Frogmore Cottage, once described as an unpretentious Georgian house, was once home to King George V’s cousin Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, and his widow Queen Mary.
The Grade II listed house, also known as Double Garden Cottage, is about half a mile from Windsor Castle.
Prince Albert granted his son Prince Alfred the use of Frogmore Cottage in 1857, under the guardianship of Lieutenant John Clayton Cowell, as until he entered the Navy.
However, the Prince was addicted to playing the violin which he played ‘at all hours of the day’ at Windsor Castle, so a move to nearby Frogmore Cottage meant some peace and quiet for the servants.
Queen Victoria later granted Abdul Karim, her controversial Indian attendant, the use of Frogmore during 14 years of service as her ‘Munshi’.
He lived at Frogmore Cottage with his father, wife and mother-in-law until King Edward VII sent the family back to India after Queen Victoria’s death in 1901.
King George and Queen Mary’s youngest son, Prince John, celebrated his eighth birthday at Frogmore Cottage, in July 1913. Prince John rode his pony that morning in Windsor Great Park that morning and returned along the Long Walk, where he watched a 21-gun salute fired in his honour.
King George V granted permission for his cousin Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna and her children, to live in Frogmore Cottage in 1925.
She had fled into exile following the Russian Revolution, and her financial situation had become rather desperate.
The Grand Duchess lived at Frogmore Cottage until 1937, when King Edward VIII asked her to vacate the premises, so she moved to Wilderness House at Hampton Court Palace until her death in 1960.
Queen Mary moved into Frogmore Cottage in 1937, following extensive renovations, when she returned from a holiday in Scotland.
However, the house never really appealed to Queen Mary as it was considered too small.
Queen Mary gave up the idea of living at Frogmore Cottage when King George VI invited his mother to continue living at Sandringham.
It was even considered as a home for Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, after Sunninghill Park burnt down three months before their wedding. The newly-married couple lived at Windlesham Moor before moving to Clarence House on 4 July 1949.
At the moment, Frogmore Cottage is divided up into five units to accommodate royal staff.
It will be transformed into a home with modern amenities and a full security upgrade to protect Harry and Meghan’s privacy, especially from paparazzi and nosy people.
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