It’s been a year since the beloved HGTV series Fixer Upper, hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines, aired its last episode. But into the void left by those home improvement gurus par excellence comes an unlikely new pair of avid renovators and re-painters: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Duchess and Duke of Sussex.
Earlier this year, the royals moved into Frogmore Cottage, a family home once occupied by Queen Mary that had since fallen into disrepair, after a period of extensive interior renovations. They reportedly painted their interiors with vegan eucalyptus-oil-infused paints—an eco-friendly approach—ahead of the birth of their son, Archie, and added a “green-energy center,” according to People, as well as a sprung floor for yoga, more bookshelves, and a custom kitchen and dining area. Those renovations cost an estimated $3 million.
Now they’re looking to the exterior of their new home for the next series of renovations. Royal biographer Ingrid Seward previously told People the cottage is “pretty dilapidated now,” but the Sussexes have been working hard to combat the inexorable ravages of time. Per plans published (with redactions) by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, the upcoming renovations will focus on the doors, windows, walls, and outbuildings, as well as re-landscaping the garden, which currently boasts mulberries and redwoods, a vestige of Markle’s California upbringing. They’re even planning to give some TLC to the gutters, because the key to a good fixer-upper is attention to detail. Perhaps they might also want to consider some paparazzi-proofing, in case Splash News comes calling again.
“The energy of the space is so much better” than that of Kensington Palace, a source told People in the same story. “It’s a total fresh start.” It’s also conveniently close to Queen Elizabeth II’s retreat at Windsor Castle, from which she stopped in to visit her grandson and granddaughter-in-law over Easter just ahead of Archie’s birth and became their first guest at Frogmore after their move. “After all, they’ve practically moved into her back garden,” a source told The Sun at the time. “Her Majesty wanted to formally welcome the Sussexes to their new home.” Now that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are a bit more settled in, perhaps a royal reality show in their future?