Will & Kate Bring London’s Biggest Renovating Trend to Kensington Palace

published Mar 15, 2017
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Renovations can be a royal pain — unless, of course, you’re the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. With a move to Kensington Palace scheduled for the fall, Prince William and Kate Middleton have proposed a massive extension, which includes a two-story “iceberg basement,” to the 400-year-old property, the Daily Mail reports.

The couple and their children, Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 1, have spent the past few years living at Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom Georgian country house (a wedding gift from the Queen when Will and Kate were married) in Norfolk, England.

Their move from the quiet countryside to bustling city streets of London coincides with Prince George beginning school and the end of Prince William’s two-year career as a pilot with East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Once the family relocates to the Palace, they will reside in Apartment 1A, where they will have 22 rooms and two kitchens at their disposal.

If the officials who have proposed the addition get their wish, the three-story (with two stories underground), nearly 5,000-square-foot expansion will be dug next to the Orangery, an “elaborate greenhouse in the style of an elegant palace” built in 1704. It is currently used as a restaurant for those visiting the palace and serves breakfast, lunch and “famous Orangery Afternoon Tea.”

According to the planning application, the proposed expansion’s goal is to “free up the palace suites for the Royal Family.”

“The addition of a basement story 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,” it continues.

The basement’s top floor will be used to house staff offices — about 100 members of the Palace’s staff could be moved — and ceremonial dresses from the Royal Collection. Light wells “providing light and air” are also part of the plan.

This type of extension, called an “iceberg basement” because it is mostly underground, is a design favorite of London’s mega-rich. Some feature “cinemas, gyms, wine cellars, golf simulators, bowling alleys and even swimming pools,” CNN reports.

Local council, Kensington and Chelsea, will decide if the proposed expansion is approved by the end of next month.

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