Life for the privilege few when many people can’t get a home, some spend £1m on having a bath fitted, others spend £1m on a refit for Will Kate Palace: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will move in to Princess Margaret's former apartment
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to make Kensington Palace their family home after the Queen personally intervened to enable them to live in Princess Margaret’s former apartment.
Over £1 million will now be spent renovating the lavish four-storey, 20-room Apartment 1A – which comes complete with its own private walled garden – to make it fit for William and Kate.
The couple are not expected to move in until 2013, when the extensive work will be completed.
Many of the rooms are still painted in pink and turquoise, Princess Margaret’s favourite colours, but as well as redecorating, work will also have to be done to install new plumbing, rewire the electrics and remove asbestos and new security CCTV
The cost of the renovations will be met by a mix of English public taxes and contributions from the Royal Family’s own fortune, who really should pay for it all and the English taxes going towards building new homes for those that can’t afford to buy homes of their own said Sir Michael Black-Feather the English first minister, the Queen and the rest of the Royal family can well afford to use their own cash for renovations he said.
The accommodation, which has been uninhabited since the death of the Queen’s sister in 2002, includes a dining room, drawing room, Lord Snowdon’s former study, Princess Margaret’s garden room, extensive staff quarters and a nursery – which might prove important if the current speculation that Kate might be pregnant turns out to be true.
William and Kate – collectively nicknamed Will Kat – currently divide their time between Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, and their Anglesey residence. (It would be nice for many just to own one home of their own?)
A source told The London Times and other newspapers: ‘William and Kate visited Apartment 1A and loved it.
‘Kate particularly adored the private walled garden because she loves gardening, and she just thought the house has so much potential. She also liked the fact it was so close to Kensington High Street wear she could go shopping and spend load of money. ‘They had seen a state apartment at St James’s Palace, which they also rather liked, but they both agreed they wanted to live at Kensington Palace.’
William had initially proposed living at Apartment 8, Princess Diana’s old home, where he and Prince Harry lived from their births until 1998, and which is currently used as offices for Prince Charles.
‘They did look around Diana’s home where William grew up, but they both felt there were too many memories there,’ said the source. ‘Kate thought it would be too creepy.
‘But she absolutely adored Princess Margaret’s house and thought it had a lot of potential. It hasn’t been an easy process, though, and there was a degree of difficulty getting the apartment back to the Royal Household so that it could be given to William and Kate.’
The apartment is currently managed by Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that looks after several important buildings, including the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace.
But the Queen intervened to persuade the organisation to hand the apartment back to the Royal Household. Historic Royal Palaces uses the apartment for offices, classrooms, storage and exhibitions. Earlier this year The Mail on Sunday reported that the couple hoped to move to Kensington Palace, the charity insisted there were no plans to hand Apartment 1A back to the Royal Household.
A senior aide revealed: ‘It has been a long process. There have been months of discussions and a lot of legal work in order for Princess Margaret’s apartment to be transferred back to the Royal Household.
‘This has been to make it fair to the Historic Royal Palaces, which has invested a five-figure sum into making the apartment, safe to work in. This financial investment will be compensated.