"They'll enjoy it much more in Windsor," a family friend tells PEOPLE

By Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit
April 04, 2019 10:48 AM
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Frogmore Cottage is more than just a new home for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry – it’s a total lifestyle change.

The royal parents-to-be are officially country living after moving from Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage in London to Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle, about 25 miles away – and insiders believe it’s a perfect fit for the couple.

“They’ll enjoy it much more in Windsor,” a family friend tells PEOPLE. “They feel claustrophobic in their place in Kensington Palace.”

The two-bedroom place at Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lived since their November 2017 engagement, was never meant to be a permanent residence, especially once the couple started a family of their own.

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Frogmore Cottage
| Credit: The Image Direct

The move represents a major lifestyle shift – the start of their new family and a breakaway from the confines of Kensington Palace alongside Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children. (The two couples are also splitting their offices, a move that was formally announced on March 14.)

Moving to Windsor “is a really healthy thing to do,” says a longtime friend, noting that the rigid constraints of Kensington Palace are not for all.

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

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

A royal source previously told PEOPLE that Windsor “has more space for children” and “has a special place in their hearts.” After all, it’s where Harry and Meghan snapped their engagement portraits and subsequently celebrated their nighttime wedding reception in May.