Attention is swirling around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after their explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, and even people with only a passing interest in the British queen and her offspring are suddenly intrigued by the couple’s clothing; their son, Archie (and the daughter on the way); and their feud with unnamed members of the royal family.
Here at realtor.com, we’re interested in going deep on the ex-royals’ real estate history. After all, they’ve lived in some glamorous places along the way—as well as some that were less so.
Truth be told, their real estate history is a fascinating peek at just how much their lives have changed, from their humble beginnings (well, not so humble in Harry’s case) and ending with their forever mansion in sunny Southern California.
Ready for a royal stroll down memory lane? Check out this timeline to see just how far they’ve come.
Mid-’80s and ’90s: Prince Harry at Kensington Palace
Ah, what a fabled childhood young Harry must have had in this sprawling complex of buildings, home to several senior members of the royal family. Today, those include Harry’s older brother, Prince William, his wife, Kate Middleton, and their three children.
Kensington Palace was acquired by King William III in 1689, and it remained the sovereign’s residence until Queen Victoria made the switch to Buckingham Palace in 1837.
Harry and William were raised in a three-story building known as Apartment 8, went to grade school nearby, and frolicked on the garden grounds. Their mother, Diana, stayed in this residence until her death in 1997.
2011–17: Meghan Markle’s Toronto apartment
Before she married Harry, Meghan, a Los Angeles native, was a working actress, renting an apartment in Toronto while she worked on the legal TV drama “Suits.”
Meghan set up her Canadian home away from home with her two rescue pups, Bogart and Guy, and leaned hard on her Cali roots when it came to the decor.
Beachy chic and boho touches abounded, including lots of white and linen, a distressed mirror, reclaimed wood accessories, and loads of her favorite blooms, peonies.
2011–13: Meghan’s Los Angeles home
Meghan couldn’t give up Cali completely, of course, so after she landed her TV role, she rented this Los Angeles house with her first husband, Trevor Engelson. At the time, the four-bedroom, three-bath Colonial in the Hancock Park section of L.A. was on the market for nearly $1.8 million.
While not quite royal-worthy, this pre-Harry two-story home wasn’t too shabby. Located in a leafy, highly desirable neighborhood among pricey historic homes, the light-filled house was built in 1924 and is close to several movie studios, shopping, and dining.
2012–16: Harry at Nottingham Cottage
Meanwhile, Harry was making do at Nottingham Cottage, which was also where he wooed Meghan. Known rather cheekily as “Nott Cott,” the home is no doubt full of blissful memories, especially that of Harry’s proposal in the kitchen while a chicken was roasting.
Alas, not every detail of this two-bedroom cottage is as sweet as this scene. Meghan and Harry’s early residence sports a single bathroom, low ceilings, very little yard space, and no air conditioning. Luckily for the couple, bigger digs were around the corner.
2018: Adelaide Cottage
Among the many perks of royal life is unfettered access to fabulous country homes for use on holidays and vacation. For Harry and Meghan, this turned out to be Adelaide Cottage, a gift to the couple from Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of their wedding.
This home was indeed a major improvement over dowdy Nott Cott, as it shares a 655-acre green space called Home Park with Windsor Castle, the 900-year-old royal residence and former fortress. Fun detail: Harry and Meghan were married on the castle grounds, at St. George’s Chapel.
Adelaide Cottage is near the Guards Polo Club, where Harry used to play with his chums. Despite the “cottage” moniker, it is a full-on mansion that features a master bedroom with a marble Greco-Egyptian fireplace and a vaulted curved ceiling.
2019: The Frogmore honeymoon cottage
Next up is Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan’s first home as a family on the stately grounds of Windsor Castle. That’s right, Nott Cott would not do once the couple’s firstborn, Archie, arrived.
Instead, the pair moved into this stucco home that got its name from an infestation of actual frogs. This house had been the home of some Windsor Castle staff, and as such was in dire need of a complete overhaul, to the tune of $3.8 million, in order to merge the cottage’s five apartments into a 10-bedroom estate.
Some of the planned improvements included enhanced security, structural work (new floors, more stairways, and fireplaces), a custom yoga studio, and a $60,000 green energy system for heat, hot water, and electricity.
Early 2020: Vancouver
In early 2020, Harry and Meghan announced that they were stepping back from their royal duties, which meant they needed a home away from England where they could live with their infant son and figure out the future.
Their pick: a $14 million,10,000-square-foot rental mansion on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The gated property with water on three sides is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and hiking trails and features eight bedrooms, a wine room, game room, pizza oven, and 17th-century French fireplace, plus a 2,000-square-foot guest cottage.
Spring 2020: Tyler Perry’s home
It pays to have friends in high places, especially when you need shelter from the storm. For Harry and Meghan, this meant that their next move would be a couch-surf situation for three months in spring 2020 at their pal Tyler Perry‘s $18 million Beverly Hills megamansion.
Because the couple’s security detail was taken away and their address in Vancouver had been publicized, as Meghan recounted to Oprah, the couple felt unsafe. Madea to the rescue! Perry—OK, playing his real-life, billionaire movie mogul self rather than his sassy grandma alter ego—stepped in to help.
While it’s no Windsor Castle, Perry’s 25,000-square-foot estate on 22 acres (including a pool and tennis court) fit the bill for this short time. Perry also provided them with 24/7 security, and his home is one of just 14 in a gated community with a guard on duty at all times.
August 2020: Montecito, CA
At last—a home of their very own! After many weeks and months of shopping for homes in Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California, Harry and Meghan quietly purchased this Montecito mansion for $14,650,000.
Their 18,000-square-foot home has nine bedrooms, 16 baths, a pool, tennis court, rose gardens, and an olive grove. There’s also a teahouse on the property, a two-bedroom guest cottage for visitors, and a chicken coop filled with rescued birds from a factory farm.
Life in Montecito, an ultraposh community in Santa Barbara County, is rather serene since it’s 90 minutes north of Los Angeles. The ex-royals have settled into this quiet, quaint burb to collect eggs, play with Archie, and await the birth of their daughter this summer.