Prince Harry admitted he was ’embarrassed’ to show Meghan Markle his home, Nottingham Cottage, and revealed his future wife likened it to a ‘frat house’.
In his bombshell memoir Spare, which hit the shelves yesterday, the Duke of Sussex, 38, admitted that his London home – where he lived for six years – was ‘no palace’.
Although the royal said he had been looking forward to showing Meghan his living quarters shortly after they started dating in 2016, he worried that the two-bedroom cottage might not live up to expectations.
The father-of-two wrote: ‘I was excited to welcome Meg to my home, but also embarrassed. Nott Cott was no palace. Nott Cott was adjacent palace – that was the best you could say for it.’
In his spare biography, Harry describes how Nottingham Cottage was worlds away from William and Kate’s lavish Kensington Palace apartment. He is pictured relaxing on the cream sofas in the living room, presumably the ones Meghan bought to replace the brown sofas
As he watched Meghan walk up the garden path to his home, Prince Harry said he was ‘relieved’ that she ‘gave no indication of disillusionment’.
However, that changed when the duchess stepped inside the cottage – where the ceilings are ‘dolls’ house low’.
He added: ‘Then she said something about a frat house.’
Prince Harry says he had never noticed how ‘shabby’ the furniture in his home was before – with the then Suits actress appearing particularly unimpressed with his beanbag chair which matched his brown sofa.
The two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage, which was both Harry and Meghan’s and the Prince and Princess of Wales’s first marital home, was described as ‘so small’ by Meghan in her recent Netflix series
Left: Meghan Markle poses in a doorway at Nottingham Cottage. Right: The modest kitchen in the cottage, which was the first home the couple shared together
Left: Prince Harry pictured eating a sandwich in the garden of Nottingham Cottage. Right: The duke poses for a photo in one of the rooms of the property with ‘dolls’ house low’ ceilings
Nottingham Cottage Former Residents:
Prince Henry and Princess Alice, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
The Queen and Princess Margaret’s former governess Marion Crawford
The Duke of Edinburgh’s former private secretary Miles Hunt-Davis
The Queen’s former private secretary Robert Fellowes and his wife Lady Jane Fellowes
Prince and Princess of Wales
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
After Meghan moved in, Prince Harry recalls how the couple bought some Ikea lights and ordered a second-hand settee from sofa.com, which they bought with his future wife’s credit card.
Later on in the book, the Duke recalls being invited to have tea with the Prince and Princess of Wales and again describes being ’embarrassed’ by how Nottingham Cottage compared to their ‘museum-like’ space.
Following their 2011 wedding, the Prince and Princess of Wales lived in the two-bedroom cottage before moving into Apartment 1A – which reportedly boasts 20 rooms – in the main building.
Nottingham Cottage was designed by highly acclaimed 17th Century architect Christopher Wren, who was also responsible for the south front of Hampton Court Palace, Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
What’s more, The Queen and Princess Margaret’s former governess Marian Crawford lived in the cottage for two years from 1948. She would later describe the property as a ‘a dream ‘of seasoned red brick with roses around the door’.
After being occupied by The Duke of Edinburgh’s former private secretary Miles Hunt-Davis, Prince Harry and Prince William’s aunt Lady Jane Fellowes moved into the property with her husband Robert Fellowes, who had served as The Queen’s private secretary for nine years until 1999.
Harry and Meghan later swapped Nottingham Cottage – where Harry had been living since 2013 – for the ten-bedroom Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor Estate.
Elsewhere in his book, Prince Harry says he felt ’embarrassed’ of Nottingham Cottage in comparison to Kate and William’s ‘museum-like’ Kensington Palace apartment (pictured during President Obama’s state visit in April 2016)
Harry and Meghan later swapped Nottingham Cottage for ten-bedroom Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor Estate
The couple moved into the home in April 2019, which received a £2.4 million renovation in the same year, just months before they announced they were stepping down as senior working royals.
They have since paid back the renovation costs to the government and continue to use the Grade-II listed property as a UK base.
During their six-part Netflix docuseries, which landed on the streaming platform last month, the couple revealed how Oprah was stunned by the ‘small’ size of their home when she ‘went round for tea’ – and told them ‘no one would ever believe’ they were living there.
During one episode, Meghan points out that the living space was far from expansive, saying: ‘Kensington Palace sounds very regal, of course it does, it says “palace” in the name. But Nottingham Cottage was so small.’
Describing the home, Meghan said: ‘People thought we lived in a palace and we did. Well, a cottage in a palace.’
Harry said: ‘The whole thing is on a slight lean, [with] really low ceilings. So I don’t know who was there before but they must have been very short.’
Meghan added:[Harry] would just hit his head constantly in that place because he’s so tall.’
According to Meghan, the couple’s lives inside the Kensington Palace grounds were unlike anything ‘anyone would believe,’ with the couple sharing images of themselves doing DIY projects and gardening.
‘Me with a hoe and H varnishing,’ Meghan says. ‘It was just a chapter in our lives where I don’t think anyone could believe what it was actually like behind the scenes.’
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