The redwoods are not the only reminder of America on the grounds of Windsor

By Simon Perry
May 28, 2019 02:17 PM

As Archie Harrison grows up and plays on the grounds of their family house near Windsor Castle, mom Meghan Markle will have the perfect opportunity to share her California roots with her son.

Two giant redwoods flourish in the gardens of nearby Frogmore House — the magnificent trees are synonymous with Meghan’s home state of California.

One of the redwoods is said to be more than 160 years old and another standing close by was planted around 30 years ago, so it’s ready to take precedence when the older one eventually tumbles. (Apparently, the addition of the second one gave a new lease on life to the aging partner!) The intricate landscaping is a mark of the gardens at Frogmore — a short walk from where Meghan and Prince Harry and Archie have their home at Frogmore Cottage.

The couple’s large family home is on the edge of the parkland that visitors pass when the gardens open for three charity days each year. Frogmore House became open to the public on Tuesday in support of the National Open Garden Scheme.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and baby Archie
| Credit: Press Association via AP

It is the first time the wonderful gardens have been opened to the public since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their newly renovated Frogmore Cottage.

The redwoods are not the only reminder of America on the grounds of Windsor. A little further away — in the shadow of the mausoleum where Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert are buried — is the grave of Wallis Simpson, or the Duchess of Windsor, the divorced American-born socialite who wed King Edward VIII, forcing him to give up the throne after less than a year because his family and the government wouldn’t accept her.

Redwood tree on the grounds of Windsor Castle

The idyllic garden close to their home was closed off to visitors. But the lake, where Harry and Meghan posed for some of their engagement photographs, and Lady Gabriella Windsor and her bridal party stood for her wedding pictures earlier this month, is a serene spot that hundreds of tourists were able to enjoy on Tuesday.

Credit: Press Association via AP
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The couple’s move to Windsor “is a really healthy thing to do,” a longtime friend told PEOPLE, while noting that the rigid constraints of their previous abode at Kensington Palace might not be for all.

Frogmore Cottage
| Credit: Shutterstock. Inset: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

“It must be nice to get out and away. Without neighbors who are all either family or staff [at Kensington Palace], they will now have their own thing.”

A former palace staffer added, “It has the most amazing mulberry walk, where we would pick mulberries for Prince Philip’s mulberry gin. And when the Queen is there on a Sunday afternoon, it is a five-minute walk up the hill for tea with Granny. It is gorgeous.”