The Real Reason Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Are Leaving Kensington Palace
Over the weekend, Kensington Palace confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are moving out of their current residence on the London estate and into Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle. "Windsor is a very special place for Their Royal Highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate," the Palace said in a statement.
Up until then, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were rumored to move into the 22-room apartment on Kensington Palace grounds, located next to Prince William and Kate Middleton's residence. So why the big move?
According to a new report from royal correspondent Rebecca English of The Daily Mail, the decision to relocate wasn't fueled by a dramatic falling out within the family, but rather by Harry's growing family.
He and Meghan are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019, and he "wants to escape the goldfish bowl of royal life for the sake of his marriage and his unborn child," English writes. In fact, his marriage to Meghan reportedly "hastened" his and William's decision to live separately.
The couple had a number of potential residences to choose from, but they ultimately chose Frogmore shortly after returning home from their royal tour of Australia and the Pacific, English reports.
Part of the reason they vetoed Apartment 1 at Kensington, even though the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are moving out of the property next year, was the potential cost of renovations, a source told English. Kate and William's sprawling apartment next door reportedly cost taxpayers £4.5 million ($5.8 million).
Another reason is that Harry reportedly doesn't want his kids to grow up in the public spotlight like William's children have. Private spaces to play outdoors are limited on Palace grounds and George and Charlotte, five and three years old respectively, are photographed by paparazzi traveling to and from school, English writes. As the second in line for the throne, William has to stay in London. But Harry, who's sixth in line, has more freedom.
Frogmore Cottage is more private, secluded, and has more space for their future kids, visitors like Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, nannies, and protection officers, according to English.
It's about 25 miles from London, so Meghan and Harry will have to stick out the longer commute, as their official offices will remain in Kensington. But they won't be too far from family. The future baby Sussex "will still see plenty of [his or her] cousins," a source told English.
English does report there have been "some tensions behind the scenes," with a "very well-placed" royal insider admitting the Duchess of Sussex is still getting used to the "royal lifestyle and constraints." Still, sources tell the Daily Mail that William and Harry are "still incredibly close" and have "no acrimony."
Despite the occasional awkwardness, "Kate is pretty unflappable and nothing has become bad enough to make Harry and Meghan want to move out," an insider adds to English. "People are genuinely pleased to see them so happy."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.