Could there be something more beautiful, or more typically English, than golden Cotswolds, glowing in the light of the late afternoon?
It is easy to understand why Prince Harry and his wife Meghan fell in love with a charming four-bedroom farmhouse tucked away in an alley in a hamlet in Oxfordshire on the most memorable estate in Britain.
Here the couple spent the last summer with the withdrawal from their normal world.
The house, which is reportedly worth 2.5 million pounds and has been renovated with floor-to-ceiling windows and two kitchens, is set in 4 hectares of grounds and has an annex for guests.
Thatched cottages in the village of Great Tew (photo above) where Harry and Meghan have a property
The village of Great Tew has about 150 inhabitants
It is also near Soho Farmhouse, the outpost of the private member club of Great Tew, where Meghan loves and has played a central role in her relationship with Harry.
Officially they live in Nottingham Cottage, a small house on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, but it seems that the country house feels most at home there.
Last June they rented a two-year lease on the home place and spent most weekends here. They plan to hold this small piece of Cotswolds heaven as a vacation and weekend stay, even after moving to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
Millie Mackintosh (left) with Meghan Markle in Oxfordshire
(Renovations are in full swing at Frogmore, with the perhaps optimistic goal that the couple will reside before their baby arrives in late March or early April.)
Apart from a few official appointments, such as a two-day trip to Ireland, an evening in the theater in London and the launch of the charity cookbook from Grenfell Tower, they lived most of the summer in the Cotswolds.
Harry and Meghan (pictured above) go to Frogmore Cottage
It was the happiest time for the Sussexes. Their coveted baby was born mid-July. Probably the most watched couple in the world at that time, just weeks after their wedding in Windsor, they still managed to keep the pregnancy news and their joy completely private.
Towards the end of the summer they took a second dog next to Meghan's rather old lifebuoy, Guy.
The black Labrador puppy accompanied them on a visit to their friends George and Amal Clooney in Sonning, Berkshire, who are also dog-loving and have two rescue dogs.
So what does this house say about the royal couple and their galaxy of friends of celebrities? In the first place it says that their lives revolve around these types of Hollywood and millionaire.
Because this is an area that is teeming with celebs.
The Beckham family has a barn conversion there and are regular weekenders at Boerderij Soho. Like fashion designer Stella McCartney and her clan. (It was Stella that Meghan chose to make her dress for her wedding reception in the evening.)
No wonder the 37-year old former actress feels at home here.
So who else can be found in the neighborhood?
Prince Harry and Meghan's Cotswolds country shelter is owned by a millionaire pal of David Cameron
Actor Johnny Depp rented a cottage in Oxfordshire while filming in the United Kingdom. Star Trek actor Sir Patrick Stewart therefore has a home.
Model Kate Moss is also not far away, and a large number of young British stars, such as Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, who was with Harry at Eton, is known to party in Soho Farmhouse.
In the summer, Meghan brought together members of her own American-Canadian audience at the club, including the actress Priyanka Chopra and her husband, singer Nick Jonas, and Meghan's big tennis star friend Serena Williams and her husband of tech millionaire and their young daughter.
The village of Great Tew, Oxfordshire, with the pub, The Falkland Arms
The old friend of the duchess, the Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney, also paid a visit. Apparently they took the time to plan out Meghan's outfits for her visit to Australia and New Zealand.
Of course her mother Doria Ragland also spent time with the couple in Oxfordshire. Those sloping fields around the golden shed can hardly be a world away from the noisy streets of Los Angeles where Doria lives.
Sources suggest that Meghan's mother went a few times, in July and September, and ate dinner with the Duke and Duchess in & # 39; The Shack & # 39; – a single storey wooden building in Soho Farmhouse that is illuminated by a multitude of flickering candles.
It has a kitchen with a large fireplace and a rotisserie and a small, completely private dining room which is provided to Harry and Meghan's disposal.
Meghan has also reported that he attended a few fitness classes in the club – Pilates and spin cycle. She and Harry are also seen in the child-free dining area on the first floor.
A regular told me: & # 39; Meghan is very nice, polite and respectful towards the staff – which stands out because not all celebrities are! & # 39;
Of course, the royal couple also & # 39; home & # 39; entertained. Their house has a large kitchen / dining room and a beautiful view over the landscape.
The property is located in Great Tew in Oxfordshire, a small village with about 150 inhabitants
So who is in the lofty social set of the Duke and Duchess? The Beckhams are central. Victoria's band with Meghan has been publicly announced publicly by Meghan who has worn Mrs. B's designs over the past few months, including a calf length navy dress that costs £ 1,250, with matching £ 2,250, £ 1,250 boots and £ 1,550 handbag.
For his part, Harry is close to David Beckham, whom he has known for many years through charity work.
Meghan's best friend, Markus Anderson, who works for the Soho House group, is an important member of the support team of the new royal family and he has already been there. He originally invited her to join Soho House when she was a TV soap actress in Toronto, and it was Markus who facilitated all the early dates of Harry and Meghan in London and Oxfordshire.
Meghan Markle had her bachelor party in Soho Farmhouse (photo above)
He also organized her quiet stag and hen parties – of course at Soho Farmhouse and encouraged her to attend the launch of a new Soho house in Amsterdam last year. Markus is very good friends with the New York-based fashion designer Misha Nonoo, who is said to have introduced Meghan and Harry.
Both Markus and Misha spent the summer time with the royal newlyweds in their outside shed, and stayed for longer pieces.
Others who stayed or visited include Princess Eugenie and the Clooneys. That followed when Harry and Meghan took a mini-break in May in the Clooneys house on Lake Como in Italy.
Priyanka Chopra and her husband, singer Nick Jonas (photo) also hung out with Meghan Markle
The similarities between the couples are striking. Two rather long bachelors, both significantly less well educated than their career-oriented and very successful wives, whom she married after whirlwind novels.
Both women have expensive tastes in fashion (Meghan is for Givenchy, Amal loves Prada) and both have the ambition to establish themselves as humanitarian on the world stage.
Attorney Amal, who grew up in Buckinghamshire, cherished the friendship after being introduced to Meghan by mutual friends. . . Soho House. She then advised Meghan on a star list of contacts – from hair stylists to interior designers and key employees.
The Clooneys wanted to celebrate Barack Obama's wife Michelle – a common friend – with Meghan and Harry for a dinner in December, but it was canceled due to the funeral of former US President George Bush.
This Cotswolds – Soho House by Royal Appointment – crowd is a close-knit group that socialize and reflect each other's tastes and interests.
Indeed, many of them used the same interior designer, Vicky Charles, to copy the battered but luxurious Soho House-chic in their own country.
It was Vicky who supervised the interior design of the club for 20 years before setting up a private client company. She has designed an interior for the Clooneys (in three of their houses), the Beckhams and chef Gordon Ramsay.
Meghan's best friend, Markus Anderson (left) works for the Soho House group
It is said that her company, Charles & Co – partly run by comedian James Corden & # 39; s wife Julia – helped a little with the refurbishment of Harry and Meghan's barn.
It would come as no surprise if the suggestion is true, since the Duchess appreciates the trendy ethos of Soho House and instinctively welcomes its modern, luxurious way of doing things.
As a lifestyle blogger before she married Harry, Meghan was ruthlessly enthusiastic about finding the best crystal glasses, the best chili sauce and the most perfectly mixed cocktails.
Soho Farmhouse, Great Tew, Oxford. An exclusive member club
Of course none of this is the traditional way of life of Cotswolds, which according to the local population are usually draughty rooms, muddy animals, broken tractors and cornflakes from Tupperware boxes for breakfast.
Meghan is certainly rather Californian about food, rather than fashionable dishes rather than traditional dishes, such as roast roasts away from Gloucestershire.
Harry is reportedly encouraged to cut back on his alcohol consumption by his pregnant, health-conscious wife and would have been teotile for three months.
The Beckham & # 39; s (pictured above) are neighbors of Harry and Meghan
It is quite a feat for a man who was notoriously lairy in his youth!
She would also have encouraged him to cut back on his meat consumption. Before they met, Meghan had the habit of eating vegetarian mostly during the week.
Above all, their home in Cotswold was a safe haven for Harry and Meghan, and also somewhere to start over, with new friends and new priorities.
In Kensington, Harry's long-standing neighbors were his brother William and his wife Kate.
Regardless of talking about a gap between the two women, it seems Harry wanted to get rid of the shadow of his older brother and his wife.
The cottage of the Cambridges in Norfolk, near Sandringham, is by comparison a tradition that respects tradition.
In turn, Harry and Meghan have felt more free to mix with rich, cheerful, globally known do-gooders.
This new circle has staff and charity projects, but also has a different way of doing things. Privacy and luxury are key words instead of a tradition of polite and dutiful self-sacrifice.
But as much as they would like the Cotswolds to escape from the halo-view that is aimed at the queen's family, there is always a memory – for those who strive – of the checkered history of the kingship.
Because it was not far from the reconstruction of Harry and Meghan that during the civil war in 1646 a Royalist army marched through the area and desperately tried to get together with Charles I in Oxford and was forced into a battle so violent that ducks reportedly In Able to bathe in the pools of blood that formed on the street & # 39 ;.
At that time the royalists were defeated. Today the royal newlyweds are on the rise.