Here’s some news and photos of the renovated apartment “1A” at Kensington Palace in London, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and baby Prince George are moving into…
Kensington Palace is a royal residence, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, set in Kensington Gardens, in the central Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England, and home to several members of the British royal family due to the large capacity for state rooms, apartments and cottages.
Kate and William are moving into Apartment 1A, circled:
Kensington Palace, formerly known as Nottingham House, was originally a Jacobean mansion built in 1605, and purchased by King William III and Queen Mary II who reigned jointly as “William and Mary” from 1689.
The palace in 1707-08:
Here’s the palace in 1961:
It was the official residence of William’s mother, Princess Diana. Apartments 8 and 9 were combined into one for the newlyweds Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and the princess continued living there until her death in 1997.
Princes William and Harry primarily grew up there, and attended prep schools nearby, as well as their father’s home, Highgrove House (see pictures here).
Here’s what we know about Kate and William’s refurbished home so far:
It has its own large south-facing walled garden, which takes up half the Clock Tower wing originally designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century for King William and Queen Mary.
Apparently Kate was inspired by Princess Mary of Denmark when she visited Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, and the combination of traditional with modern design. See some photos here.
It has now been redesigned and opened up to give around 20 rooms instead of the original 30 rooms. Lord Snowden’s former darkroom has been replaced with staff and utility rooms.
The £1-1.5 million restoration project was done over 18 months, with about £600,000 going on refurbishment, and £400,000 on repairing the roof. The home, over four-floors, now includes:
- five reception rooms
- three bedrooms with ‘his and hers’ dressing rooms and bathrooms
- a day and a night nursery for Prince George, with an adjacent bedroom for his nanny Jessie Webb
- three kitchens – one for the family on the ground floor and two for staff
- the entrance hall includes two 19th-century Corinthian lamps and, on loan from the royal treasure chest, a Persian rug worth about $50K
- ornate original fixtures such as cornices are combined with elegant neutral tones
- updated heating, water and electrical systems and removal of asbestos
- underfloor heating, encrypted wifi, a TV projector
- a panic room, video cameras in every room room, and mesh curtains on each window designed to catch shattered glass
- a basement laundry, storeroom and staff coffee area.
The couple previously lived in Nottingham Cottage (see number 9 on the photo below), a two-bedroom pied-a-terre which was “spruced up” by designer Kelly Hoppen.
Once they move into Apartment 1A, Prince Harry will move out of Clarence House and into the Kensington Palace cottage, or even possibly Apartment 4B which is said to be grander.
Kensington Palace: Who’s where
1. Apartment 1: A 21-room home to the Duke of Gloucester, the Queen’s first cousin, and his wife.
2. Apartment 1A: William, Kate and George’s new home.
3. State Apartments: These apartments are available for hire, with prices from £6,500 per room.
4. Apartment 10: This five-bedroom, five-reception-room is home to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
5. Apartments 8 and 9: Princess Diana’s official residence before her death.
6. Wren House: The home of the Queen’s cousin, Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.
7. Apartment 4A: A modest living quarter formerly used by the Queen’s director of property services.
8. Apartment 4B: Once home to Prince Charles’ former private secretary, Sir Michael Peat. He used to pay £47,000 of his £250,000-a-year salary to live there.
9. Nottingham Cottage: William and Kate’s current home. Prince Harry will move in once the couple move into Apartment 1A.
10. The other apartments: Small apartments occupied by royal employees, who pay a small proportion of their salary in rent.
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