William and Kate are moving to Windsor to ‘put George, Charlotte and Louis first’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to embark on the next major phase of their lives by moving their family to Windsor, with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all starting at the same new school.
William and Kate will settle in Adelaide Cottage in Windsor’s Home Park, and the children will join Lambrook co-educational private school near Ascot in Berkshire in September.
The Duke and Duchess are seeking a country life away from the goldfish bowl at their official residence Kensington Palace, west London, in a bid to put their children first and give them more freedom.
They were known to have set their sights on Lambrook Outdoor Preparatory School, with its 52 acres of grounds, for their youngsters where fees will cost William and Kate more than £50,000 a year.
The family will use the pretty 19th century Adelaide Cottage as their base after the Queen gave them permission to rent the four-bedroom Grade II listed cottage, which is part of the Crown Estate.
It was built for Queen Adelaide in 1831 and is nestled just 10 minutes’ walk from Windsor Castle in the private grounds of Home.
Kensington Palace said in a statement that the Duke and Duchess were “tremendously grateful” at Thomas’s Battersea where George and Charlotte had “a good start to education” and were “pleased to have found a school for their three children. who shares a philosophy and values similar to those of Thomas”.
Kensington Palace has confirmed the family will move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor’s Home Park before the start of the school term.
A royal source said: ‘It was largely a decision two parents made to give their children the ‘most normal’ start possible.
“KP can be a bit of a fishbowl.
“They wanted to be able to give George, Charlotte and Louis a bit more freedom than they have living in central London.
“It’s really a decision that was made by the children.”
William and Kate will retain flat 1A at Kensington Palace, which was refurbished with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money in 2013, as their official residence and working base, which will continue to house their office staff .
But they will also keep their 10-bedroom Norfolk country mansion, Anmer Hall, which was a gift from the Queen, has a swimming pool and tennis court and has undergone large-scale building work of their own costs.
The downsizing at Adelaide Cottage, which is not considered extensive, means that William and Kate’s full-time nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, will live elsewhere for the first time, as will other staff, including housekeeper and chef.
The source said the Duke and Duchess were very aware of how their decision contrasts with the cost of living crisis affecting the country.
Asked if the couple were aware of the economic hardship faced by many people who couldn’t afford such opportunities, the source said: “They absolutely are.
“It’s something they’ve thought long and hard about and it’s a decision they didn’t take lightly.
“It would have been extremely difficult for them to continue as senior royals if they were based in Norfolk.
“What they’ve done is basically allowing them to put the kids first, but also to keep doing what they do all day, every day.”
Joe Little, editor of Majesty magazine, said the decision had many benefits for the family.
Mr Little said: ‘Flat 1A at Kensington Palace is perfect in many ways, but the Duke and Duchess and their children cannot come and go as they wish or enjoy nearby London parks due to pervasive privacy issues. .”
He added that having all three children at the same school made sense and would remove the ‘nightmare’ trip from Kensington Palace to Battersea twice a day.
“It also means the cost of security, always a contentious topic, is much lower than if Louis were at a different school from his siblings,” Mr Little said.
But royal commentator and former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt highlighted the three properties now available to the couple amid the cost of living crisis.
Mr Hunt said: ‘A third home for the Cambridges is a reminder that the Royal Family are not suffering from the cost of living crisis and a looming recession in the same way as the rest of us.
“When taxpayers’ money was spent to renovate their flat at Kensington Palace, Prince William, who campaigns for the homeless, insisted his family planned to stay there for many years to come. come.”
It had long been reported that William was given a cottage called Tam-Na-Ghar by the Queen Mother on the Balmoral Estate, but William neither rents nor owns the house – it belongs to the Crown Estate and is let to a third party. , said Kensington Palace.
The Republic called the decision “shameful”.
Graham Smith, chief executive of the campaign group, said: ‘All of these lavish homes need around-the-clock protection, heating and staffing.
He said the Crown Estate was “a state-owned real estate empire meant to make money for the Treasury”.
Mr Smith added: ‘While ordinary households are struggling with their energy bills and facing crippling inflation, why are we giving William and Kate yet another home? It is shameful.
William and Kate will pay rent at the market value of the property from their own private funds, not taxpayers’ money through the Sovereign Grant, and will pay their own moving costs.
The future King George, nine, and Charlotte, seven, have left their current school Thomas’s Battersea in London and Louis, four, is starting full-time education.
They will enjoy first-class facilities at Lambrook, including a swimming pool, sports pitches and a new £6million university and IT building.
The day school and boarding school offer both weekly boarding and flexible boarding for the older two – where they can opt for an overnight stay as and when they wish, but George and Charlotte will for now be day students.
The Good Schools Guide describes how youngsters can ‘run and run’ across vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you have your rubber boots’, with Lambbrook’s pastoral described as excellent.
Jonathan Perry, Principal of Lambrook, said we “look forward to welcoming the family, and all of our new students, to our school community.”
Ben Thomas, Principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools, wished George and Charlotte “much happiness and success” and thanked the couple for “supporting the values of the school and for their many contributions to school life throughout of their stay with Thomas”.
This is the first time Lambbrook has been chosen for a future king and his siblings.
William and Kate will spend over £53,000 a year on their children’s private education.
Fees cost £4,389 per term for pupils from Reception to Year 2 such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3 and 4 such as Charlotte and £6,999 per term for George up to Years 5-8 .
The bill comes to £53,508 in fees in 2021-22, not including a future boarding school which costs £1,481 per term per pupil for Y3-8, a potential reduction for siblings if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or travel. .
The school on the outskirts of Bracknell is just a 20-minute drive from Adelaide Cottage, and their new home is just a short walk to see the Queen at Windsor Castle.
The source said being able to be close to the 96-year-old monarch was a factor in the move.
Adelaide Cottage was once the grace home of Squire Party Captain Peter Townsend, whose romance with Princess Margaret caused scandal in the 1950s.
Four-bedroom detached rental properties in Windsor with significantly less land currently cost between £3,000 and £5,750 per month.
The location also ensures the family is close to Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and sister Pippa Matthews in Bucklebury, Berkshire.