Following Queen Elizabeth’s recent permanent goodbye to Buckingham Palace, Prince William and Kate Middleton will soon be moving away from London’s Kensington Palace into the relatively modest Adelaide Cottage — located in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made the announcement earlier this year, and are finally moving through with their preparations regarding the royal house-shifting, which was largely done in favor of the couple’s young children — George, 8, Charlotte, 7, and Louis, 4.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have lived in Apartment 1A of Kensington Palace for almost a decade, first moving in back in October 2013.
Formerly the home of Princess Margaret, the only sibling of Elizabeth II, the imposing 20-room four-story apartment was located right in the middle of London’s Kensington district — home to major museums, universities, and British celebrities such as Eric Clapton, Rowan Atkinson, Sir Richard Branson, Robbie Williams, and more.
Despite the opulence and high-profile status associated with such a property, the royals understood that maintaining their children’s privacy and safety was a difficult task in London, and have since decided to move to a much smaller home in the country — mirroring their own childhoods spent away from the noise and bustle of London.
The Mail substantiates that the children were at the heart of this move, explaining that it allowed the trio to grow up without the pressures and privacy concerns of royal life, while their parents could still serve duties on their own time.
They wanted to allow their children the opportunity to enjoy as normal a life as possible while they continue to serve as senior working royals, sources told the Mail.
“Their children are at the heart of every decision they make,” said one royal insider.
“The duke and duchess want to give them as ‘normal’ start as possible and this is their chance to give them that for as long as they can.
“Kensington Palace is a bit of a goldfish bowl. The children can’t play in the grounds without being seen. They are very fortunate, of course. The duke and duchess are very conscious of that. But they are hopeful this will afford a happy medium between their public and private lives.”
All is well and good, especially considering that the new cottage residence is also a stone’s throw away from the Queen’s Windsor Palace. But how does the new property actually look inside?
Inside Adelaide Cottage
The Adelaide property is made up of two areas called the Adelaide Cottage, where the family will now live, and Adelaide Lodge — a red brick double-fronted house complete with towering chimney stacks and pitched second-story dormer windows, retaining some real old-world charm.
The main cottage was built back in 1831 for Queen Adelaide, the wife of King Willian IV, and was renovated back in 2015 — although the royal family chose to retain the original 19th century front porch and manicured gardens, which are now nearly 200 years old.
While the high-security residence — which has a separate security gatehouse — has never been publically photographed from inside, it offers four bedrooms, two staterooms, a resting room for the Queen, a servants room, and furnishings from the former royal lodge.
The cottage was described in varying ways by the many guests it has hosted over the years.
“Daddy and I walked across the Home Park to tea at Adelaide Cottage, which the [the Queen Mother] has lent Jackie and Joan Philipps for the duration of the war,” Alathea Fitzalan Howard, a close friend of Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) and Margaret as girls, recalls in her diaries.
“I was charmed with it. It typically represents that idea of a little world within a world of its own, which is so characteristic of Windsor Castle and its surroundings.” Similarly, an old Mirror article described the house as ‘chastley elegant’, praising the efforts of architect Jeffry Wyatville.
Early descriptions from the mid-1900s were less charitable, however. The Daily Mail claimed that it suffered from improper electrical connections, while the interior was described as ‘gloomy, pokey, and unattractive’. Perhaps that’s why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were offered the land by Elizabeth II as a wedding present, turned it down in favor of a California estate instead.
Home To A Royal Scandal
Despite its somewhat understated charm, the Adelaide Cottage was witness to a riotous Royal scandal back in the 1940s-50s, when it was home to Peter and Rosemary Townsend.
Townsend, who was a famous air force ace and personal ‘equerry’ or attendant to King George VI, would happen to be introduced to the King’s daughters Elizabeth and Margaret. The latter was just a teenager when she admittedly fell for the ex-RAF pilot, who was fifteen years her senior. “When he first appeared, I had a terrific crush on him,” she admitted.
As one of his personal duties involved personally chaperoning the young princess, Townsend and Margaret went on to develop a not-so-secret romance that was exposed during the 1953 Queen’s Coronation. Widely believed to have commenced long before the Townsends divorced in 1952, their affair blew up on tabloids across the world, and was even explored in Netflix’s popular The Crown series.
While Adelaide Cottage’s value remains obscured to the public, it was noted that William and Kate would be paying for the property from their own private funds, and will foot their own moving bills.
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