A whole host of renovations are proposed to take place at Kensington Palace over the coming months, in order to make room for Prince William and Catherine's big move back to the royal residence.
The couple, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are set to relocate to the regal abode in the autumn, in order to take on more royal duties, and for George to begin at his new school, Wetherby. The family are expected to make the move down to the capital once William finishes his duties with the Royal Air Force, which he has resigned from in order to take on more responsibilities within the family. The family previously lived at Kensington Palace in 2013 but moved to Prince to Anmer Hall in Norfolk after the birth of Prince George.
According to Sebastian Shakespeare, the Daily Mail's (opens in new tab) royal correspondent, there are plans for a few major changes to the Palace in order to make way for the adorable family. A planning application has already been put forward by Historical Royal Palaces, the charity which takes care of the state apartments at the palace.
There is reportedly set to be a huge two-storey underground extension, next to the famous Orangery, in order to "free up the palace suites for the Royal Family". The orangery is currently used as restaurant for visits to the grounds.
So what exactly will the underground extension house? Apparently, it will mostly be used by staff. The top basement floor could well be used for staff offices, as they'll undoubtedly be the areas with the most light. And the rest of the room will house a ceremonial dress collection.
According to the Daily Mail, a decision on the planned works will be made at the end of April 2017.
The planning application says: "The addition of a basement storey is required to allow for the accommodation of administration which must necessarily be moved out of rooms leased from the Royal Household in Kensington Palace."
And it's clear that more room is needed over at the residence, as Princess Eugenie is also set to move in to Kensington Palace towards the end of this year with her boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank. Prince Harry also already lives in the Kensington Palace grounds, in nearby Nottingham Cottage.
Prince William and Catherine are set to move into Apartment 1a, which houses 22 rooms and two kitchens, after the Duchess decided a second kitchen was needed in 2013, costing over £170,000. Some renovations have already taken place in their living quarters, including mostly maintenance work such as removing asbestos, plastering, fixing electrics, and setting up heating fixtures, costing £4.3 million altogether. Back in January, it was also revealed that the couple have installed a row of conifer trees around one side of the Palace, in order to ensure some much-needed privacy for when they return. It will be a home from home for Prince William grew up in Kensington Palace, with his brother Harry and his parents the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana.
Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.
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