Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore House neighbours are issued with ‘dos and don’ts list’ to which bans them from talking to royals, asking to see Archie or petting their dogs
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new neighbours were issued with ‘do’s and don’ts’ should they see the pair around the newly-renovated Frogmore Cottage, it emerged last night.
The issue was raised at a residents’ meeting for those living near the couple’s home on the Windsor estate by a ‘well-intentioned’ member of estate staff.
Neighbours were ordered not to strike up conversation with the pair or ask to see baby Archie.
They were also told to refrain from offering to babysit – or even stroke their dogs should they bound over.
Residents living close to the royal couple on the Windsor estate also include royal staff, officials living in grace-and-favour houses and Crown Estate employees.
Palace officials last night said neither the Sussexes or their household made any request for any instructions to be given to locals.
A source said: ‘A well-intentioned member of estate staff offered guidance at a community meeting. Neither the couple or their household made any such request.’
One local remarked to The Sun last night: ‘It would be funny if it wasn’t so over the top.’
Another neighbour commented: ‘It’s extraordinary. We’ve never heard anything like it. Everyone who lives on the estate works for the royals and knows how to behave respectfully.
‘We aren’t told how to behave around the Queen like this. She’s very happy for people to greet her.’
Residents were also cautioned they should avoid petting the royal couple’s two dogs, even if the dogs come over.
They should also refrain from offering to walk the dogs or babysit Archie and should not post anything through the letterbox of Frogmore Cottage.
Royal commentator, Ingrid Seward, told The Sun: ‘It sounds as if Harry and Meghan’s incessant demands for privacy means that palace officials are second-guessing what they might want.
‘It’s odd because it’s just good manners to engage your neighbour in conversation in a pleasant way. It’s a very normal British thing to say ‘good morning’ and pat a dog.
‘The Queen always chats to neighbours and even has tea with people on the estate as she’s very friendly with them. The ‘not petting the dog’ is particularly strange.
‘Maybe Harry doesn’t want people approaching them and using their dogs as an excuse to talk. And of course the dog with no name keeps its privacy as they won’t tell us its name!’
Harry and Meghan have refused to reveal the name of the black Labrador they got last September as a companion for Guy, the rescue beagle Meghan brought to the UK from Canada.
The royal couple have faced backlash over their insistence on privacy as they renovated their new home with £2.4 million of taxpayer’s cash. The total spent will reach £3 million once landscaping and gardening is completed.
The couple kept the details of son Archie’s birth and christening private and refused to publicise the identity of Archie’s godparents.
Those among the 400 residents of the private Home Park and Great Park area of Windsor, run by the Crown estate, include respected members of royal staff.
The Queen’s right-hand woman and dresser Angela Kelly, Prince Charles’ old nanny Mabel Anderson and the governor of Windsor Castle all live on the estate.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Duke and Duchess had no knowledge of this briefing and no involvement in the concept or the content.
‘This was a well-intentioned briefing to help a small local community know how to welcome two new residents and help them with any potential encounter.
‘There was no handout or letter. The talk was undertaken by a local manager and was widely viewed as being well-received.’
A royal source said the meeting was in February, more than two months before they moved to Frogmore and three months before Archie was born.
They added: ‘Residents meetings are frequently and routinely held to update on building works/events etc – this was not a meeting specifically held to talk about the couple, it was one of several things discussed.
‘Most importantly their Royal Highnesses did not issue the guidance and didn’t ask for it to be done – they simply had nothing to do with this and Didn’t even know it had happened. As it is they love people to stroke their dogs.’
The Sussexes faced embarrassment last week after work in their garden left them in a potential breach of planning rules.
Agents for the royal couple applied for retrospective planning consent for ‘external landscaping works’ in their garden at Frogmore Cottage, which is different from the design already approved by the council.
The work is also said to include a kitchen garden.
Retrospective planning applications can be submitted for work already carried out but it does not mean permission will automatically be granted.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: ‘The Duke and Duchess didn’t request this, didn’t know about it, and had nothing to do with the content or guidance offered.’
It is understood the meeting was one of the briefings which takes place regularly for residents on the estate, and the agenda would have included other matters.
The Sussexes’ approach to privacy has made headlines after they decided not to reveal details of Archie’s godparents following his private christening, and after a royal protection officer asked a Wimbledon fan, who was photographing Serena Williams, not to take pictures of Meghan.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Amelia Clarke and Connor Boyd