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Royal Residences: A brief history of Frogmore Cottage


Frogmore Cottage has been the subject of a lot of speculation recently, find out more about the UK home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Where is it located?

Frogmore Cottage is located on the Frogmore Estate in Home Park, Windsor, England. The Grade II listed property is part of the Crown Estate, meaning it is on the Monarch’s public estate.

When was it built and when was it used as a royal residence?

The cottage, which was originally known as Double Garden Cottage, was built at the direction of Queen Charlotte in 1801. According to royal records, the home was built for £450 by a Mr Bowen. Frogmore Cottage was built in the gardens near Frogmore House, a royal building which is still used for events such as wedding receptions, most notably for Peter and Autumn Phillips and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Before the name was changed to Frogmore Cottage, Queen Victoria had breakfast there in 1875 and noted the “immense number of little frogs” which she described in her diary as “quite disgusting”.

Who has lived there?

Queen Charlotte and her unmarried daughters used Frogmore Cottage as a retreat as it was only a short distance from Windsor Castle. Following Queen Charlotte’s death in 1818, the cottage was left unused until the 1840s when theologian Henry James Sr lived there with his family.

The next noted use came in 1897, when Abdul Karim, a personal secretary to Queen Victoria lived in Frogmore Cottage with his wife and father. Karim was a great friend to the ageing Queen and their relationship has since been dramatised in the 2017 film, Victoria & Abdul.

Until the 1920s, the cottage was once again empty until Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna stayed there briefly whilst in exile from Russia after the Russian Revolution.

During the beginning of the 21st century, the cottage was used as a home for several Windsor estate workers, before being converted in 2019 for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their new son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Who is it used by today?

Following the announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that they were to step back from their roles as senior royals and relocate to North America, the cottage was intended to be their home for when they returned to the UK. The home was recently the subject of great speculation when it was revealed that the house had been converted using £2.4 million of the Sovereign Grant. This was settled when the Duke of Sussex reportedly paid back the full amount.

In November 2020, it was reported that Prince Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, had moved into the cottage. However, the following month it was reported that the couple had returned to live in London and Frogmore Cottage is empty until the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use it as their UK base again.