Frogmore House is set within 33 acres, close to Windsor Castle. Within the Frogmore estate is the Royal Burial Ground including the burial site of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Edward and Wallis), the mausoleum for The Duchess of Kent (Queen Victoria’s mother) and the mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, along with other buildings including Queen Victoria’s Tea House, Frogmore Lodge, a gardener’s cottage and Frogmore Cottage. Though the house is now used as a receptions and functions venue, historically the house was home to George FitzRoy, the illegitimate son of King Charles II, the retreat of Queen Charlotte (George III’s wife) and the final home of Queen Mary (wife of King George V) who died at the property in 1953.
In recent times the house and estate has been used by the royal family as a location to host the wedding receptions of various minor royals including those of two of the Queen’s grandchildren. The house underwent its most recent renovation in the 1980s at a cost of £2.5 million, in order to open the house to public who can tour the house and gardens throughout the year, including paying a visit the the royal mausoleums.
Frogmore Cottage rear, view from back garden
Frogmore cottage is a small residence on the Frogmore Estate, situated immediately next to Frogmore Lodge and the Royal Household Cricket Club. In the past, the cottage has been home to Henry James Senior, an American theologian, Abdul Karim, Queen Victoria’s Indian servant and several cousins of King George VI. Queen Victoria visited the property in 1875 and spoke about her experience, noting that there were an ‘immense number of frogs’ and, for her, the place was ‘quite disgusting’.
In intervening decades the house was largely forgotten about and later transformed into five apartments for royal staff, up until 2018 when the house was renovated for £2.4 million to transform the property back into a family home, now home to The Queen’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie. The house now comprises of ten rooms including 4 bedrooms, a nursery and a gym.
A stone’s throw from Frogmore House, and the closest royal residence to Windsor Castle (excluding the private apartments in the castle itself) is Adelaide Cottage. Though primarily known as Adelaide Cottage the property is actually made up of Adelaide Cottage and Adelaide Lodge, and is arguably one of the prettiest little residences on the royal estate. Constructed using building material from the handsome Royal Lodge, the cottage became its own residence when it was reconstructed in 1831 for King William IV’s wife; Queen Adelaide.
The idyllic home comprises of a red brick lodge complete with towering chimney stacks and pitched second-storey dormer windows, and a picturesque stucco-fronted cottage, which The Mirror‘s 1831 write-up of the property described as ‘chastely elegant’ in which ‘its locale affords a delightful shade at all hours of the day’. The cottage originally stood with only two principle rooms but has been substantially extended and improved over the years to almost triple its footprint and contain a second storey. An enclosed brick-walled courtyard joins the cottage to the red brick lodge. Today, the home enjoys a meandering gravel in-and-out drive, reasonable sized gardens, two gatehouse outbuildings perfect for a small security detail, generous parking and an elegant porte cochère .
Located just 3 miles south of Windsor Castle is the Royal Lodge, a grade-2 listed 7-bedroom property sitting on 98 acres of land encompassing a number of other buildings including six cottages in addition to a Gardener’s cottage, a security house and a chapel lodge. Until her death in 2002, The Queen Mother lived in Royal Lodge for over 70 years after being gifted the property in 1931, by King George V to herself, her husband, the future King George VI, and children Princess Elizabeth (now Queen) and Princess Margaret. During The Queen Mother’s tenure at the property, two wings were added either side of the original structure. The estate also includes the adorable Y Bwthyn Bach, a small children’s cottage gifted to the princesses by the people of Wales. The current Duke of York took over the property in 2004 after an extensive renovation costing £7.5 million.
Bagshot Park Mansion House
Sitting on 51 acres of Windsor Great Park land, Bagshot Park is a grade-2 listed royal estate currently occupied by The Queen’s son The Earl of Wessex and his family. The property has been a royal home for centuries, dating back to the 1630s when it was originally designed as a hunting lodge for King Charles I. The estate features various buildings, paddocks and working land, but the Wessexes reside in the main building known as the Mansion House, believed to comprise of 120 rooms. According to the National Audit Office, the Wessexes have a 150 year lease on the property.
Situated at the south edge of Windsor Great Park is Fort Belvedere, an 1820s building initially constructed as a folly for the younger son of King George II. It later functioned as a tea house for Queen Victoria, then after extensions and renovations it became the main residence of Prince Edward, later The Duke of Windsor, who had a swimming pool and tennis court installed in the 59 acre gardens, as well as central heating, a steam room and ensuites for most of the bedrooms installed inside the house. The only known photographs of the insides are from Prince Edward’s tenure at the house, which ended upon his abdication in 1936. The property is currently home to British-Canadian billionaire Galen Weston who has lived in the property with his wife since the early 80s and has overseen extensive restoration and renovations, including the construction of a polo stud and extending the size of the estate’s lake. Read more about this property, and see inside, in this post.
A stone’s throw from the Royal Lodge, Cumberland Lodge is a 17th-century red brick masterpiece set over three storeys with turrets and a generous attached stable and coach house. The castle-looking house was built in 1650 on a lot sold to army captain John Byfield by Oliver Cromwell. It returned to the crown after Restoration and has since been home to a number of royals and royal-adjacents, including the 1st Duke of Marlborough, various Dukes and Duchesses of Cumberland, and the last Viceroy of Ireland. The property currently functions as an educational charity.