It is understood that Harry and Meghan hope to turn Frogmore Cottage into a five-bedroom family home. Picture: YouTube.com

London - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to move into Frogmore Cottage, in the grounds of the Windsor Estate, after it was given to them by the Queen.

The couple, who are expecting their first child in April, are likely to arrive from Kensington Palace in the spring. The 19th century cottage has been used as rented accommodation for members of the royal staff and had fallen into disrepair.

Now a planning application for the Grade II-listed building has been lodged with the council ahead of the move by Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37. But security concerns mean the plans have been kept private.

A "special note" on the application states it contains "sensitive information" and that the usual plans, architect’s drawings and other documents have not been made public.

Similar levels of secrecy surrounded plans for renovations at Anmer Hall in Norfolk before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moved into the Georgian manor on Sandringham Estate.

Harry and Meghan held their wedding reception at Frogmore House, which overlooks the two-storey, stucco-faced cottage, and their engagement pictures were taken in the grounds.

It is understood that Harry and Meghan hope to turn Frogmore Cottage into a five-bedroom family home, with space for a nursery and a live-in nanny. They currently live in two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said the costs of any substantial building work would be covered by the Sovereign Grant, which is ultimately funded by the taxpayer.

Decorative work inside the cottage is expected to be paid for by Harry and Meghan, whose wedding cost the public purse £3.4-million.

Frogmore is currently divided into five flats, meaning there would be space for separate accommodation for Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.

The 62-year-old former social worker is expected to be a ‘hands-on’ grandmother, and to stay with the Sussexes on a regular basis.

Frogmore is also less than half a mile from Windsor Castle, meaning the new baby’s great-grandmother the Queen would be close at hand.

Officials from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead have already approved a planning application to refit the cottage and install two "orangery" extensions. 

The plans, approved in July, also included permission for a bedroom to be built above a studio in the grounds of the cottage, meaning it could be used as a luxury "granny flat".

Daily Mail