Prince Harry admits he was ‘EMBARRASSED’ to show Meghan his Nottingham Cottage home


Prince Harry has 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 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 palace adjacent – that was the best you could say for it.’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured in January 2018, when the couple were still living in Nottingham Cottage together ahead of their May Windsor wedding

As he watched Meghan walk up the garden path to his home, Prince Harry says 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

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

Meghan poses in a doorway at Nottingham Cottage

The couple pictured gardening at Nottingham Cottage

Left: Meghan Markle poses in a doorway at Nottingham Cottage. Right: The couple pictured getting stuck into some gardening while living in the grounds of Kensington Palace

Prince Harry pictured eating a sandwich in the garden of Nottingham Cottage

The duke poses for a photo in one of the rooms of the property with 'dolls' house low' ceilings

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

Interiors expert Benji Lewis described the living room in Nottingham Cottage as 'comfy, cosy but accessible' (pictured: Prince Harry in the cottage with one of the couple's dogs)

In his bombshell biography Spare, Harry describes how Nottingham Cottage was worlds away from William and Kate’s lavish Kensington Palace Apartment. He is pictured relaxing in the cottage’s living room in his recent Netflix documentary

Inside Harry and Meghan’s Nottingham Cottage living room 

1. Magnolia walls

2. Good sofa configuration

3. Family photos and midcentury mirror

4. Basic lamp

5. Upcycled side table?

6. Cosy sheepskin rug

7.  Union Jack placemat

After Meghan moved in, Prince Harry recalls how the couple purchased some Ikea lights and ordered a second-hand settee from sofa.com, which they’d 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 round 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 husband Robert Fellowes, who had served as The Queen’s private secretary for nine years until 1999.

Decoration was kept to a minimum in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first home together, with interior design expert Benji Lewis recently telling Femail that the pictures show a ‘cosy but accessible’ living space.

Meanwhile the kitchen in the cottage, which boasts a simple colour scheme of white, charcoal, and royal blue, was described as 'unpretentious'

Meanwhile the kitchen in the cottage, which boasts a simple colour scheme of white, charcoal, and royal blue, was described as ‘unpretentious’

Inside the Nottingham Cottage kitchen 

1. Traditional Shaker style doors

2. Statement black panelling

3. Breville toaster and kettle

One of the subtle design choices in the cottage’s living room is the soft cream colour on the walls, which lend the space a neutral look.

Benji told FEMAIL: ‘There’s nothing showy or fancy going on here, the wall colour might even be something as uncomplicated as magnolia.

Looking at the layout of the room, he observed that the sofa arrangement is good, noting that ‘the corner configuration allows for nice interaction between whoever’s sitting down, while the large coffee table means nobody needs to stretch to put their cup of tea down’.

One piece of furniture in the room could hint at the couple opting for a sustainable choice – the side table, which Benji suggested may have been reused.

He said: ‘The side table is undersized for the corner it’s in, good for the scale of the lamp but I wonder if it’s actually an upcycled piece, brought into the room as something with which to make do.’

On top of the sofa, a sheep skin rug can clearly be seen. According to Benji, this could be a nod to the couple’s love of their pooches.

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)

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)

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 

He told FEMAIL: ‘We know that they love dogs so it’s no wonder there’s been an allowance for the pooches on the sofa – I should think that’s the point of the sheepskin rug, somewhere cosy for the doggies to hunker down.

‘We can’t see what the floor finish is, timber boards I should imagine – the rug provides a nice bit of warm colour, and it’s clearly been sized to provide a cosy feel underfoot when you get up off the sofas.’

One of the quirkier touches in the room can be seen on top of the coffee table – a Union Jack placemat.

Meanwhile, the interiors expert described the couple’s kitchen as ‘unpretentious’, suggesting that it may have been inherited from a previous owner.

He noted that the room’s colour scheme is simple, ‘kept as it is to off white, charcoal and Royal blue’.

Benji added: ‘There’s no suggestion of a table and chairs in the kitchen, I wonder if this is more of a pantry – somewhere to feed the dogs rather than cook the Sunday roast.’

Harry and Meghan later swapped Nottingham Cottage – where Harry had been living since 2013 – for ten-bedroom Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor Estate.

The couple moved into the home in April 2019, which received a £2.4million renovation in the same year, just months before they announced they were stepping down as senior working royals. 

Harry and Meghan later swapped Nottingham Cottage for ten-bedroom Frogmore Cottage on the Queen's Windsor Estate

Harry and Meghan later swapped Nottingham Cottage for ten-bedroom Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor Estate

They have since paid back the refurbishment 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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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk