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William and Kate's Move to Adelaide Cottage Involves Family Drama with Princess Eugenie

From Hall to Cottage, the Cambridges are packing their bags to live in a more modest home. But there's a royal drama attached to the relocation tale. 

It has been reported that it was Princess Eugenie who first expressed interest in the cottage! And her father, Prince Andrew, before the Epstein scandal erupted in 2020, had also wanted it for his daughter because it is closer to Royal Lodge, where he and Sarah, Duchess of York, currently lived.

Adelaide Cottage. Getty Images

Before delving deeper into this royal cousins' home drama, let's talk first about why and how William and Kate decided to relocate, and why of all royal homes, it's Adelaide Cottage they're eyeing.

Switching Hall for a Cottage

Recently, reports have it that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park this summer. And the location is quite familiar to royal fans. Apart from the Queen's home, Windsor Castle, Windsor Home Park is where Frogmore Cottage, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's UK home, is also located.

William and Kate's home after their wedding is Anmer Hall, a 19th-century 10-bedroom Georgian house in the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The property was Her Majesty's wedding gift to the couple in 2011. In 2017, they used Kensington Palace as their main residence but maintained Anmer Hall as their country residence. 

Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Getty Images

It's far grander, stately, with a sprawling ground for their children to play, and apartments for their live-in staff, than the four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage.

However, in 2021, it was reported that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were looking for a new home near Windsor Castle to be closer to the Queen. The monarch has lived permanently in Windsor Castle since 2020, and has been carrying out her royal duties through virtual conferences.

The Royal Family balcony appearance during the Jubilee Pageant

But why do royal fans seem divided with the Cambridges' decision to choose this Grade II-listed building in the Queen's estate as their new country home? Well, for a number of reasons.

Adelaide Cottage is the simplest (although for ordinary citizens like us - it is not simple because it's still a mansion) of all royal residences and perceived by royal fans as not as elegant as Kensington Palace nor as stately as Anmer Hall. 

William, Kate, and their three children outside their Anmer Hall residence in 2020, paying tribute to health workers

The residence also has only four rooms, which raised many eyebrows. Where would the Cambridges' home-based staff sleep? Like the nannies and the kitchen staff?

First offered to Harry and Meghan

It was once reported by Daily Mail that Adelaide Cottage was first offered by the Queen as her wedding gift to the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018, and many have speculated they will move to the property following their wedding but it did not happen. And for unknown reasons, Harry and Meghan chose Frogmore Cottage instead.

And the Controversy

After the reign of Queen Victoria, Adelaide Cottage was converted into a grace-and-favor home for royal staff. It had once a controversial resident, Group Captain Peter Townsend, in the late 1940s when he became an equerry to King George VI. 

Townsend resided there with his wife and sons, but when he divorced his wife in 1952 and became the Comptroller of the Household of the Queen Mother, he left the cottage and moved to London. Later, he was involved in a relationship with Princess Margaret which caused a national scandal.

Enter Princess Eugenie

And to top it all, the Adelaide Cottage seems to have been surrounded by some royal dramas. It has been claimed recently that Princess Eugenie, who is set to move out of Frogmore Cottage with her husband and son, has been trying to secure Adelaide Cottage for a year.

Princess Eugenie holding her son, Augie, next to her husband Jack, during the Jubilee Pageant

According to royal sources close to the Yorks as reported by Daily Mail, "She (Eugenie) has been trying to secure Adelaide Cottage". 

It was also reported that before the Epstein scandal, which ruined the public reputation of Prince Andrew, banishing him from royal duties, he was eyeing Adelaide Cottage for his daughter, Princess Eugenie.

However, following the scandal, Prince Andrew has thoroughly lived in seclusion in the Royal Lodge and was thought to have prevented to make negotiations on behalf of his family.

It's not quite clear today if Princess Eugenie still wants Adelaide Cottage.

But with recent developments, it looks like William and Kate could secure it more than Princess Eugenie, for the main reason that they're working royals. And besides, the youngest daughter of the Duke of York will be moving to Portugal with her husband and son due to Jack's current work.

William and Kate love the country life

It's an open book to royal fans that Prince William and the former Kate Middleton extremely love the country life. Kate is a country girl by heart. She grew up in a simple neighborhood in Berkshire, away from the hustle and bustle of a city life. And Prince William is reported to have been enjoying his private moments with the Middletons in Buckleberry.

William and Kate and their two children were photographed in the grounds of Anmer Hall

Most of the photos they used for their Christmas Cards were photographed in the countryside, which reflected their preference for raising their children in the same atmosphere as Kate's childhood. Prince William also has a father who is so popular with his environmental and country life advocacies.

The couple's Christmas Card in 2018, photographed in Anmer Hall gardens

There are perks to living in Adelaide Cottage though. It boasts a relaxing and quiet atmosphere, typical of the country life loved by William and Kate, and the property is just ten minutes away from Windsor Castle. 

Adelaide Cottage is just a 40-minute drive away from Buckleberry, where the Duchess grew up as Kate Middleton, and where her parents, Michael and Carol Middleton, still lived. 

The reason for the couple's decision to move to Berkshire is not quite clear but many speculated they want to live near the Queen and prepare to embrace the new setup of the royal working life as Her Majesty decided to remain in Windsor Castle. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge together with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, have been at the forefront of public duties as the royal court faced the new era of becoming a virtual-conference monarchy. Living near the Queen's main home means they can closely work with the monarch and can spend many afternoon teas.

William and his uncle Andrew

It looks like the Duke of Cambridge is determined to strike his disgraced uncle out of the public view. During the Garter Day, it was reported that he lobbied his grandmother to never allow his uncle to join the Garter service for fear of getting booed by spectators. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Garter Day, June 2013. Credit: The Royal Family

The Duke of York was listed to take part in the service during the Garter Day (June 13) but Prince William insisted he should be removed, for the sake of the image of the monarchy. And the Queen relented.

The Duke of York lived in the nearby Royal Lodge with his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, and it has been reported that Prince Andrew and Sarah are regularly visiting the Queen in Windsor Castle, spending private lunch and afternoon teas.

But what is in Adelaide Cottage? Why did William and Kate have chosen it as their new country home?

Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park. Getty Images

Adelaide Cottage, a Grade II-listed home located between Adelaide Road and Queen Victoria's Walk in Windsor Home Park, falls behind the shadows of Windsor Castle but it afforded full security protection and direct access to the Queen's permanent home.

It is relatively modest with just four rooms. So it is believed William and Kate will not have live-in staff. Their office address remains at Kensington Palace and will continue to use Anmer Hall in Norfolk as their regular residence. 

To be closer to Granny the Queen

The main purpose of moving to Adelaide Cottage is to be near to the Queen for easier access in case they have some important discussions about royal works. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall used Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire as their country home and Clarence House near Buckingham Palace in London, thus, quite far from Her Majesty.

Balcony appearance, June 5, 2022. Credit: The Royal Family

It is also reported that Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis will start their new school life in a local school in Berkshire this September. So it is pretty much like a country living setup for the Cambridges, which Kate preferred most.

According to royal sources, William and Kate "had no other demands than a pleasant family home close to schools and the Queen. They will pay rent from their private account".

The Duchess of Cambridge seems to favor a country life more than a city life, as she relished the joy of living in a quiet village during a virtual interview in 2020. 

The birth of Adelaide Cottage

Adelaide Cottage was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide (born Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen), the wife of King William IV. It was used by Queen Adelaide as her country retreat, and when she needed to relax away from Windsor Castle.

It was thought possible Queen Adelaide did not live long at this cottage because the residences often mentioned as her home until her death were the Marlborough House and Bushy House in London. King William IV and Queen Adelaide were childless, their two daughters, Princesses Charlotte and Elizabeth, did not survive infancy. 

Aerial view of Windsor Home Park. Credit Daily Mail

Adelaide Cottage was said to be the favorite of Queen Victoria, the niece and successor of King William IV. The Queen loved to spend many breakfasts and afternoon teas at the cottage. 

Adelaide Cottage was renovated in 2015 so William and Kate would not be spending taxpayers' money on the extensive renovation when they move there this summer. And because it is situated within the Queen's Windsor Estate, there would be no added security arrangements, so it's very convenient.

Picturesque surroundings

This modest home has a picturesque ambiance due to the verdant trees that covered the Home Park in Windsor. It is also furnished with a beautiful interior complete with a marble Greeco-Egyptian fireplace, and the main bedroom boasts a ceiling with gilded dolphins and rope ornament from a 19th Century Royal yacht.

Royal sources also said this cottage has seven gated entrances and exits to Windsor Castle, which could guarantee full privacy should William and Kate and their children will visit the Queen in Windsor Castle.

However, despite the royal drama between cousins, there's still no official confirmation of who wins in securing the cottage. We will wait for further developments. There's still one big royal event to take place before summertime. The 40th birthday celebration of the Duke of Cambridge on the 21st of June!

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