Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose a rustic garden with ‘touches of the English countryside’ and shapes that ‘foster trust’ for their explosive Oprah interview, experts reveal
- Duke and Duchess of Sussex filmed their Oprah interview at a stunning garden at a property in California
- Gardening and property experts told Femail how the space is a mixture of England and California
- The couple were also careful to dress to complement the colours and chose shapes that ‘foster trust’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose an outdoor setting with ‘touches of the English countryside’ for their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, experts have revealed.
Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, filmed the 90-minute TV special in a beautiful garden at an unknown property in Santa Barbara, California, near their £12million mansion.
It was originally thought the couple invited Oprah to film the interview at the home they share with 10-month-old son Archie, however this is not the case.
Speaking to Femail, British interior designer Benji Lewis of online advisory service Zoom That Room explained how the couple chose a ‘rustic’ and ‘relaxed’ garden with nods to traditional English design as the setting for the explosive tell-all.
‘My first thought is that the scene suggests reassuringly peaceful, smart English country house garden idyll,’ he explained. ‘We’re channelling a kind of Highgrove that comes to the West Coast vibe. It’s chic and very cleverly crafted, slightly grand and yet not overly complicated.’
He added they are surrounded by circular shapes that ‘foster trust’ and ‘promote harmony’.
Here, Benji and Heather Barrigan of home renovation service MyJobQuote break down the key features of the outdoor setting…
England meets California: Experts told FEMAIL how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opted for a garden that had features of the traditional English countryside for their tell-all interview. Pictured: 1. Soft paving stones like those favoured in England; 2. Soft fabrics that bring the inside out’; 3. Circular shape to foster trust; 4. Dressing to complement the scene; 5. Scented vines with a regal feel; 6&7 a lawn and soft lines with a wild meadow; 8. Round pots that foster harmony
1. SOFT PAVING STONES THAT BRING ‘ENGLAND TO CALIFORNIA’
Benji said: ‘Instead of choosing paving that is uniformly coloured, textured, and sized, the stone here has been laid more casually; the wider mortar lines in the further part of the terrace seemingly broken up in parts with moss.
‘This softer approach covers the ground between formal (i.e. we have gone to the extent of paving) and informal (i.e. but the paving we chose and how we had it laid is relaxed and rustic).’
Heather added: ‘The barely visible paving stones are typically seen in English gardens. This adds a hint of traditional décor, which works perfectly next to the more exotic elements.’
2. BRINGING THE ‘INSIDE, OUT’
Benji said: ‘They have very much dressed the setting in the way you would an interior with natural textures playing a key part (we’re thinking cotton and linens and timber and stone) – the herringbone sisal rug on the old York stone paving and the cut grass lawn beyond – accessorising the furnishings with soft linen cushions and including a coffee table and side table, suggesting “you have a comfortable place to sit and even more than that, a table close by on which to put your cup of tea”.
‘The seating is comfortable and supportive and loungey but not at all floppy or over relaxed.’
Heather added: ‘The woven-style rug is the epitome of indoor/outdoor living which is a staple of Californian homes. This is a complimentary contrast to the traditional-style paving stones underneath, creating an authentic British-American fusion.’
3. CREATING A ‘CIRCLE OF TRUST’
Promoting harmony: The choice of a round coffee table reflects the ‘circle of trust’ between Oprah and Meghan
Benji said: ‘There’s a gentle formality about the scene I suppose but no hard edges, the round coffee table could have been square, but they rightly chose a circle. The circle of trust.’
4. DRESSED TO MATCH
Benji said: ‘The colour palette wise has all been gently layered to deliberately not contrast with the rustic setting, and I love how they’ve worked their colour palette up, starting with soft creamy tan tones on the floor, working soft grey into the clothing they have dressed Prince Harry in, the charcoal dress on Meghan with Oprah cleverly dressed in tones of dusty pink, ivory and going into shades of light rosewood on her skirt.’
5. ‘REGAL’ SCENTED VINES
Fit for royalty: The pillars behind Prince Harry and Meghan (pictured) are covered in scented vines for a regal feel
Heather noted: ‘The vined columns, which date back to the second renaissance, help create a regal but wild feel to the garden. This incorporates royalty-style décor with the new trend of garden rewilding.’
Benji said: ‘The creeping foliage on the old square stone posts looks like it could be jasmine and the pots of lavender means it is an all-round feel for space with the impression of scent as well.’
6. & 7. PLANTING WITH SOFT EDGES AND A WILD MEADOW
Benji said: ‘The line of hedge trailing away down the hill in the yonder shows a degree of tailoring but there are no hard lines or edges, similarly, the creeping jasmine softens the architecture of the posts.
‘The grounds are bountifully pleasing in their fullness and greenness – with the slightly wilder looking woodland trailing off down the hill, the charmingly almost non maintained hedge providing a break point suggesting that this side of the hedge we’re into the formal garden and yet before we reach the daisy lawn there’s an area of what looks like it could be allowed to run into a wild meadow. Different textures all the time to create interest.’
Heather noted: ‘You will notice that the garden is not overloaded with flowers. Instead, there is more relaxed planting visible at the back of the garden near the grass.’
8. DESIGN THAT ‘FOSTERS HARMONY’
Benji said: ‘The use of round potted plants indicates a soft boundary from the terrace to lawn. The shape of the round pots being echoed by the coffee table to create a sense of harmony. It’s a very gentle vibe they’ve created, reassuring, trustworthy and not confrontational.’
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