Cambridge Homes

Cambridge Homes: Kensington Palace

 

Welcome back to my new series: Cambridge Homes! Last time we took a look at beautiful country and weekend residence of The Cambridge Family, Anmer Hall. Today we will look at their official and full-time residence, Kensington Palace. I hope you all enjoy!

 

When they first got married, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lived in Nottingham Cottage when they were in London. Since they were mostly in Anglesey during the first few years of their marriage, they didn’t necessarily need a bigger space. However, in November 2011 it was announced that they would be moving to Apartment 1A!

 

The Building

Apartment 1A is a four story house with twenty rooms inside. The Daily Mail says that the home “boasts generous living space, including five reception rooms, three main bedrooms, dressing rooms and bathrooms, a night and day nursery, staff bedrooms and ‘ancillary’ rooms”.

 

Although we don’t have lots of pictures of the interior of their home, in 2016 we were offered a rare glimpse when the then President and First Lady of the United States made a visit. The home has a very light a neutral color with a few pops of color such as light pink and green.

 

The Duchess of Cambridge was in charge of the interior design for all her homes but is said to have enlisted in the help of two interior designers! One was one of her best friends Emilia Jardine-Patterson and the other was Ben Pentreath. A source describing the home to E! News said: “The entrance hall is beautiful with intricate cornicing and huge black and white flagstones. There are large open fireplaces in all the main entertaining rooms and lovely, big windows overlooking the garden”.

 

This is one more view of that same room when Prince William recorded a video with Lady Gaga for Heads Together! They just removed one of the couches and added  a desk for the video:

 

Here is the video if you’re interested! P.s. Peep that unseen Royal Wedding photo on his desk!

 

Another look into the interior came when the couple released images to mark Princess Charlotte’s third birthday and Prince Louis’ first official photos. They look like they are laying on a bed and you can see the same muted and pink colors!

 

Princess Margaret lived at Apartment 1A after her marriage until her death in 2002. If you look at the interior design in the below picture, you can tell how much time has really changed from when she moved in as I absolutely hate the heavy blue.

 

This is the very front of the home! Here we have Princess Margaret pictured with her then husband, the Earl of Snowdon, and their two children, Sarah and David.

 

I just love this door and the marble steps for some reason! And I love the little crowns on top of the light posts!

 

Prince George was snapped on the steps of Kensington Palace Apartment 1A in 2014 for the family’s Christmas portraits!

 

And here he is 3 years after that on the same steps with dad in an official portrait taken by Chris Jackson, to mark his very first day of school:

 

Princess Charlotte was also snapped on these steps smilingly at her mum behind the camera as she got ready for her first day of nursery in January 2018:

 

Most recently, a photo published to celebrate Prince George and, specifically, Princess Charlotte’s first day of school showed the royal siblings on the steps of their home!

 

This is just a very short clip showing Princess Margaret leaving Apartment 1A for Sarah’s christening in 1964! You can’t see much but it’s something:

 

And here you can see a bit of a glimpse inside when the doors open and close! This is from the Obamas’ visit to Kensington Palace for dinner in 2016:

 

After Princess Margaret died, no one lived in the apartment and it was sometimes used for different things. It actually used to be open to the public which is how we have the next series of photos! When William and Kate decided to live there, it had to undergo massive renovations as it was considered unlivable with no electricity, plumbing, or Wi-Fi. Plus, I’m pretty sure they wanted to get rid of those blue walls and any hint of the 60’s!

 

This picture, taken while Apartment 1A was open to th public, shows the main entrance hall which you can see a bit of in the two videos above!

 

This is one of three kitchens in Apartment 1A! Two of the kitchens are for the staff while the third is for the family themselves! This kitchen faces the front courtyard on the ground floor so I reckon it is probably the family kitchen.

 

There is a walled garden in the “backyard” of Kensington Palace Apartment 1A and Kate surely uses it as she loves gardening!

 

The Outside of the garden:

 

This overhead picture shows the private garden circled in red and you can also take note that they do have a bit of a backyard! It’s not as big as the one at Anmer Hall but it is plenty for the kids to play in!

 

William and Kate value their privacy and London/Kensington Palace doesn’t offer much of it so before moving in, they went to extreme measures to make sure their little family could enjoy their home in peace. They planted some tall hedges on the perimeter of the backyard as it faces towards the public. If you went to Kensington Palace you would be able to see the fence, wall, and shrubs but thankfully not inside!

 

This was the backyard before they moved in:

 

Below is a picture taken in 2017 of William, Kate, George, and Charlotte in their backyard for William’s GQ Magazine cover! The editor, creative director, and photographer were welcomed into the family’s private apartment for the shoot and Dylan Jones, the editor, said afterwards: “Passing quietly through the gatehouse, where we were effortlessly guided into the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s private quarters…There were no formalities, no briefing on protocol before their arrival, just huge smiles and some quick yet overwhelmingly personable introductions – ‘Hello, I’m William,’ ‘Hello, I’m Kate’ -before we started chatting”.

 

This picture taken by mum Kate for Princess Charlotte’s 4th birthday was taken at Kensington Palace and most likely in this back yard area!

 

And so were two photos from Prince George’s 6th birthday set:

 

The History

Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in  London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century.  Today, the State Rooms are open to the public and managed by the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces.  The offices and private accommodation areas of the Palace remain “the responsibility of the Royal Household and are maintained by the Royal Household Property Section. The palace also displays many paintings and other objects from the Royal Collection”. (In the picture below you can see their apartment to the left)

 

Cambridges At Homes

Kensington Palace was always The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s “official residence’ but only became their full-time residence in August of 2017 when both William and Catherine became full-time royals after William’s contract with his Air Ambulance job ended. As I mentioned, there isn’t much privacy at Kensington Palace so they are usually spotted quite frequently when they step out. The kids enjoy walks in the nearby Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park with either of their parents or Nanny Maria!

 

Prince George, on his adorable scooter, Princess Charlotte, bundled up in her pram, and Nanny Maria taking a walk around Kensington Gardens in 2016:

 

Kate with her very first baby George in early 2014 taking a walk after returning from a vacation to Mustique:

 

The Duchess of Cambridge is pictured with little Prince George, and his famous grumpy face, and one of her longtime protection officers, Emma Probert:

 

The Duke of Cambridge is also known for taking his kids for walks but is much more weary of the cameras so has opted to do his walks in the early mornings before the parks even open! Below, Kate, George, and Charlotte step out right outside Kensington Palace for a quick walk:

 

Prince Louis has already joined the fun and was spotted on a little Valentines Day walk with his mummy this year:

 

Kate also enjoys some solo walks like below in 2012 with her younger brother, James Middleton:

 

And in 2013, while she was pregnant with Prince George,  she was spotted on a walk with one of her best friends, Trini Foyle:

 

Prince George and Princess Charlotte also love feeding the geese (?) at the Round Pond in Hyde Park:

 

One of the children’s favorite past times is watching helicopters carrying their family members to and from engagements land on a pad of grass at Kensington Palace! Below, Prince George is spotted waving his Uncle Harry goodbye in mid-2015 with his nanny:

 

Here both Prince George and Princess Charlotte watch as their great-aunt, Princess Anne, lands at Kensington Palace:

 

In June 2017, they joined their mum to wave Papa goodbye as William left for an engagement on the royal helicopter:

 

Prince George just doesn’t like helicopters when it’s taking both of his parents and that’s when the tears come out!

 

In London, both Prince George and Princess Charlotte are going to school 5-days a week from around 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Thomas’s Battersea.

 

William and Kate lots of the school runs with Nanny Maria doing the bulk of them too. Kate tends to just drop off while William is more social and enters the school more often. During open classes, plays, and ‘show and share’ mornings it is always either William or Kate who attend. Princess Charlotte also is frequently showing up at the school for pick ups and is likely already familiar and comfortable with the teachers. It was lovely talking to a mum whose children go to St. Thomas’! She said also added that Princess Charlotte is just as sweet as she appears in public and her and George are lovely children! William and Kate do as much as they can and the children are “naturally so happy and carefree, it’ obvious they are being raised in a very family oriented environment”!

 

Kensington Palace is where they primarily call home! Prince Louis has spent more time here then his siblings did when they were little and this is the home he mainly knows!

 

*Bonus*
Apartment 8&9

Prince William and Prince Harry grew up in Apartment 8&9 which was the home of Diana and Charles up until their divorce. Charles moved out after the divorce but Diana lived there until her death in 1997.

 

These apartments are now used as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s private offices for them and their staff. They hold meeting and events here all the time. It is quite convenient since it is right across the courtyard from their Apartment 1A. The Duchess of Cambridge in one of the rooms:

 

Here is a diagram showing just how close the two apartments are:

 

This is William and Kate in the courtyard leading to Apartment 8&9 in 2016:

 

This video shows them going up the stairs into one of the rooms to meet BBC 1’s Teen Heroes 2016:

 

Nottingham Cottage

Nottingham Cottage is located on the Kensington Palace grounds and was William and Kate’s London residence until renovations were completed on 1A in 2013! The homes is very cozy with only 2 bedrooms and apparently it has very low ceilings so it probably wasn’t very convenient for the 6 feet Duke!

 

The distance between Apartment 1A (red) and Nottingham Cottage (yellow) is show below! After they moved out, Prince Harry swiftly moved in but has since moved to Windsor with his wife!

 

That is all for the second part of this series! I hope you all enjoyed it and I will be back with more!

 

 

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