Several British newspapers report today that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William of Britain and his wife Catherine) will set up their permanent residence in a wing of Kensington Palace from 2013, although it is worth noting that this has apparently not been officially confirmed by the royal court.
The wing in question is Apartment 1A, which was most recently inhabitated by Princess Margaret until her death in 2002. Following her death the apartment was turned over to Historic Royal Palaces, which opened it up for exhibitions in 2004 and uses other parts of it for offices and storage. It is reported that Queen Elizabeth II has agreed to reimburse HRP for their expenses.
Apparently an exhibition planned for 2012 will go ahead and the apartment will therefore only be returned to the Royal Household in September 2012. Following extensive renovation work the Duke and Duchess will probably be able to move in in mid-2013, at which time Prince William will complete his military service in Wales.
Following their wedding in April 2011 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have used the small Nottingham Cottage, which is adjacent to Kensington Palace, as their London home, but this has only been a temporary solution. According to media reports Prince Harry will take over the cottage in 2013. The office of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will move from St James’s Palace to Kensington Palace in the middle of next year.
Kensington Palace has evolved from a property called Nottingham House, which was purchased by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1689. Extended several times through history it now consists of various wings and buildings which together form the complex structure that is Kensington Palace. The state apartments are open to the public, while other parts serve as homes to royal employees as well as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael.
Prince William himself grew up at Kensington Palace, but not in the apartment which will be his future home. Following the separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1992 the former moved out, while Diana, Princess of Wales continued to live at Kensington Palace until her death in 1997. Her former apartment has subsequently been turned into offices.
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