November 20, 2018
The couple is spending more time outside the palace, and might consider raising their child outside of London entirely.
Harry and Meghan May Not Become William and Kates Neighbors After All
The lavish 21-room apartment is all ready for the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but after a costly £1.4 million refurbishment, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may not be moving into Apartment 1 at Kensington Palace—next door to William and Kate Middleton— after all. According to sources at the palace, Apartment 1’s long-term residents, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, are still living in the house and have no plans to move out.
Kensington Palace declined to comment, but a friend of the Gloucesters said, “They are still at the property and have said nothing about moving anytime soon. If the Queen asked them to move out then of course they would, but for the time being they are there.”
Meghan and Harry, who currently live at Nottingham Cottage on the palace grounds, were said to be excited about moving into the property next door to Apartment 1a, where William and Kate live with their three children. There is even a door connecting the two properties.
It had been thought that the apartment had undergone extensive renovations to prepare for Harry and Meghan’s arrival. Fellow Kensington Palace resident Princess Michael of Kent further fueled speculation about the plans when she said in a magazine interview, “They [the Gloucesters] are rattling around this huge space and I think Prince Harry might go there. Then they”d be next door to each other—very good move.”
The news that Harry and Meghan may not become William and Kate’s neighbors after all comes just weeks after reports that the princes are to divide their joint household at Kensington Palace and have separate offices. The Palace has so far declined to comment, but there is some speculation that Harry and Meghan might leave Kensington Palace entirely. The couple is increasingly spending their time in the Cotswolds, where they rent a farmhouse on the Great Tew estate, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Kensington Palace.
“They are using their current home, Nottingham Cottage, as a pied-à-terre for when they need to be in London,” said one source. “The rest of the time they are mostly in the Cotswolds.”
With the arrival of baby Sussex in the spring, Harry and Meghan will no doubt be needing more space. The immaculately appointed Nottingham Cottage still has only two bedrooms, and when Meghan’s Los Angeles-based mother, Doria, comes to visit, space is limited.
“When Doria comes over to stay they are usually in the Cotswolds,” added the source. “There’s simply not enough space at Nottingham Cottage, which is why Doria has found her own place in London so that she can be close to Meghan when she is in the capital.”
Then again, William and Kate stayed in Nottingham Cottage after Prince George was born, while waiting for Apartment 1a—the former residence of Princess Margaret—to be transformed into their London home. “They spent most of their time in Norfolk, coming to London when they needed to,” said an aide. The Sussexes may choose to do the same. They love the countryside and they are both keen on raising their child away from the glare of the spotlight. Harry has already said that he wants to raise the couple’s children as normally as possible, and being in the countryside would offer them privacy.
Regardless of where they land, Harry and Meghan are not short of possible homes. The Queen is said to have offered the couple York Cottage on the Sandringham estate and Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park. It is also possible that they could choose another London residence if they rule out moving to Apartment 1. According to courtiers, York House and St. James’s Palace are both options as well.
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