Prince William and his wife Kate have officially moved into Anmer Hall, a large, country estate gifted to William by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The royal couple reportedly loves the estate and love living country life even more...apparently because the local residents don't seem to pay the royal couple much attention.
As an unidentified local said, "We see the royals around, but you don't acknowledge them, as it were. We just leave them, so they can be like everyone else." Indeed, the royal family has had a presence in Norfolk for years, and it makes sense that the locals have become inured to them. As the source said, "It's just how we are in Norfolk – we leave people alone. The royal family's been coming here for I don't know how many years, and I like the fact that they can come and just 'be' and do their own thing."
The royal couple has spent their private funds renovating Anmer Hall to suit their tastes and bring it up to par as a royal residence since they plan on staying at least two years. Yet royal insiders claim "Kate and William are country folk at heart. While their London home will be their base in terms of royal duties, Norfolk is where they want to bring up their family."
Moving their permanent base to Norfolk will also make it easier for Prince William to get to work, as well, as he starts his new job as a helicopter pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, which commences in spring 2015.
But in their wake, William and Kate have left behind a costly renovation to Kensington Palace that took several years, which was supposed to be their home. Referred to as "Apartment 1A," the costs of making the four-story residence royally suitable cost the taxpayers millions.
Although William and Kate did personally pay for all manner of fixtures and fittings, rugs and furniture in Kensington Palace, the rest came from the public purse. Building work on the 22-plus room home included the addition of a second, private kitchen to the apartment, as well as several new bathrooms. Prince George had two separate nurseries, as well.
There was some national animosity about the spiraling costs of the refurbishments, especially because the extra costs came at a time of great austerity in Great Britain, and many wondered if re-doing Kensington Palace was truly the best use of taxpayer money.
Spokesmen for William and Kate, however, hastened to assure that Kensington Palace would be the royal couple's "one and only official residence," where they would live for "many years to come."
It seems as though there is a difference in opinion on what constitutes "many years."
Watch the video below and take a tour of the renovated Kensington Palace and tell us - did Kate and William waste money by renovating a place they barely stayed in? Do you think they will actually return and spend a significant amount of time there after their "two years" at Anmer?
[Image via E! Online]