How Did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Decorate Their New Apartment?

Since their engagement, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have lived at Nottingham Cottage, a relatively modest residence on the grounds of Kensington Palace. It’s where Harry proposed during a cozy night in. But because it has just two bedrooms, many people referred to it as a “starter home” for the newlyweds, and hoped that they’d be moving soon to accommodate a potential family.

The day has come, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are preparing to move into Apartment 1, a deceptively-named 21-bedroom mansion on the west side of Kensington Palace. But we have so many questions. How did the couple update and renovate the place? How did they choose to decorate it? And who are their next-door neighbors in this section of Kensington Palace?

What kind of renovations did they need to complete?

Kensington Palace |

The Daily Mail reports that before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could move into Apartment 1, the residence had to undergo a year-long £1.4 million renovation, which converts to about $1.8 million. The roof reportedly needed extensive repairs, which necessitated scaffolding that stayed up for months. And the royal family also replaced the windows of the apartment. The Mail reports that the couple’s new home once belonged to the first Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus Frederick, who was the sixth son and ninth child of George III. Apartment 1 and Apartment 1A next door were divided into two apartments in 1955, when Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, moved in with her children.

How did they decorate their new home?

The Daily Mail reports that Meghan Markle put her stylistic mark on Nottingham Cottage with an open fire, cashmere throws, scented candles, and fresh flowers. “Both she and Harry, who have kept a close eye on renovations, are expected to put similar touches to Apartment 1,” the publication reports. Vogue, similarly, reports that Meghan Markle ” loves candles and a cozy throw.” Plus, Vanity Fair noted that Meghan “has tried to make her Canadian house look like a California bungalow, exposing the hardwood floors and letting in as much light as possible.”

Does it look modern?

If Meghan Markle favors a more modern aesthetic, that’s probably just fine with Prince Harry. The Week reports that “The previously lavish and grandiose interior of the palace now features a more minimalist, modernist approach to aesthetics.” The original living quarters have remained untouched due to their historical significance. But other areas of the palace have gotten a makeover. That’s probably a good thing for Meghan Markle, who seems to have a modern design sensibility rather than a traditional style.

Did Harry and Meghan disagree about anything?

Gardens at Kensington Palace | Pat_Hastings/iStock/Getty Images

The Daily Mirror reported earlier in 2018 that Nottingham Cottage has a small garden, where Prince Harry installed a hammock. Homes & Property explains that Meghan Markle’s blog and Instagram, now deleted, revealed her love for interior design — and expose some differences of opinion between the Duke and Duchess. “When the outdoorsy prince lived alone at [Nottingham] cottage, he apparently prioritized installing a hammock in the yard. However, his California-born girlfriend prefers to make flowers her top priority and loves interiors that ooze cozy comfort, and creamy calm,” the publication explains.

What is Meghan Markle’s style?

In addition to lots of light, what else does Meghan Markle favor in her decorating style? Homes & Property reports that the duchess loves “Danish-style hygge” and “cool monochrome colors.” She decorated her Toronto home with a simple wood bed, a white couch, gilded mirrors, fluffy sheepskin throws, rattan chairs, wicker baskets, a cowhide rug, and patterned Moroccan tile. Fans also spotted silver photo frames, Diptyque candles, porcelain dishes, vintage prints, pink peonies, and bold houseplants.

Will life be different in Apartment 1?

The Daily Mail reports that in Nottingham Cottage, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “live in relative simplicity without staff.” It sounds as if that might change when they move into Apartment 1. And the couple may also need to adjust from having a private garden at Nottingham Cottage to sharing the Sunken Garden, Cradle Walk, and formal gardens with Kensington Palace’s other residents. Meghan might take after Princess Diana and influence the palace gardens. As Architectural Digest reports, “If the garden could have only one flower, Markle would choose the peony.” She also loves roses, hydrangeas, Ivory Coast lilies, bougainvillea, sweet peas, and cherry blossom trees.

Who are their next-door neighbors?

Many members of the royal family live at Kensington Palace. But Apartment 1 has an adjoining door with Apartment 1A, which is currently occupied by Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children. The Cambridges probably didn’t use the adjoining door much when Apartment 1 was occupied by Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin Richard, Duke of Gloucester. But the couples may take advantage of the feature to visit each other without even stepping outdoors.

Is Apartment 1 where they’ll start a family?

As The Week reports, Prince Harry said that the couple wanted to start a family “in the near future.” With its more spacious living quarters as compared to Nottingham Cottage, Apartment 1 may be the perfect home for the couple to think about starting a family in earnest. Kate Middleton and Prince William installed multiple nurseries in neighboring Apartment 1A, and we’d imagine that Apartment 1 could also accommodate whatever arrangements an as-yet-hypothetical baby would need.

Read more: Where Does Prince William Live? What You Need to Know

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