Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New Frogmore Cottage Home Is 'Pretty Dilapidated Now'

It's a royal fixer-upper!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a fixer-upper on their hands.

The couple, who are planning a move from Kensington Palace in London to Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate, will need to convert the existing separate staff quarters into a contemporary family home.

Located in the sprawling parkland of the estate, “it’s pretty dilapidated now,” veteran royals biographer Ingrid Seward, author of the recent book My Husband and I, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. The couple have already put in plans to freshen the landscaping.

The Image Direct; Inset: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Of course, the renovated home will require a nursery in advance of the birth of the couple’s first child this spring.

Although some had pointed to Apartment 1 at Kensington Palace — right next to Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s home base — as a new family residence, “it would need considerable, lengthy refurbishment,” a royal source tells PEOPLE. Windsor, meanwhile, “has more space for children” and “has a special place in their hearts,” the source adds.


Long at home in the countryside, “Harry feels very imprisoned at Kensington Palace,” says Seward — and has told friends as much. “He can’t wait to get out.”

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Windsor also holds sentimental value for the couple: It’s where they snapped their engagement portraits and subsequently celebrated their nighttime wedding reception in May.

The Royal Mausoleum at FrogmoreCR: Courtesy of Simon Perry
The burial site. Courtesy of Simon Perry

Frogmore has its own unique history, including being the burial site for Wallis Simpson, the first American to marry into the royal family, as well as the place where Queen Victoria once housed her beloved aide, Abdul Karim.

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