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RICHARD KAY: How many more homes can the ‘slimmed-down’ royals justify?

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So what are we to make of the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to take possession of their third home, four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage, a ten-minute walk from Windsor Castle?

The announcement of their new living arrangements coincides with the decision to move all three of their children to a £21,000-a-year Berkshire prep school, and the charitable response, of course, is that they have every right to relocate to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for George, Charlotte and Louis.

The less charitable response, however, is that at a time of an exploding cost-of-living crisis affecting working families up and down the country, securing the use of an additional property looks clumsily insensitive.

Certainly for a couple who have always demonstrated a deft hand in managing the public relations side of their royal life, the fact that they now have three enviable addresses at their disposal is a rare mis-step.

So what are we to make of the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to take possession of their third home, four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage (pictured in 2013), a ten-minute walk from Windsor Castle?

It is, after all, not that long since their grand Kensington Palace home was extensively renovated with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money. In the face of criticism at the time their spokesman was moved to defend the cost to the public purse by describing Apartment 1a – the former home of Princess Margaret – as their ‘one and only official residence’ and where they would live for ‘many years to come’.

Less than a decade later, those words are beginning to sound just a little hollow. Now Adelaide Cottage joins Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall – their country retreat in Norfolk – as part of an impressive portfolio of properties.

(There remains uncertainty over the precise ownership of a fourth property, Tam-Na-Ghar, a cottage on the Balmoral estate which the Queen gave William when he was a student at St Andrews University. For some years he and Kate stayed there often but it is thought it is no longer a royal address and is now let commercially.)

It is, after all, not that long since their grand Kensington Palace home (pictured in 2021) was extensively renovated with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money

It is, after all, not that long since their grand Kensington Palace home (pictured in 2021) was extensively renovated with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money

As government ministers grapple with the economy and households confront the prospect of ever-soaring energy bills and rocketing food prices, where else should people be able to look for a bit of moral support than the Royal Family?

No one deludes themselves that moderation could make much difference to a family whose head is one of the richest women in the world with a personal fortune of £365million. But gestures are like smiles and royal waves. They cost nothing and achieve much.

So do William and Kate really need this third property? And if so could they not have put one of the remaining houses in mothballs or even – daringly – announced that they would stop using one of them altogether?

Naturally, it is only fair to point out that Prince William and Kate are meeting the cost of renting Adelaide Cottage themselves and that, because of its location within Windsor Home Park, it needs, we are told, no extra taxpayer-funded security nor a costly refurbishment.

Now Adelaide Cottage joins Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall (pictured in 2013) – their country retreat in Norfolk – as part of an impressive portfolio of properties

Now Adelaide Cottage joins Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall (pictured in 2013) – their country retreat in Norfolk – as part of an impressive portfolio of properties

Indeed by royal standards the 200-year-old house is positively modest and certainly has neither the proportions nor grandeur of their palace apartment or ten-bedroom Anmer Hall on which they are said to have lavished £1.5million, paid for mostly from Royal Family private funds.

Certainly moving to Windsor represents both practical and strategic sense to this attractive young family. The duchess has happy memories of her own upbringing in the countryside and the cottage’s location means George and his siblings will be less than an hour away from their Middleton grandparents, Carole and Michael, at Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Crucially, with the Queen now based full time at Windsor Castle, occupying a house only minutes away places the couple at the heart of royal life. Wanting to be close to his 96-year-old grandmother was another powerful reason for William to make the move.

Meanwhile, the Cambridges are retaining all their other homes and their office staff will continue to be based at Kensington Palace.

Yet for all the talk that this move involves no extra burden on the taxpayer, public perception of the move has not been universally popular. Social media was awash with claims of royal extravagance.

The commentator and former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt noted: ‘A fourth home for the Cambridges is a reminder the royals don’t suffer from the cost-of-living crisis and a looming recession in the same way as the rest of us.’

In the early days of their marriage William and Kate settled in low-key Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace while the 22-room Apartment 1a underwent an extensive refit, including a new roof, an overhaul of the plumbing and electrics and the installation of not one but two new kitchens – one for entertaining and one for intimate family suppers.

But even though the couple paid for all fixtures and fittings including carpets and curtains, the building costs dramatically escalated. They included £20,000 on an 800ft-long ‘privacy’ screen of trees.

In the early days of their marriage William and Kate settled in low-key Nottingham Cottage (circled) at Kensington Palace

In the early days of their marriage William and Kate settled in low-key Nottingham Cottage (circled) at Kensington Palace

They also took on the renovation of Anmer Hall, where they re-routed a driveway, built a conservatory and replaced rotting window frames.

But it is when public money is involved that criticism takes off. One theme hard to ignore yesterday was questioning how the latest move tallied with long-standing plans for a slimmed-down monarchy.

‘As always it’s the optics,’ says a seasoned courtier. ‘On the one hand we are preaching a smaller institution based on core members of the family. But if those core members are seen to have multiple homes it invalidates the entire approach.’

For the public expect to see not more homes but fewer.

No one straddles that predicament quite like Prince Charles who leads the crusade to shrink the size and scale of the Royal Family. He has four residences of his own, Clarence House in London; Highgrove, Gloucestershire; Birkhall on the Balmoral estate; and Llwynywermod in Wales.

No one straddles that predicament quite like Prince Charles who leads the crusade to shrink the size and scale of the Royal Family. He has four residences of his own, Clarence House in London (pictured); Highgrove, Gloucestershire; Birkhall on the Balmoral estate; and Llwynywermod in Wales

No one straddles that predicament quite like Prince Charles who leads the crusade to shrink the size and scale of the Royal Family. He has four residences of his own, Clarence House in London (pictured); Highgrove, Gloucestershire; Birkhall on the Balmoral estate; and Llwynywermod in Wales

But he also spends several days every August at the Castle of Mey, the Queen Mother’s former home in Caithness. Then there is Dumfries House, the Palladian mansion he saved for the nation, and an estate in Romania that he purchased in the 1990s.

As King he will inherit Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral as well as other royal boltholes, such as Wood Farm, in Norfolk, and Craigowan Lodge on Royal Deeside.

With so many properties at his disposal, cynics may question just how slimmed down the prince wants the Royal Family to become.

At least yesterday the Cambridges were trying. Flying to Balmoral to join the Queen for a late summer holiday, they travelled in economy.

New school to give the three youngsters ‘feathers to fly’

By Royal Editor for the Daily Mail 

They looked long and hard to find the perfect prep school for their three young children.

The duke and duchess toured Ludgrove, the duke’s alma mater (dismissed because it was boys’ only) and Papplewick in Ascot where a smiling Kate was told by one pupil that she ‘looked just like the Duchess of Cambridge’.

But it was to Lambrook that the couple returned – at least three times, I am told – in their quest.

They fell in love with the school’s bucolic setting and nurturing atmosphere.

It was to Lambrook that the couple returned – at least three times, I am told – in their quest

It was to Lambrook that the couple returned – at least three times, I am told – in their quest

And they were drawn by the fact that everything the children needed was under one roof. George and Charlotte’s current school Thomas’ Battersea, like many in London, has to bus children off-site for sports lessons – perfectly normal for most youngsters, but a logistical nightmare for a future king.

Moreover, all three children can attend the school together, reducing the need for separate school runs and security teams.

‘We give them feathers to fly so that when they leave us, they will spread their wings and take flight,’ the Cambridge-educated headmaster Jonathan Perry says of its gentle Christian ethos.

‘We are not a sharp-elbowed environment,’ he adds. Mr Perry is said to be ‘charm personified’ and ‘a really good frontman’, The Good Schools Guide says.

The duke and duchess toured Ludgrove, the duke’s alma mater (dismissed because it was boys’ only)

The duke and duchess toured Ludgrove, the duke’s alma mater (dismissed because it was boys’ only)

‘There’ll be hundreds of people at a match tea and he’ll say, “Ah, Mrs X, would you like an egg sandwich?”,’ it trills.

Its fees are at the sharper end of the scale, rising as children get older to £20,997 a year for day pupils – meaning the duke and duchess will be shelling out more than £50,000 a year.

But it is not the sort of place where money can get you in, with the school unafraid to turn away parents who they believe don’t fit in with their ethos.

The hefty fees pay for some top-class facilities. Classrooms are well equipped and airy with children studying everything from French, design and technology and, from year 5, Latin.

Drama and music (there’s even a resident bagpipe teacher) are big on the agenda – perfect for George and Charlotte who are keen on both – while its ‘Diamond Jubilee Centre’ is described by The Good Schools Guide as ‘one of the best prep performing arts facilities we’ve come across’.

But the big draw is the 52 acres in which children can ‘run and run’, provided they’ve got their wellies on.

Every class has its veggie patch, pupils collect eggs from rescue chickens, newly restored to good health and refeathered, beehives produce Lambrook honey and children can stroke pet rabbits at lunchtime.

Louis is likely to enjoy ‘Forest Fridays’ when youngsters in reception are encouraged to get muddy and build dens.

Parents don’t have to deal with muddy PE kits. Games clothes are laundered and sent home at the end of term.

The older children get to canoe on lakes in Switzerland and play cricket in South Africa, but there’s a charitable emphasis too. Anyone who goes has to raise £500 to enable an underprivileged child to do the same, with parents banned from flashing cheque books. Leavers almost all go to boarding school: George is down for Eton.

Mr Perry insists: ‘We want them to be leaders, want them to be outward-looking. We’d be really sad if our children were arrogant so-and-sos.’

That’s not to say the clientele isn’t privileged. ‘The car park is a sight to be seen,’ The Good Schools Guide gossips, ‘Lamborghinis, Ferraris, very smart Range Rovers’.

Another describes it as ‘big and shiny, yes, with facilities that would make many senior schools green with envy – but we also found a heart of gold’. Rather like the Cambridges.

The royal scandal linked to William and Kate’s Windsor retreat: Four-bed Adelaide Cottage was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover, is 10 minutes’ walk from ‘Gan Gan’ – and was ‘offered to Harry and Meghan by Queen’

 By Harry Howard, History Correspondent for MailOnline

The Cambridges’ new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home that was lived in by Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend and was later allegedly offered by the Queen to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Townsend lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary, so he could be on hand for the king in his role as equerry.

The then Princess Elizabeth, along with her mother Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret – when a teenager before the romance began – would regularly take tea in the gardens of the cottage with the Townsends and their two young sons.

Margaret’s love affair rocked the Establishment, but the princess announced in 1955 that the pair would not marry.

Relocating to Adelaide Cottage, in Windsor’s Great Park, means William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are just 10 minutes’ walk south east from ‘Gan Gan’ the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Even closer is Frogmore Cottage, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use when visiting the UK, although the brothers’ long-running fallout makes it unlikely they will be socialising together any time soon.

According to a source, the Queen offered the Grade-II listed property to Harry and Meghan as a gift shortly after they married. The couple allegedly went for a viewing and liked it but ultimately moved to Frogmore Cottage before quitting the UK entirely. 

The Cambridges' new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home that was once home to Princess Margaret's lover Peter Townsend and was later allegedly offered by the Queen to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The Cambridges’ new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home that was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend and was later allegedly offered by the Queen to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Townsend lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary, so he could be on hand for the king in his role as equerry. Above: Townsend with Princess Margaret in 1955, after their affair had become public knowledge

Townsend lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary, so he could be on hand for the king in his role as equerry. Above: Townsend with Princess Margaret in 1955, after their affair had become public knowledge

According to a source, the Queen offered the Grade-II listed property to Harry and Meghan as a gift shortly after they married. The couple allegedly went for a viewing and liked it but ultimately moved to Frogmore Cottage before quitting the UK entirely

According to a source, the Queen offered the Grade-II listed property to Harry and Meghan as a gift shortly after they married. The couple allegedly went for a viewing and liked it but ultimately moved to Frogmore Cottage before quitting the UK entirely

Battle of Britain pilot Townsend had a toddler son, Giles, and another on the way when he was made the King’s equerry in February 1944. 

Adelaide cottage became the Townsends’ first proper marital home after three years of marriage amidst the chaos of the Second World War. 

Despite its proximity to the monarch’s residence, the living conditions in the cottage were in stark contrast to its mightier neighbour. 

Electricity was delivered to it via cables from Windsor Castle, but the current was so poor that only a vacuum cleaner and a small electric heater could be used at once. 

The cottage’s interior was allegedly ‘gloomy’, with Victorian wallpaper and heavy furniture. A commentator in the 1950s described it as ‘pokey and unattractive’.

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret visited when Townsend’s second son was born and King George VI was named as the child’s godfather. In the garden, they enjoyed a tea to mark the boy’s christening. 

A 1958 report from the Daily Mail that recounted the occasion said: ‘It was the first of many Sunday visits. Princess Elizabeth liked to chat with Rosemary, while Princess Margaret played with the children on the lawn and Peter Townsend, off duty, sat back in a deckchair.

‘Sometimes the King and Queen arrived to collect their daughters, more often Peter ran them home himself. Princess Margaret never came to Adelaide Cottage unless she was accompanied by Princess Elizabeth or the Queen.’

Margaret was aged just 13 at the time of Townsend’s appointment but later admitted: ‘When he first appeared, I had a terrific crush on him.’ 

Adelaide Cottage is only a short walk from Windsor Castle, meaning William and Kate and their children will be close to the Queen

Adelaide Cottage is only a short walk from Windsor Castle, meaning William and Kate and their children will be close to the Queen

Although it remains unclear when the pair’s romance began, the affair became public knowledge in 1953, when Margaret was seen tenderly removing a piece of fluff from Townsend’s lapel during the Queen’s Coronation.

The previous year, the Townsends had divorced. It is widely believed that Margaret began her dalliance with Townsend years before the Queen’s Coronation. 

The pair were in near-constant company during a three-month State tour of South Africa, which began in February 1947. Townsend would then have been aged 32, whilst Margaret was 17. 

Part of the equerry’s role was to chaperone the young princess.

Margaret later told a confidante: ‘We rode together every morning in that wonderful country, in marvellous weather. That’s when I really fell in love with him.’

Townsend and his family left Adelaide Cottage in 1952, when they divorced. 

However, his and Margaret’s relationship – which was depicted in Netflix series The Crown – was scuppered by the Royal Marriages Act, which stated no member of the Royal Family was permitted to marry a divorcee while the ex-partner was still living. 

Princess Margaret, pictured centre, had a scandalous affair with Group Captain Peter Townsend, pictured left, wearing sunglasses at the Farnborough Air Show

Princess Margaret, pictured centre, had a scandalous affair with Group Captain Peter Townsend, pictured left, wearing sunglasses at the Farnborough Air Show

King George VI, pictured left with the then Princess Elizabeth during the Royal Family's tour of South Africa in 1947, appointed war hero Townsend as his equerry and allowed him to stay in the cottage

King George VI, pictured left with the then Princess Elizabeth during the Royal Family’s tour of South Africa in 1947, appointed war hero Townsend as his equerry and allowed him to stay in the cottage

Adelaide cottage became the Townsends' first proper marital home after three years of marriage amidst the chaos of the Second World War. Despite its proximity to the monarch's residence, the living conditions in the cottage were in stark contrast to its mightier neighbour

Adelaide cottage became the Townsends’ first proper marital home after three years of marriage amidst the chaos of the Second World War. Despite its proximity to the monarch’s residence, the living conditions in the cottage were in stark contrast to its mightier neighbour

The Princess announced in October 1955 that she and Townsend would not marry. 

Adelaide Cottage was most recently home to Simon Rhodes, the son of the Queen’s cousin and friend Margaret Rhodes. 

A source claiming that Harry and Meghan had been offered Adelaide Cottage by the Queen said in 2018: ‘There are seven gated entrances and exits to Windsor Castle so the newlyweds could come and go without worrying about being photographed.’

The property was rebuilt more than 190 years ago as a cottage orne, or decorated cottage, for Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, to be used as a summer retreat.

It was built in 1831 on the site of the old Head Keeper’s Lodge on the North Slopes of Home Park.

According to Historic England, the public body which cares for England’s historic buildings and places, Adelaide Cottage is a ‘picturesque’ two-storey stucco-faced dwelling with casement windows, and elaborate pierced bargeboards edging the roof.

The principal bedroom has a coved ceiling decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George, and a good marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

The south entrance is flanked by paired diagonally set chimneys with stepped bases, and the house has a porte-cochere, a canopied entrance to provide shelter.

There is a verandah with bargeboard eaves on the east side.

The Daily Mail covered news of Princess Margaret's affair with Townsend in detail and also mentioned how they became close during the 1947 tour of South Africa

The Daily Mail covered news of Princess Margaret’s affair with Townsend in detail and also mentioned how they became close during the 1947 tour of South Africa

Its four-bedrooms mean that for the first time since she joined the family, William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will live elsewhere, as will other staff including the housekeeper and the chef, giving the Cambridges more privacy.

The location offers the family easy access to the private 655-acre Home Park and the historic royal estate’s network of drives, gardens, farms, nearby trout stream, Frogmore House and Royal Mausoleum, and Queen Victoria’s Walk flanked by cedars.

Other benefits include neighbouring Windsor Great Park, which spans more than 5,000 acres, with its Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, deer park and woodland trails in the Valley Gardens.

The property, previously known as Adelaide Lodge, was constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville using materials from John Nash’s Royal Lodge built for the indulgent Prince Regent.

Its entrance bears the initials AR (Adelaide Regina) and the date of 1831.

It sits next to another property called Adelaide Lodge, which is empty and inhabitable due to problems with it not being underpinned.

Queen Victoria often visited the cottage for breakfast or tea, according to the Royal Collection Trust.

Her beloved King Charles spaniel Dash, whom she would dress in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, was buried there after his death in 1840.

He was honoured with an effusive inscription on his grave reading: ‘Here lies Dash, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, Reader, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of Dash.’

Kate and William enter new era to give their children as ‘normal a start as possible’: Charlotte, George and Louis will go to £21,000-a-year prep school near Ascot as couple downsize to Adelaide Cottage and ‘put them at the heart of every decision’

  • Prince William and Kate are going to move with George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor 
  • Three children will all be sent to the prestigious nearby £21,000-a-year Lambrook School from September 
  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want children to have a country upbringing and be closer to Kate’s parents 

By Mark Duell for MailOnline

Prince William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor and send them to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School nearby, it was confirmed today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are seeking a life away from the ‘fishbowl’ of their current official residence of Kensington Palace in London in a bid to put their children first and give the ‘most normal’ life possible. 

The couple have been planning a move to Berkshire since last year and royal aides have now revealed their children will all go to the same school, which is about seven miles away from their new home, from September.

William and Kate, both 40, who have been based at Kensington Palace since 2017, are said to want to give the youngsters a country upbringing and want to be closer to the Duchess’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton.

A source said: ‘This is very much a decision that two parents have made to give their children the ‘most normal’ start possible. KP 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.’ 

The couple, who will also now be closer to the Queen’s private apartments at Windsor Castle, will retain the 20-room Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as a base in the capital – and this will also be the offices for their staff.

The Cambridges also intend to also keep a third property – their current country home at Anmer Hall on the 96-year-old monarch’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, which they are expected to still visit there for retreats.

William and Kate are understood to want to be closer to the Queen, who has suffered various health issues over the past year – and this will position them in a new era where they are taking over more important royal roles. 

Adelaide Cottage will be William and Kate’s fourth property if including a holiday home in Scotland. William was given the Tam-Na-Ghar cottage on the Balmoral estate by his great-grandmother the Queen Mother in 2002.

Just yesterday, Kate and her children Charlotte and Louis were spotted sitting in economy on a budget flight to Inverness Airport with their nanny and a security team as they travelled to Balmoral to holiday with the Queen. 

The Cambridges will use the pretty 19th century Adelaide Cottage as their base after the Queen gave them permission to lease the four-bedroom Grade II listed cottage, which belongs to the Crown Estate. It was built for Queen Adelaide in 1831 and is nestled a ten-minute walk from Windsor Castle in the private Home Park.

William and Kate had been known to have set their heart on the outdoorsy preparatory school Lambrook, with its 52 acres of grounds, for their youngsters where fees will cost William and Kate in excess of £50,000 a year. 

Kensington Palace confirmed the family will be moving to Adelaide Cottage before the school term begins.

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5

William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)

William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)

All three children - George, Charlotte and Louis - will be sent to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School in Berkshire

All three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – will be sent to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School in Berkshire

A spokesman for the couple said today: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have today announced that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will attend Lambrook School in Berkshire from September 2022.

‘Their Royal Highnesses are hugely grateful to Thomas’s Battersea where George and Charlotte have had a happy start to their education since 2017 and 2019 respectively and are pleased to have found a school for all three of their children which shares a similar ethos and values to Thomas’s.’

New home has link to royal scandal and gilded dolphin ceiling

The Cambridges’ new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home nestled in Windsor’s Home Park.

It was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend, who lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary to be on hand for the king in his role as equerry.

Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, her mother Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, as a teenager before the romance began, would regularly take tea in the gardens of the cottage with the Townsends and their two young sons. Margaret’s love affair rocked the Establishment, but she put duty before desire when she called off plans to marry divorced Townsend in 1955.

Relocating to Adelaide Cottage means William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are just 10 minutes’ walk south east from ‘Gan Gan’ the Queen at Windsor Castle. Even closer is Frogmore Cottage, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use when visiting the UK, although the brothers’ long-running fallout makes it unlikely they will be socialising together any time soon.

The property was rebuilt more than 190 years ago as a cottage orne, or decorated cottage, for Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, to be used as a summer retreat. It was built in 1831 on the site of the old Head Keeper’s Lodge on the North Slopes of Home Park.

According to Historic England, the public body which cares for England’s historic buildings and places, Adelaide Cottage is a ‘picturesque’ two-storey stucco-faced dwelling with casement windows, and elaborate pierced bargeboards edging the roof.

The principal bedroom has a coved ceiling decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George, and a good marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

The south entrance is flanked by paired diagonally set chimneys with stepped bases, and the house has a porte-cochere, a canopied entrance to provide shelter. There is a verandah with bargeboard eaves on the east side.

Its four-bedrooms mean that for the first time since she joined the family, William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will live elsewhere, as will other staff including the housekeeper and the chef, giving the Cambridges more privacy.

The location offers the family easy access to the private 655-acre Home Park and the historic royal estate’s network of drives, gardens, farms, nearby trout stream, Frogmore House and Royal Mausoleum, and Queen Victoria’s Walk flanked by cedars. Other benefits include neighbouring Windsor Great Park, which spans more than 5,000 acres, with its Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, deer park and woodland trails in the Valley Gardens.

The property, previously known as Adelaide Lodge, was constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville using materials from John Nash’s Royal Lodge built for the indulgent Prince Regent. Its entrance bears the initials AR (Adelaide Regina) and the date of 1831. It sits next to another property called Adelaide Lodge, which is empty and inhabitable due to problems with it not being underpinned.

Queen Victoria often visited the cottage for breakfast or tea, according to the Royal Collection Trust. Her beloved King Charles spaniel Dash, whom she would dress in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, was buried there after his death in 1840.

He was honoured with an effusive inscription on his grave reading: ‘Here lies Dash, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, Reader, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of Dash.’

The house, which features a fountain in the centre of the garden, was more recently home to Simon Rhodes, the son of the Queen’s late first cousin Margaret Rhodes.

Adelaide Cottage had previously been mooted as a home for newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan in 2018 who were at first living in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, before moving to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

Prince Andrew, who lives nearby at Royal Lodge, was also thought to have had his eye on Adelaide Cottage for his younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, 32, her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and their baby son August.

But it appears first refusal has gone to William and Kate – who had also been looking at Frogmore House and Fort Belvedere on the Windsor estate, before both were considered unsuitable.

At Kensington Palace, which has been their main residence since 2017, their home borders the bustling Kensington High Street – and the palace itself can be seen from Kensington Palace Gardens. It has often been likened to living in a ‘goldfish bowl’.

But their new home at Adelaide Cottage is nestled in the heart of the Crown Estate’s Home Park, with much more scope for horse riding, walking the family dog and playing away from prying eyes.

The move is in keeping of with the desires of Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, who is said to have strived for a ‘normal life’ for him and his brother, despite their royal status.

The switch to Windsor also means the Cambridges will be near to the home of the Duchess’s parents, the Middletons, who live 45-minutes away by car in the village of Bucklebury. 

William and Kate will retain Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A, which was refurbished with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money in 2013, as their official residence and their working base, which will continue to house their office staff.

But they will also keep their 10-bedroom Norfolk country mansion Anmer Hall, which was a gift from the Queen, has a swimming pool and tennis court and underwent large-scale building work at their own cost.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: ‘Relocating to Adelaide Cottage in the ultra-private Home Park at Windsor takes away the ‘goldfish-bowl’ aspect of the Cambridge family’s life.

‘Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace is perfect in so many ways but the Duke and Duchess and their children are unable to come and go as they might like or take advantage of the nearby London parks because of the ever-present privacy issues.

‘Logistically, having all three children in the same school makes perfect sense because it means just one school run. With the family in Berkshire the journey will be considerably shorter and easier than the nightmare that was Kensington Palace to Battersea twice a day.

‘It also means that the cost of security, always a contentious topic, is much lower than if Louis was at a different school to his siblings.’

Royal commentator and former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt added: ‘A fourth home for the Cambridges is a reminder the royals don’t suffer from the cost-of-living crisis and a looming recession in the same way as the rest of us.

‘When taxpayers’ money was spent on refurbishing their apartment at Kensington Palace, Prince William, who campaigns for the homeless, insisted his family planned to stay there for many years to come.’

A royal source said the duke and duchess were very conscious of how their move stands in contrast to the cost-of-living crisis impacting the nation.

Asked whether the couple was mindful of the economic difficulties facing many who would not be able to afford such opportunities, the source said: ‘They absolutely are.

‘It’s something they have thought long and hard about and this is a decision they have not taken lightly.

‘It would have been extremely difficult for them to continue on as senior working royals if they were based in Norfolk.

‘What they have basically done allows them to put the kids first, but also to continue on doing what they do all day, every day.’

William and Kate will pay market value on the property from their own private funds, not from taxpayers’ money via the Sovereign Grant, and will foot their own moving costs.

William and Kate will retain Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as a base in London, where their staff will be located

William and Kate will retain Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as a base in London, where their staff will be located

The Cambridges also intend to also keep their current country home at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk

The Cambridges also intend to also keep their current country home at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk

Adelaide Cottage is seen, circa 1900. It was built in 1831 as a retreat for William IV's wife Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen

Adelaide Cottage is seen, circa 1900. It was built in 1831 as a retreat for William IV’s wife Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen

Fresh air and freedom await Cambridge children at ‘magical’ school 

Set in 52 acres of idyllic Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom’.

Its new royal charges, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will enjoy a nurturing education at the wholesome, co-educational independent day and boarding school for three to 13-year-olds near Ascot, just a 10-minute drive from their new home in Windsor.

The Good Schools Guide describes it as a ‘classic prep school’ with a ‘heart of gold’, and tells of how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in the vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’.

Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an astroturf, hard courts, a squash court, cricket and other sports pitches. It has a Diamond Jubilee performing arts studio, dance studio and sports hall, and a new £6 million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning.

The prospectus quoted one parent as saying: ‘It’s the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the tree stumps.’

There is school on Saturday mornings followed by an afternoon of sports fixtures for pupils in Year 5 and above which includes nine-year-old George.

Lambrook offers weekly and flexi-boarding for boys and girls aged seven onwards, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having the option to let George and Charlotte stay as little as one night a week on an ad-hoc basis, with the sleepovers booked online. George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.

‘Weeknights sound like a hoot; think Harry Potter evenings and lashings of hot chocolate,’ Talk Education said in its review of the school.

Fridays are the most popular night for one-off boards, leaving parents free to host dinner parties and nurse hangovers, the Telegraph reported. 

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8, with an additional £1,481 per term for boarding for Y3-8. It means William and Kate will be spending in excess of £50,000 a year on their children’s private education.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips. Boarding for the older two Cambridge children would cost an additional £8,886 a year if chosen at a later date.

Lambrook, a Christian school, prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam – taken by private school pupils as part of the selective admissions process at age 13. With 620 pupils, it is a larger than average pre-prep and prep school but billed as not as pushy as its London counterparts, with some of its intake being bussed in from west London and Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

Year 8 leavers join prestigious schools such as William’s alma mater Eton, Wellington College, Marlborough College, where Kate went, and Charterhouse among others. 

Headmaster Jonathan Perry is known for his charm, and performed a rock-and-roll dance and jumped on chairs to cheer up pupils during lockdown. His wife Jenny works with the pastoral team, with the pair praised for their focus on emotional wellbeing, perfectly in line with William and Kate’s campaigning on mental health.

Mr Perry says on the school website: ‘We give our pupils the ‘feathers to fly’ so that when they move on to the next stage of their educational journey, they will spread their wings and will take flight; leaving as confident, happy, engaging, mature, considerate and thoughtful young adults who are outward-looking global citizens.’

Lambrook’s on-site orchard is home to pigs, chickens and rabbits, available to cuddle during tutor time wellbeing walks, bees with hives, and visiting lambs, and George and Charlotte will have an enrichment afternoon every Monday to complement their academic studies.

They will be able to draw from a huge range of activities for this including farming, bee-keeping, chess, mountain biking, ballet, tap, jazz, mini-masterchef, polo, podcast-making, scuba diving, skiing, as well as life-saving, survival, debating and public speaking.

Louis, who will be in reception, will enjoy ‘Forest Fridays’ and be ‘taken on a journey of discovery in the beautiful outdoors’, the school’s prospectus says, mirroring the Duchess of Cambridge’s philosophy of the importance of outdoor play and spending time in nature.

Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ while the Good Schools Guide said one mother was ‘mystified by how they get pupils back for lessons, but like clockwork they tumble in, ruddy-cheeked and full of fresh air’.

And parents enjoy the benefit of not having to deal with muddy PE kits. Games clothes are handed in at the start of term and remain there to be laundered by staff, before being sent home at the end of term. Every item must be named but only sewn-on tags are permitted.

The main school building is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860 and two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, attended, with Victoria travelling from Windsor Castle to watch them in plays and at cricket matches.

Uniforms consist of blue and green tartan kilts for girls and and navy corduroy trousers for boys, plus check shirts, navy pullovers and blue and green ties.

William and Kate can also immerse themselves in the school’s busy social life amid reports of plentiful Lambrook get-togethers and helpful WhatsApp groups. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Range Rovers apparently fill the car park.

But one Mumsnet user wrote: ‘I have been rather put off by the size of Lambrook, and the reputation of ‘Lambrook’ parents. We are not super wealthy, nor are we city people or country landholders!’

Overseas school trips include jaunts to France, Italy, Iceland and South Africa. But Year 7 students preparing to embark on a canoeing trip in Sweden must each first fundraise £500 to help an underprivileged child do the same through the Teenage Wilderness Trust. Sustainability – no doubt a hit with eco-conscious William – is also key with the children planting 400 saplings to create a new woodland.

Future king George, nine, and Charlotte, seven have left their current school Thomas’s Battersea in London and four-year-old Louis be starting full-time education.

They will enjoy first class facilities at Lambrook including a swimming pool, sports pitches and new £6 million academic and ICT building.

The day and boarding school offers both weekly boarding and flexi boarding for the older two – where they can opt for a night’s stay as and when they choose, but George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.

The Good Schools Guide describes how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’, with Lambrook’s pastoral care described as excellent.

Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook School, said he looked forward to the Cambridge children starting.

‘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,’ Mr Perry said.

Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools, wished George and Charlotte ‘every happiness and success’ at their new school and thanked them and other leaving pupils for ‘upholding the school’s values and for their many contributions to school life throughout their time at Thomas’s’.

It is the first time Lambrook has been chosen for a future king and his siblings.

William and Kate will be spending in excess of £53,000 a year on their children’s private education.

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any future boarding which costs £1,481 per term per pupil for Y3-8, potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips.

Adelaide Cottage has been used as a grace-and-favour home for royal staff and family friends in recent years.

It was built in 1831 as a retreat for William IV’s wife Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, and was also known to be a favourite home of Queen Victoria who often ate her breakfast there.

But the most famous former resident is the late Group Captain Peter Townsend, who had an affair with the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret that caused a national scandal. He died in 1995.

Adelaide Cottage features a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace and a principal bedroom with a coved ceiling featuring gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the Royal yacht Royal George.

It also has seven gated entrances and exits to Windsor Castle so the family can come and go in relative privacy. The cottage had major renovations in 2015, which means the Cambridges would not face a big bill to remodel it.

William and Kate will also give up their live-in Norland nanny, Maria Borrallo, for the first time when they move to Adelaide Cottage.

The couple hired her in 2014 to help look after George when he was aged just eight months – and she has lived with the family for almost nine years. She will however be kept on full-time by the family.

Lambrook School, which has existed 1860, is also where two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, were pupils in 1878.

Queen Victoria used to travel from Windsor Castle to Lambrook to watch her grandchildren in plays and cricket matches – and parked her carriage where the new Queen’s building now stands so she could watch from there.

The school on the outskirts of Bracknell is only a 20-minute drive from Adelaide Cottage, and their new home is just a short stroll to see the Queen at Windsor Castle.

A royal source said being able to be close to the 96-year-old monarch was a factor in the move.

Four bedroom detached rental properties in Windsor with substantially less land are currently priced at anywhere between £3,000 to £5,750 a month.

Adelaide Cottage also ensures the family are close to Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton, and sister Pippa Matthews in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

When Harry and Meghan visit Britain next month on a trip from their new home in California, they are expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage – although the couple are unlikely to meet with William and Kate.

Frogmore got its name from Queen Victoria, who described the ‘immense number of little frogs’ as ‘quite disgusting’ when visiting in 1875. 

It had a £2.4million renovation paid for by taxpayers in 2018, but Harry and Meghan have since repaid the money.

Members of the royal family have experienced their fair share of ups and downs as pupils of a variety of prestigious establishments.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have drawn on their own experiences of education when choosing Lambrook as the next school for their three children.

It is the first time a future king and spares to the heir have been signed up for the private day and weekly boarding school near Ascot in Berkshire, which prides itself on its academic success teamed with an outdoor lifestyle.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte began their school days happily at private day school Thomas’s Battersea – a busy, cosmopolitan establishment in south London – with George starting in 2017 and Charlotte in 2019.

The school’s most important rule was to ‘be kind’.

As a toddler, George went to Westacre Montessori School near the Cambridges’ Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, while a young Charlotte went to Willcocks Nursery School, near Kensington Palace, in 2018, followed by Louis in 2021.

As a 14-year-old, Kate withdrew from independent girls’ school Downe House in Cold Ash, Berkshire, after just two terms when she was reportedly bullied.

She started afresh at Marlborough College, a £42,930-a-year co-educational boarding school in Wiltshire, where she went on to blossom, captaining the hockey team and doing well in her exams.

Adelaide Cottage ensures William and Kate are close to her parents Carole and Michael Middleton (left and centre), and sister Pippa Matthews (right, pictured together at Westminster Abbey last December) in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Adelaide Cottage ensures William and Kate are close to her parents Carole and Michael Middleton (left and centre), and sister Pippa Matthews (right, pictured together at Westminster Abbey last December) in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and the Duke of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view the Platinum Jubilee flypast on June 2

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and the Duke of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view the Platinum Jubilee flypast on June 2

Set in 52 acres of Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils 'feathers to fly' and a 'delicious sense of freedom

Set in 52 acres of Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom

Which four properties do William and Kate now have available to use?

– Kensington Palace Apartment 1A

Their central London home, Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, used to belong to Princess Margaret, and will remain their official working residence. It was refurbished at a cost of £4.5million to the taxpayer with a new roof and electrics, and the removal of asbestos.

It has some 20 rooms and a large, private walled garden. The Cambridges added a second kitchen, wanting a private family one in addition to the existing 350 sq ft kitchen.

Before William and Kate moved to ‘KP’ in 2013, royal aides insisted it would remain their main home for ‘many, many years to come’.

A royal spokesman said at the time: ‘This is the duke and duchess’s one and only official residence. It is here that they plan to stay for many, many years to come.’

– Anmer Hall

Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 10-bedroom country retreat, was a gift to the couple from the Queen following their wedding.

The secluded red brick Georgian mansion sits on the monarch’s vast, private Sandringham estate in Norfolk and is a short drive from Sandringham House.

Kate oversaw the major renovations, including the conversion of wood stores into accommodation for the nanny and the creation of a garden room.

The duchess was dubbed ‘Three kitchens Kate’ after it was reported that a new kitchen was to be installed in place of the £50,000 designer one already there, with the family already having two kitchens at Kensington Palace.

The bolt-hole, which had a swimming pool and a tennis court, was given a £500,000 new roof, as well as a garden room, re-landscaped front driveway and new nursery for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The renovations, said to come to £1.5 million, were paid for mostly from the royal family’s private funds.

– Tam-Na-Ghar

William is also said to have a cottage called Tam-Na-Ghar on the Balmoral estate, given to him by his great-grandmother the Queen Mother in 2002.

While dating, university flatmates William and Kate spent romantic weekends at the three-bedroom former game keeper’s house and Kate was taught to shoot and fish.

The remote Highland retreat is reportedly close to Birkhall and used by the Cambridge family as a holiday home if travelling to Balmoral in the summer.

– Adelaide Cottage

The Grade II listed four-bed house in Windsor’s private Home Park is William and Kate’s newest home.

Owned by the Crown Estate, the duke and duchess will pay market rent on the picturesque historic building which is close to Windsor Castle.

It was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide as a summer retreat and used to be the grace and favour home of Peter Townsend, whose love affair with Princess Margaret rocked the monarchy in the 1950s.

The duchess has long campaigned on the importance of a child’s early years and with William on mental health issues.

The duke and duchess previously attended a child mental health conference to learn about issues surrounding the transition years between primary and secondary education.

William’s first experience of school was Mrs Mynor’s Nursery School in west London which he joined aged three.

From the age of four the duke went to Wetherby School, also in west London, before spending five years at Ludgrove School in Berkshire.

William went on to board at Eton College, as did Prince Harry, for five years and it offered him a sanctuary when his parents were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and provided stability in the difficult years that followed his mother’s death.

His housemaster Dr Andrew Gailey was an important source of support. Dr Gailey’s role earned him an invite to the royal wedding in 2011 and the title of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), an honour in the Queen’s gift.

It was Dr Gailey who was cited as influencing William’s university choice, having studied at St Andrews himself.

Kate’s prep school was St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, Berkshire.

She joined the public school, where fees are now up to £6,845 per term, in 1986 when her family returned to the UK after spending two-and-a-half years in Jordan where she attended a nursery school.

She stayed until she was 13 and was predominantly a day girl but in her later years also boarded for part of the week.

Both William and Kate were academic at school and went on to university, achieving a 2:1 at degree level.

George, Charlotte and Louis’ grandfather the Prince of Wales went to Cheam prep school as a boarder at the age of eight. He went on to have a difficult time at secondary school as a teenager.

Charles was sent to Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, following in the footsteps of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, but was picked on and described his days there as ‘a prison sentence’.

Charles did admit, however, that the school instilled him with self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.

He spent part of the school year in 1966 as an exchange student at the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia – the first member of the British royal family to attend an overseas Commonwealth school.

Gordonstoun is also where Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex were taught.

The Queen, however, was educated at home with Princess Margaret. After her father succeeded to the throne in 1936 and she became the heir, she was taught constitutional history and law. She also studied art and music, and is fluent in French.

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