London: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton will relocate from their Kensington Palace base in London to be closer to the Queen on her Windsor estate, it was confirmed on Monday.
William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will shift into Adelaide Cottage – dubbed a “modest” home that is walking distance from William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s base at Windsor Castle.
As second in line to the throne, Prince William is expected to take on additional responsibilities as the 96-year-old monarch gradually cuts back on her public-facing duties in keeping with her personal comfort.
William and Kate’s three children – George, 9, Charlotte, 7, and Louis, 4 – have been enrolled in a new school in the area as well and will start the new term from next month.
“We are delighted that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will be joining us this coming September and very much look forward to welcoming the family, as well as all of our new pupils, to our school community,” said Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook School, close to Windsor Castle.
The royals will keep their eastern England Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, and their apartment at Kensington Palace, but their principal home will now be in Windsor.
A royal source told Sky News, “This is very much a decision that two parents have made to give their children the ‘most normal’ start possible.”
“KP (Kensington Palace) can be a little bit of a fishbowl. They wanted to be able to give George, Charlotte and Louis a bit more freedom than they have living in central London. It’s very much a decision that’s been led by the kids.”
For the past few years George and Charlotte attended Thomas’s School in Battersea, south London, and Louis went to Willcocks Nursery School in London. Now, all three kids will be attending the same school.
“We would like to thank George, Charlotte and all of our leaving pupils for upholding the school’s values and for their many contributions to school life throughout their time at Thomas’s. We wish them every happiness and success at their next schools and beyond,” said Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools.
Being on the royal Windsor estate in Berkshire, the new Adelaide Cottage home as a Crown Estate property would not require too much additional taxpayer-funded security. The cottage, which is relatively compact on size, was built in 1839 and named in honour of Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV. It was loved by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who would take their children there in the summer to enjoy private relaxation.
The property is also near Frogmore Cottage, which Harry and Meghan – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – continue to call their home in the UK after relocating to the US. The couple are expected to stay there during an upcoming visit to the UK on a tour of some charitable causes they support.
There are likely to be inevitable comparisons drawn between the different approaches of the two royal couples, with the Sussexes opting for a lavish refurbishment of their sprawling Frogmore Cottage while the Cambridges have chosen a much smaller four-bedroom residence which did not have to undergo many upgrades.
Meanwhile, the Queen is on her annual summer retreat in Scotland, at her Balmoral Castle residence.