The parents-to-be, who married at Windsor Castle one year ago in May and are expecting their first child at the end of April, view the move as an escape from the “fish bowl” aspects of life in London’s Kensington Palace, a source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
Settling in Windsor, some 25 miles west of London, “is a really healthy thing to do,” says a longtime friend, noting that the rigid life at the palace, where Prince William, Princess Kate and their three children live, is not for all.
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“I presume it must be nice to get out and away,” the friend says of their newly renovated residence, Frogmore Cottage. “Without neighbors who are all either family or staff [at Kensington Palace], they will now have their own thing.”
When they welcome their new baby, they will find the lush gardens around the cottage an oasis of calm (apart from the noise from the jets traveling overhead en route to Heathrow airport!).
For more on Harry and Meghan’s new home and an exclusive tour of Windsor, pick up a copy of the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands on Friday
“It has the most amazing mulberry walk, where we would pick mulberries for Prince Philip‘s mulberry gin,” says a former palace staffer. “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. They will be able to sit on their front lawn and hear the sound of wood on willow of the cricket match.”