Royal watchers were left gobsmacked this weekend as news broke that Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank reportedly quietly left Frogmore Cottage after their move mere weeks ago.
The pair were living in Kensington Palace initially, but recently took up residence in Harry and Meghan’s former home, believed to be after more space after announcing they are pregnant with their first child.
Now it seems they are back at the palace, quietly departing Frogmore under a haze of mystery, further fuelled by Buckingham Palace’s refusal to comment on the situation.
Theories raged – is there a lingering atmosphere from the last unhappy Duchess who lived in its four walls, a ghost rattling around the attic, or are Harry and Meghan planning to return to the UK?
It turns out the real reason the duo ditched the cottage is likely far more banal than the rumours that have flown thick and fast would have you believe – Frogmore sits directly beneath one of Heathrow Airport’s flight paths.
Just a 15-minute drive from the mega-airport, the noise at the royal residence is said to be deafening, as one fan pointed out in a Tweet claiming to bust the mystery wide open.
Frogmore departure because of ‘absolute racket’ from flight path
“... it's because it's underneath a flight path,” a royal watcher wrote of the situation. “The noise from planes heading in and out of Heathrow is 24/7 and horrendous. No mystery.”
The super-simple explanation was first discovered back in 2018 when visitors were allowed into the grounds for the annual three days of charity visits.
At the time, The Daily Mail reported that visitors were shocked at the deafening sound of planes over the grounds with one visitor reportedly saying they didn’t know how the royal duo was getting baby Archie to sleep amid the racket.
London’s Heathrow Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports, with a map of the flight paths over the city giving an indication of the staggering amounts of flights overhead.
It’s said that every 30 minutes up to 14 flights pass within a mile of the house, and though the coronavirus pandemic has reduced flights in and out, even a fraction of the traffic could prove far too deafening for someone unused to the noise.
It’s also reported that the flights over the cottage come in particularly low adding even more to the racket.
With another royal baby on the way, it seems likely that rather than a deep conspiracy theory, a pregnant Eugenie decided to forgo the din and find something more infant-friendly.
The surprise departure comes after an equally surprising handover, with reports the two couples privately organised for Eugenie and Jack to stay in the cottage, blindsiding senior royals with the announcement after it was a done deal.
The flight path revelation comes amid other theories behind the departure, including a long-standing rumour that the Cottage has an eerie connection to royal mischief-making thanks to a high-profile American bride buried in its ground.
Wallis Simpson, whose marriage to King Edward VIII subsequently caused his abdication from the throne, is buried in the grounds of Frogmore estate, alongside her husband.
Much like Meghan Markle, who was previously married before she tied the knot with Prince Harry, Wallis Simpson was a twice-divorced woman when Edward fell in love with her.
In 1936, Edward asked the British parliament for permission to marry Wallis but they declined.
Just a few weeks later, Edward married Wallis in France and gave up his title to Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI.
Wallis is famously quoted as calling Edward a ‘god-damned fool’ over his decision and the couple were given the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, without the Her Royal Highness status.
The couple spent most of their years in France after being banished from England and shunned by the royal family.
Edward died in 1972 at the age of 77 and Wallis Simpson followed in 1986, at the age of 89. They are both buried in the Royal Burial Ground, beside Frogmore House.
The property was converted from five properties into one single home for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie, one.
Harry and Meghan reportedly moved all of their possessions out of the house "in the dead of the night" to have them shipped to their Californian home, signalling they have moved away for good. Photo: Getty
When the couple quit as senior working royals in March, they paid back the almost $4.4 million taxpayer bill to have the cottage renovated.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said, "Frogmore Cottage is the private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and as such any arrangements are a matter for them."
It’s believed Harry, Meghan and Archie will still stay at Frogmore Cottage whenever they visit the UK.
Additional reporting by Sarah Carty.
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