Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton’s interior designers compared

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex have distinct personal styles, so it is of little surprise they hired interior designers with dramatically different tastes to transform their respective royal residences into family homes.

Kate, 37, reportedly turned to society architect and designer Ben Pentreath for help decorating her and William’s country pile of Anmer Hall, Norfolk, and their main residence at 1A Kensington Palace. 

Meanwhile Meghan, 37, is understood to have enlisted Vicky Charles, former Global Head of Design at Soho House and a favourite of A-list celebrities, to work her magic on Frogmore House, her and Prince Harry‘s soon-to-be home on the Windsor estate. 

But while both Pentreath and Charles each boast a glittering client list, decades of experience and serious star power, they also have signature aesthetics that are as different as the Duchesses themselves. 

Here, we take a closer look at the two designers…  

WHO ARE THEY?

BEN PENTREATH

Royal favourite: Ben Pentreath, second from left, has reportedly worked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Pictured, Ben Pentreath and husband Charlie McCormick with interior designers Lyn Muse, left, and Bunny Williams in New York in 2016

Royal favourite: Ben Pentreath, second from left, has reportedly worked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Pictured, Ben Pentreath and husband Charlie McCormick with interior designers Lyn Muse, left, and Bunny Williams in New York in 2016

Royal favourite: Ben Pentreath, second from left, has reportedly worked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Pictured, Ben Pentreath and husband Charlie McCormick with interior designers Lyn Muse, left, and Bunny Williams in New York in 2016

Famous fans: Kate and William, pictured last month, are said to have trusted Pentreath to help revamp Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, and their main residence at Kensington Palace

Famous fans: Kate and William, pictured last month, are said to have trusted Pentreath to help revamp Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, and their main residence at Kensington Palace

Famous fans: Kate and William, pictured last month, are said to have trusted Pentreath to help revamp Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, and their main residence at Kensington Palace

Pops of colour: Pentreath favours an eclectic mix of fabrics and colours. Pictured, the Cambridges and Harry with President and Mrs Obama at William and Kate's Kensington Palace home in 2016

Pops of colour: Pentreath favours an eclectic mix of fabrics and colours. Pictured, the Cambridges and Harry with President and Mrs Obama at William and Kate's Kensington Palace home in 2016

Pops of colour: Pentreath favours an eclectic mix of fabrics and colours. Pictured, William, Kate and Harry with President and Mrs Obama at William and Kate’s Kensington Palace home in 2016

Ben Pentreath studied Art History at the University of Edinburgh before attending the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture. He worked for five years in New York and then with the Prince’s Foundation, before starting his own practice in 2004. 

Since then his studio has established itself as an industry leader, working on everything from urban development to private houses.  

He also co-owns a shop, Pentreath & Hall, with decorative artist and maker Bridie Hall.

Ben lives between London and Dorset with his husband, Charlie. 

VICKY CHARLES

Ultimate in cool girl style: Vicky Charles, pictured, former Global Head of Design at Soho House, now runs her own interior design company with Julia Corden, wife of TV star James

Ultimate in cool girl style: Vicky Charles, pictured, former Global Head of Design at Soho House, now runs her own interior design company with Julia Corden, wife of TV star James

Ultimate in cool girl style: Vicky Charles, pictured, former Global Head of Design at Soho House, now runs her own interior design company with Julia Corden, wife of TV star James

Family home: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured together this month, are said to have asked Vicky to bring a personal touch to their new home of Frogmore House, Windsor

Family home: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured together this month, are said to have asked Vicky to bring a personal touch to their new home of Frogmore House, Windsor

Family home: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured together this month, are said to have asked Vicky to bring a personal touch to their new home of Frogmore House, Windsor

Tried and tested: A room at Soho Farmhouse, designed by Vicky Charles and her team. The Duchess of Sussex is a fan of the country retreat and is thought to have stayed several times

Tried and tested: A room at Soho Farmhouse, designed by Vicky Charles and her team. The Duchess of Sussex is a fan of the country retreat and is thought to have stayed several times

Tried and tested: A room at Soho Farmhouse, designed by Vicky Charles and her team. The Duchess of Sussex is a fan of the country retreat and is thought to have stayed several times

After graduating from Exeter University with a BA in English Literature and Fine Art, Vicky Charles started work at Soho House in London, where she remained for 20 years. 

Vicky worked her way up the organisation to become the Global Head of Design, responsible for imbuing outposts in Malibu, Barcelona and Isanbul with the club’s distinctive laid-back style. 

The designer also worked on Soho Farmhouse – the British country retreat beloved of Harry and Meghan. 

In 2016 Vicky left Soho House to found her own studio, Charles & Co with Julia Corden, the wife of James Corden. She now works on everything from small-scale residential renovations to commercial projects. 

Vicky lives with her two children and husband in New York City and the Hudson Valley countryside. 

ROYAL CONNECTIONS 

BEN PENTREATH 

Large-scale projects: Ben Pentreath has worked with Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall on a number of projects, including designing the Royal Pavilion in Poundbury, Dorset, pictured

Large-scale projects: Ben Pentreath has worked with Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall on a number of projects, including designing the Royal Pavilion in Poundbury, Dorset, pictured

Large-scale projects: Ben Pentreath has worked with Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall on a number of projects, including designing the Royal Pavilion in Poundbury, Dorset, pictured

Ben Pentreath has worked with Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall on a number of projects, including designing the Royal Pavilion in the town of Poundbury in Dorset. 

He is understood to have ‘helped’ the Duchess of Cambridge in revamping the interiors of Anmer Hall and Kensington Palace, according to The Times.  

Pentreath’s team also includes Harry Pelly, who is the cousin of Prince Harry’s best friend and former wild child Guy Pelly. 

VICKY CHARLES

The Duchess of Sussex has long been a fan of the Soho House group. Indeed it is rumoured she and Harry chose Dean Street Townhouse for their first date in 2016. 

Ms Charles and Meghan also have several mutual friends including Canadian Markus Anderson, a consultant of Soho House who met the royal while she was living in Toronto.

Ms Charles’ business partner Julia Corden is the wife of TV star James Corden, who acted as  compère at Harry and Meghan’s wedding party in May.

Vicky has also designed the homes of George and Amal Clooney, who are famously close friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

CELEBRITY CLIENTS

BEN PENTREATH 

A-list clients: Mr Pentreath has worked with actresses Liv Tyler

A-list clients: Mr Pentreath has worked with actresses Liv Tyler

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

A-list clients: Mr Pentreath has worked with actresses Liv Tyler, left, and Sarah Jessica Parker 

Mr Pentreath’s vibrant Instagram page is filled with photos from his latest projects but – as might be expected – he keeps the name of their owners discreetly under wraps.

However he is known to have worked with several high-profile homeowners, including actresses Liv Tyler and Sarah Jessica Parker. 

VICKY CHARLES 

Little treasures: Pentreath designed three nurseries for Amal and George Clooney 

Little treasures: Pentreath designed three nurseries for Amal and George Clooney 

Little treasures: Pentreath designed three nurseries for Amal and George Clooney 

Ms Charles’ celebrity clients have been slightly more in the spotlight. 

In addition to David and Victoria Beckham, their company Charles & Co has worked for other celebrity friends of Harry and Meghan, including George and Amal Clooney and Gordon and Tana Ramsay.  

As well as kitting out nurseries at three of the Clooneys’ properties, Ms Charles – who is close to Canadian Markus Anderson, one of Meghan closest pals – revamped the main home of the film star and barrister in Sonning, Berkshire.

A source previously told the Mail On Sunday: ‘Vicky is so ridiculously in demand. She has many, many high-profile clients.’ 

INTERIORS STYLE 

BEN PENTREATH 

Ben Pentreath interior’s team draws ‘inspiration in equal measure from the great English practitioners of the 1960s and 70s, and from historical interiors of every period, but all infused with a fresh modern sensibility’, according to the website. 

Ben combines a strong use of colour, pattern and classical detail with bold contemporary fabric and furniture. 

VICKY CHARLES

Grit and glamour: A room at Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, designed by Vicky Charles

Grit and glamour: A room at Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, designed by Vicky Charles

Grit and glamour: A room at Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, designed by Vicky Charles

Charles & Co. work across a ‘wide range of styles’ but there is always a mixture of the luxurious and the laid-back. 

Speaking previously, Ms Charles has noted her Soho House interiors brought together the ‘grit and the glamour’. 

The overall feeling is one that is eclectic yet pulled-together, rooms that feel cohesive but are not overly rigid or matchy.

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