Harry and Meghan haven’t lived in Frogmore Cottage on the late Queen’s former Windsor estate since they left for a new life in the US in 2020 – but their historic first home features frequently in the opening episodes of their new blockbuster Netflix series.
Last week, the trailer for the six-part show offered a glimpse inside the glamorous kitchen of their UK residence, where the couple celebrated their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday in June this year while visiting as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
And the first three episodes of the Netflix series, released today, offered yet more shots of the couple in the trendy kitchen of the Grade-II listed five-bedroom property, which received a £2.4million renovation in 2019 – just months before the couple announced they were stepping down as senior working royals and relocating to Montecito, California.
While more black and white snaps from March 2020 – showing the couple after they returned home from the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of their ‘farewell tour’ – appeared in the first episode, there were also colour shots of the kitchen, which boasts a marble-topped island at its centre, herringbone wooden flooring and ‘cosy’ rustic brick feature walls.
Meghan is seen painting her nails in the shot, while Harry is eating from a yoghurt pot, a scene that interiors expert Benji Lewis says paints a picture of domestic bliss, with the kitchen a veritable hideaway from the rest of the world.
Domestic bliss: The kitchen at Frogmore Cottage is seen again – this time in colour – in the first episodes of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series, with Meghan painting her nails while Harry eats from a pot of yoghurt beside her
‘There’s plenty of activity going on in here, the island suggesting mugs for tea are at the ready, the cafetière on the side on the back wall – this is a space that’s ready for welcoming people with ease.’
It’s practical too, the expert surmises. ‘There’s seemingly a spot that’s been allowed for, a kind of desk with a chair, where someone can sit and work with power close to hand – useful for the phone charger or plugging in a laptop.’
From the latest appearance of the couple’s old home, it appears as though keen chef Meghan had given the old kitchen – which was built in 1801 – a modern update with industrial-style touches. Lewis notes the property appears a far cry from their grand $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara.
He says: ‘As a whole, whilst careful thought has clearly been given to the lighting, the kitchen has much more of a homely, downtime ‘undone’ feel to it than anything super posh.’
Referencing the flooring seen in the new photos, Lewis says herringbone parquet floor is ‘a good alternative to straight boards and will provide a softer feel underfoot if going barefoot in your kitchen is something you enjoy.’
He adds: ‘Acoustically too, the timber finishes we see will be more gentle than a lot of hard surfaces like limestone or porcelain.’
Lewis says the casual feel extends to everything from the stools – ‘ensuring that your guests have a handy perch for chit chat while you’re sorting the menial working tasks’ to the soft lighting.
He explains: ‘The inclusion of wall lights is good – these will provide a friendly ambient sideways glow whilst the row of pendants cast their light downwards onto the work surface, and the hardware on the door looks original; in an antique brass finish it’s homely and warm.’
Here, the interior designer looks in detail at each element of the Frogmore Cottage kitchen…
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave viewers a glimpse inside their Frogmore Cottage kitchen in their new teaser trailer ()
1. Spacious breakfast bar
As part of their renovations, the couple opted for an open-plan kitchen – complete with a spacious breakfast bar.
Throughout the room, the pair had dark wooden cupboards installed which were finished off with a luxury marble countertop.
To give it a more modern feel, it appears as though the circular handles on the drawers and cupboards were a trendy shade of gold.
As Meghan leaned across to kiss her husband, the Duchess also revealed a clear glass vase full of roses in display on their breakfast bar.
The couple shared a kiss in the kitchen after arriving home from the Mountbatten Festival of Music in March 2020
Frogmore Cottage underwent £2.4m renovations in 2019, which Prince Harry has since repaid to the government. The couple still use the Grade II-listed Windsor property as their UK basE
Benji said: ‘The use of metallic cup handles on the cabinet door fronts bridges the gap between traditional and industrial.
‘The way Meghan is sitting on the work surface would indicate that they might not have had these raised higher than the standard height of 90cm.’
2. Framed Portrait
On the far wall, the pair had a black picture frame hanging beside a large spherical white lampshade.
Although it’s not clear exactly what the portrait is of, Benji says it contributes to the inviting feel of the room.
Benji Lewis said ‘careful thought’ had been given to the lighting which offers a ‘practical glow’ to the room. The couple combined strip lighting and metal hanging overlights
Benji Lewis said the framed painting has been selected as it ‘fits the shape and space on the wall very well’
He added: ‘They’ve chosen a simple, contemporary black frame with white mount for the art, and sensibly hung that specific piece of art there because it fits the shape and space on the wall very well.
‘The tall cylinder drum lampshade in what looks like a neutral linen is also a nice modern touch. The ceiling being the height it is suggests the room is cosy rather than grand.’
3. Upgraded Sink
As well as creating a chic serving space for guests, the breakfast bar also housed their silver sink too – which had a useful extendable feature.
Benji said: ‘They’ve thought about the workability of the space; having the tap and sink on the island opposite the cooker is good so that when you wish to drain a pan of boiling water you have the sink nearby.
4. Industrial Lighting
Benji praised the metal industrial lights which ‘cast washes of downward light’ onto the breakfast bar
Overhead, the couple selected three matching metal industrial lights which were offset with strip lighting on the far well to provide a more dimmed effect in the open-plan living space.
The expert continued: ‘The combination of recessed spots and the row of pendants have been positioned nicely to cast washes of downward light onto what looks like the kitchen island
‘The strips of light that they’ve included beneath the wall units and the shelf are also a great way of creating ambient light, I should think they’ll be on a separate circuit so that if the overhead lighting gets switched off in the evening, you still get a lovely practical glow onto the work surface
‘Similarly light in the underside of the extractor is a good way of getting task light just where you’ll need it.’
5. Bonus counter space
In between the two separate doors, the Duchess had created an extra food preparation counter which had three matching containers all lined up in the corner.
To protect the walls, the couple had a pale tile splashback along with a sleek black microwave built into the wall.
The Duchess had created an extra food preparation counter in between two of the doors. Interior designer Benji praised the ‘textual’ interest with the glass trinkets, reflective tiles and wooden cupboards
When commissioning their built-in cupboards for this space, the former Suits actress chose open shelving to display other glass trinkets and cookbooks.
Benji said: ‘Plenty of textural interest has been created with the finish on the wall above the range, it doesn’t look as if they chose matt tiles, rather something that provides some more overall reflective quality.
‘Using clear glazed wall units is a good counterfoil to the more robust look of what else is seemingly going on in the room, though you need to be mindful of people seeing whatever you store inside these!’
6. Panelled doors
What’s more, the couple appear to have maintained the property’s original doors – complete with a metal hanging lock which connects to the frame.
The expert said the white panelled door – which perfectly match the wall above the splashback – ties in well with the overall traditional yet modern aesthetic.
Benji explained: ‘They’ve got an interesting blend of traditional and semi industrial going on in the room – the four panel door painted white to match the wall space above the picture rail, while the extractor couldn’t make a bigger industrial statement with its metallic finish and hammered rivets.’
Benji noted how the doors perfectly match the wall above the splashback, he said the couple had ‘got an interesting blend of traditional and semi industrial going on in the room’
Inside Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage Kitchen:
1. Spacious breakfast bar
2. Framed portrait
3. Upgraded sink
4. Industrial Lighting
5. Bonus counter space
6. Panelled doors
7. Hanging rail
7. Hanging Rail
The expert says the hanging rail on the splashback perfectly ties in with the overall theme of the room – highlighting that Frogmore was designed to be a family home.
Benji said: ‘I like the rail for hanging pans, that runs above the range cooker, it means things are close to hand and you don’t need to rummage around inside cupboards to find what it is that you need.
‘And the tea towels hanging off the front of the cooker suggest this is a home rather than a space for standing on ceremony. The big plant in the foreground and vase of cut flowers are lovely inclusions.’
In 2019, it was reported that Meghan had hired Vicky Charles, the top designer of the Soho House clubs, to help decorate Frogmore Cottage.
Vicky has overseen the design of Soho House branches in Malibu, Chicago and Barcelona and the private members clubs are where prince Harry and Meghan Markle are said to have enjoyed their first dates.
Shortly after the renovations on the house were complete, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as working royals – with the Duke of Sussex later repaying the £2.4m of taxpayer money that went towards the family house in Windsor.
The couple stayed at the Windsor residence this summer for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Benji explained how the hanging pots and pans, visible tea towels and potted plant make the room feel ‘like a home’