In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse set to become Prince William and Kate’s new home

The Cambridges will reportedly move to a four-bedroom home in Windsor in order to be closer to the Queen

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to move into Adelaide Cottage, a “modest” property ten minutes’ walk from the Queen’s new official residence, Windsor Castle, according to reports.

In March this year, the Queen made the historic castle, founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, her permanent home and official residence. In the past, she tended to use Windsor Castle only as a weekend home and her residence during Easter and Royal Ascot week, with Buckingham Palace being her official home. 

The monarch appears to have started a trend. Prince William and Kate Middleton are now set to relocate to Windsor, along with their three children: George, eight, Charlotte, seven, and Louis, four. The four-bedroom home needs “no extra taxpayer-funded security or costly refurb”, according to The Sun, and the move means that their three children will be able to start school in the area in the autumn.

According to the Daily Mail royal correspondent Rebecca English, the Cambridges have been planning a move to Berkshire since 2021 and “have enrolled Prince George in a new school there, where he is expected to be joined this September by his siblings”.

Along with being near the Queen, Adelaide Cottage is also closer to Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, who have lived for a decade in Bucklebury Manor, a seven-bedroom Grade II-listed Georgian property which is also in Berkshire.

Built in 1831 as a retreat for William IV’s wife, Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the cottage is the Cambridges’ “best and only option”, a royal insider revealed to The Sun’s royal correspondent Matt Wilkinson. The property is thought to have been refurbished as recently as 2015, with William and Kate keen to move in as early as this summer.

Adelaide Cottage

Adelaide Cottage was home to Princess Margaret’s infamous boyfriend Peter Townsend in the 1940s

Wikimedia Commons

‘Grace and favour’ residence

Over the years, Adelaide Cottage has been used as a “grace and favour” residence for royal friends including Peter Townsend, the Battle of Britain pilot and equerry to King George VI who became the divorced lover of the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, between 1944 and 1952.

Princess Margaret reportedly spent “many Sunday visits” at the residence while Townsend lived there with his first wife, Rosemary. The princess "played with the children on the lawn and Peter Townsend, off duty, sat back in a deckchair”, according to a 1950 newspaper report, republished The Sun.

The property most recently hosted Simon Rhodes, son of the Queen’s cousin and best friend Margaret Rhodes, who died in 2016, said English in the Daily Mail. It is thought to boast “original features including a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace and a principal bedroom with a coved ceiling featuring gilded dolphins”. 

Along with being used for royal friends, the cottage was famously favoured by Queen Victoria, “who would often have tea or breakfast in this quaint location”, said Women and Home magazine.

The house is “much smaller” than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s other two homes, said Hello! magazineAnmer Hall boasts ten bedrooms while their Kensington Palace apartment “also features living quarters for staff”.

Fort Belvedere and Frogmore House, both in Windsor, have also been slated as potential new homes for the Cambridges, but it was thought that the latter would “require significant renovations to become a suitable home”.

The Cambridges are reportedly “very keen for a modest home” when they move to Windsor, a source told The Sun. The pair believe that Adelaide Cottage “fits the bill because it is a four-bedroom home and they do not need any more as they have no live-in staff”.

They are “adamant they didn’t want anything too showy or anything that needed renovating or extra security so as not to be a burden on the taxpayer”, a source told the paper. “The added bonus is they can send George, Charlotte and Louis to school together locally. The three children will enjoy running around and playing in the gardens, which is the kind of life they enjoy so much when at Anmer Hall.”

Rumoured competition

Sources confirmed to the Mail that Princess Eugenie had been hoping to secure the home for her family – husband Jack Brooksbank and their baby son August, who turned one in February – when they eventually move out of Frogmore Cottage

But “there is no doubt that if push comes to shove, the Cambridges and their children – all direct heirs to the throne – would get first refusal”, said English. 

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