Kate Middleton and Prince William are moving to Kensington Palace in the fall, and according to the Mirror, the couple has already spent millions of dollars readying Apartment 1A in the historic building for the big move.
Since their 2011 marriage, Kate and William have made a home for their growing family at Anmer Hall, their estate in Nottinghamshire. Middleton has preferred to use Apartment 1A only as a place to stay while on royal duty in London.
Now that the aging Queen Elizabeth is slowly stepping back from some royal duties, Prince William and Kate are taking on more tasks for the Queen. Middleton and William need to be close to the center of activity in their luxury apartment in London.
The enormous 23-room apartment would be considered fit for a king by most people, but the young Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw plenty of changes necessary before they’d be willing to trade in the peace and space at Anmer Hall for a busy London establishment.
Middleton is deeply concerned about Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s safety and privacy, and William is focused on making sure there’s plenty of room for their staff and planning facilities.
Kate Middleton Building a Wall – Worried Over Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s Safety and Privacy In London https://t.co/zBf4E4t6U5
— Your2am (@Your2am) February 2, 2017
After the extensive renovations already carried out on the apartment, which used to be Princess Diana’s London base, Middleton and Prince William have decided to add an “enormous underground extension” to their city home.
The Daily Mail writes that Middleton and Prince William’s plans for the three-story extension, with two of the new floors underground, include “space for flunkeys and finery” to “free up the palace suites for the Royal Family.”
“The addition of a basement storey is required to allow for the accommodation of administration which must necessarily be moved out of rooms leased from the Royal Household in Kensington Palace.”
There will be room for 100 members Cambridge household staff as well as staff for other royals like Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie, who all have homes on the grounds.
One of the staff members will be Kate Middleton’s new private secretary. Middleton’s secretary of five years, Rebecca Deacon, left the Duchess’ service recently in preparation for her marriage to fiance, Adam Priestley.
There’s no news yet on who Deacon’s replacement will be, but it’s to be hoped that Kate’s new assistant doesn’t mind working underground!
Kate Middleton is now hiring – could you be her new private secretary?
— Kelly Rodgers (@purplv) March 10, 2017
The 165ft-long mega-basement isn’t completely new; until now a smaller part of the proposed addition has been used as a restaurant for guests visiting Kensington Palace. Kate and William’s new block will be dug next to the Kensington Palace Orangery, with its classical architecture, top-notch restaurant, and long royal history.
According to the Orangery’s website, Queen Anne used the space set amidst Kensington Palace’s formal gardens for her “sophisticated court entertainment.” Kate Middleton will probably want to hold some kind of event in the heritage space too.
As a center of royal diplomacy, Kensington Palace hosts official visitors and their entourages from all over the world. Kate and William invited former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the First Lady, Michelle Obama for a visit to their apartment in the palace.
The Obamas ate dinner with Kate and Prince William in their private rooms, but tourists come all over the world to visit the palace and love to eat at the Orangery. The restaurant will be maintained as part of the new basement addition if the renovation is approved by Council.
That’s right, even though William and Kate will eventually become King and Queen of England, they still have to ask planning permission to make the changes.
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have £64,000 tennis court approved: Prince William and Kate Middleton get the go-ahead from local council
— ROSANNA BLALOCK (@ky_roc) August 21, 2015
The Kensington Palace neighborhood has experienced a “huge outcry about the disruption” caused by similar expansions in the area. The outsized basement renos can add significant space and functionality to a home, but they are “technically restricted” by regulations intended to protect the ambiance of the wealthy neighborhood as well as the integrity of the heritage buildings and grounds.
According to the Evening Standard, Kate and Prince William have a good chance of success with their proposal since “it is a believed an exception could be made for the Royal Family.”
Do you think Kate Middleton will enjoy her new life or will Middleton want to go back to Anmer Hall?
[Featured Image by Oli Scarff/Getty Image]