• 03:01
  • 21.09.2018
Harry and Meghan’s new home
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21.09.2018

Harry and Meghan’s new home

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will start their life as newlyweds living in Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, a stone’s throw from William and Kate.
It was at this two-bedroom, 17th-century residence that the prince got down on one knee a few weeks ago and proposed to the Suits star while they were roasting a chicken.
“Nott Cott” is located in the palace grounds, close to Hyde Park and the fashionable salons and boutiques of west London’s Kensington High Street, as well as the famous Harrod’s department store.
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The happy couple will share the home with the US actor’s dogs, beagle Guy and labrador-cross Bogart, who are in quarantine after moving over from her home in Toronto.
The cottage was Prince William and Kate’s first marital home. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are expecting their third child in April, now live in the palace’s 20-room Apartment 1A in the next courtyard.
The palace boasts extensive grounds, including a rooftop garden and the Sunken Garden where Harry and his fiancee met the press after their engagement was announced by Prince Charles.
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Harry, 33, and elder brother William have many happy memories of playing in the grounds as children. Kensington Palace remained the official residence of their mother, Princess Diana, after her divorce from the Prince of Wales, and the public left flowers there after her death.
The modest Nottingham Cottage has just one bathroom, a living room and a kitchen, as well as a small yard — to which Harry added a hammock when he moved there in 2013.
It was previously home to Prince Philip’s private secretary and his wife, and was at another time occupied by Princess Diana’s sister and her husband.
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The ceilings are said to be so low, Prince William had to stoop to avoid hitting his head.
Meghan, 36, may want to renovate the cottage when she officially moves in, after Kate repainted the walls when she lived at the royal “starter home”.
The Duke and Duchess employed the Queen’s former housemaid as their housekeeper while living between the cottage and Anglesey, off the northwest coast of Wales, where William was posted with the Royal Air Force. It is unclear whether Meghan and Harry will have staff.
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Meghan and Harry are set to marry at a church in the spring, in just six months time, so preparations for the wedding are likely to already be underway.
The newly engaged couple may later choose to move to a larger property at the palace, which is divided into a number of apartments. Residents include Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Kensington Palace underwent a $16 million refurbishment in 2011. It was originally known as Nottingham Cottage and built for the Earl of Nottingham when the area was still a suburban village.
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King William III and Queen Mary II bought it from then-earl and Secretary of State Daniel Finch for $27,000 in 1689, because the king wanted somewhere near London but away from the smoke.
It was later remodelled by Christopher Wren, the architect who designed St Paul’s Cathedral.
Queen Caroline shaped the palace and gardens, and Queen Victoria spent her childhood here, before leaving to live in Buckingham Palace in 1837.
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Kensington Palace later became home for minor royals, including her daughter, talented sculptor Princess Louise. At one time, it was known as the “Aunt Heap”.
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