Work on Meghan and Harry’s new home has begun as workers have put up a giant marquee at Grade II listed Frogmore Cottage as part of a £3million revamp to the property.
New photos from the Windsor estate show the huge white marquee which can be seen from Long Walk which is a public walkway. The marquee can be see from almost two miles away.
Frogmore Cottage is currently undergoing renovations, with the royal couple due to move to the ten-bed Grade II listed house in the Spring.
New documents reveal the couple’s builders plan to add fireplaces, staircases, and a floating floor, but will keep the original floorboards and shutters.
Protective covering is placed over Frogmore House (pictured above) as the renovations works continue on the new home of Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex
The marquee (pictured above) has been erected over the property and can be seen from almost two miles away
New documents reveal the couple’s builders plan to add fireplaces, staircases, and a floating floor, but will keep the original floorboards and shutters to Frogmore Cottage
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently renting a £2.5million Cotswold farmhouse in a historic retreat in the Oxfordshire hills, which the couple prefer to their Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace in West London.
As well new additions, the royal couple are also set to go green and install a £50,000 energy unit that will provide heat, hot water and electricity and also install satellite dish outside the Grade-II listed property.
There have been concerns about the security of Frogmore Cottage, prompting the renovations, which are reportedly being overseen by Meghan.
A map shows the couple’s new home in the grounds of the Windsor Estate in relation to nearby landmarks and public walkways. There are major concerns about security, with the cottage located just 200 yards away from the Long Walk
The Grade-II listed cottage is just 200 yards from the publicly accessible Long Walk, triggering major concerns about the couple’s privacy.
The new plans have been revealed in planning documents published by the local council alongside strict conditions imposed to ‘protect and preserve’ the house.
Insiders now claim the renovations are expected to cost up to £3million – double the royal-funded refurbishment of Anmer Hall for William and Kate.
The building work will be covered by the Sovereign Grant – funded by the taxpayer – while the couple will pay for the furnishings.
The source also claims Duchess of Sussex has been corresponding with the renovation team regularly.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured attending a church service on Christmas Day) currently live in two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace
They added the home was being ‘specially designed’ to ensure that the family has a ‘comfortable country life’.
A source said: ‘It is a very expensive affair.
‘Frogmore Cottage is in an extremely run down condition and is needing a lot of TLC and heavy restoration to bring it up to standard ahead of the Duke and Duchess’ moving in date.
‘As a result, it is set to cost between £2million and £3 million for the whole project.
‘It is being specially designed to ensure that the family has a comfortable country life away from the hustle and bustle of London where they are living now.
‘The Duchess is very involved in the project and wants a home that is perfect for her, the Duke and her new baby.
‘She has been corresponding with the planning team regularly as to what she wants.
‘Security procedures are also to be tightened up at the site and it is being made secure ahead of the royal arrivals.
‘Once the work has finished, Frogmore Cottage will be a fantastic family home fit for the Duke and Duchess but it will be like Fort Knox.
‘Now all applications have been approved and work is now quickly being undertaken.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to move to Frogmore Cottage – once five flats for royal staff – in the spring ahead of the birth of their first child.
Plans were approved by Royal Maidenhead and Windsor Borough Council in July for two orangery extensions, and a ‘granny flat’ above a studio in the grounds of the cottage.
A Google Earth image of Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be moving into in preparation for the birth of their first child
A second ‘listed building consent’ application was submitted in October, asking for permission for ‘internal and external works […] and associated landscaping’.
But there was no further details on the council’s planning page at the time, just a note which said it contained ‘sensitive information’ so documents wouldn’t be made public.
However, the council planners approved the application last month, and as a result details of the plans have now been revealed.
It states the architects have been given permission to remove a chimney – but only if the roof is repaired in the original materials.
It details there will be new staircases and fireplaces and said there will be a ‘new floating floor’.
In a planning decision letter Jenifer Jackson, head of planning at Royal Maidenhead and Windsor Borough Council said: ‘All existing doors and frames [are] to be retained and reused unless agreed in writing.
‘[…] All existing shutters to be retained and all new shutter furniture to be agreed in writing by the local planning authority prior to installation.
‘All floor boards must be retained and full details of the new floating floor will need to be agreed in writing by the local planning authority prior to installation.’
Kensington Palace declined to comment about the overall costs and the application.
But said while the building work costs would be covered by the Sovereign Grant – funded by the taxpayer – all fixtures and fittings would be paid for by the couple.
The source said the ‘£2million and £3 million’ cost was for both elements combined.
Frogmore Cottage was built in the 18th century for Queen Charlotte, the consort of King George III.
Queen Charlotte used the property as a countryside retreat for herself and her unmarried daughters.
Queen Victoria had breakfast at the cottage in 1875 and said it was a place with an ‘immense number of frogs’ which she found ‘quite disgusting’.