible task, with the two worlds of royalty and celebrity unable to comprehend each other.
They said that the Duchess would be unable to fit the model of a working royal, with the palace unable to accept ‘who she wanted to be’.
Mr Low writes that it was the monarch herself who felt that unless the couple were willing to follow the rules which apply to all working royals, they would ‘not be allowed to carry out official duties’.
‘There was a very clear view: you can’t be in and out,’ a source told Mr Low. ‘And if you’ve got such clarity of view, it’s very difficult to say, ‘Why don’t we go 10 per cent this way instead of 20 per cent?”
This meant that compromise was taken off the table by the Queen, the author said.
He also claimed that the couple felt ‘cornered and misunderstood’ by the Palace due to ‘initial inflexibility’ surrounding their request.
Prince Harry initially sent an email to his father, then Prince Charles, regarding their concerns and desire to move to the US, but was told that it required a ‘proper family conversation’ that could not be held until at least January 29, 2020.
This, Mr Low wrote, was received badly by the couple, who had hoped to quickly resolve the matter following their request.
The response prompted the prince to organise a private meeting with the Queen, but this was cancelled, with Harry being told that she was no longer available and had been confused about her diary arrangements.
Courtiers saw the meeting as a chance for the Duke to win the Queen’s support first, before beginning wider talks with the royal family.
‘There was a danger that a private conversation could be interpreted very differently by two people,’ a source told Mr Low.
The author added that Harry considered driving unannounced to Sandringham to speak to the Queen, but decided against the move.
The New Royals, by Katie Nicholl, is published by Little, Brown on October 4 at £20. To pre-order a copy for £18, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937 before October 2. Free UK delivery on orders over £20. Or pre-order via http://hachettebookgroup.com/titles/katie-nicholl/the-new-royals/9780306827983/
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