Who Will Harry & Meghan's Neighbours Be? Kensington Palace Is Home To More Than Just The Cambridges
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was nothing short of a real-life fairytale. But now that it’s all over (how is it already over?) it’s time for the royal couple to settle into their first official home together at Kensington Palace. Of course, with them being royals and all, this won’t be any ordinary housing situation. In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be starting married life living alongside what may as well be half of the entire British monarch. The question of who lives at Kensington Palace is a closely calibrated affair, but it turns out it's not as exclusive as you might think.
Hidden within Hyde Park, Kensington Palace isn’t your usual London estate — although the number of families who reside there could suggest otherwise. The sprawling property houses 50 residents, and was acquired by the Royal Family through King William and Queen Mary II in 1689. It first became a main attraction after Prince Charles and Princess Diana moved in following their wedding on July 29, 1981. Today, it acts as a museum for the public as well as being home to select members of the Royal Family including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Harry and William's cousin Princess Eugenie and her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank reported by People to be moving in, too.
Prior to their wedding, Harry and Meghan lived in Nottingham Cottage, which the Telegraph reports is the smallest property in the royal estate with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The residence also boasts impressive reception rooms, designed by none other than Sir Christopher Wren, who was one of Britain’s most highly-acclaimed architects. The cottage has reportedly been home to Harry since 2013 (when he took it over from William and Kate) and in the couple's BBC engagement interview, Harry revealed it was where he proposed. Markle put her own home in Toronto on the market for £811,000 shortly after the engagement was announced, the Metro reported, but now she's set to pack up her belongings once again.
Following their nuptials, the couple are moving across the communal courtyard to one of the “royal apartments” according to the Express — which to us non-royals actually means lavish terrace houses. They will apparently live in Apartment 1, which is made up of a casual 21 rooms, and is right next door to the largest home in the Palace (this one has 22 rooms) where William, Kate, and their three children live.
Known as Apartment 1A, William and Kate’s house was previously home to Princess Margaret, while Harry and Meghan’s new residence was home to the Queen’s cousins, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. However the couple kindly offered to move out to make way for Harry and Meghan back in November, according to the Daily Mail. But the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will reportedly still be staying in another one of the properties in the Palace, taking over the home of the Queen's private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, who is reportedly moving out. The Duke and Duchess of Kent, another of the Queen's cousins, also live in one of the royal apartments. Apartment 10 has been their home for more than 20 years thanks to the Queen, who according to Buckingham Palace, pays their rent at £120,00 per year.
As for the other properties, they're made up of military members, courtiers, and royal staff. Oh, and ordinary citizens. Yep, that's right. Us regular folk are allowed to live among royalty too, if we can afford the rent that is. MailOnline reported that the apartments which lie outside the security zone surrounding the Royal accommodation are available to be rented on the open market, with a four-bedroom apartment priced at a whopping £98,000 a year, which comes in at nearly £2,000 a week.
On top of that, be prepared for a lot of security watching your every move. Although all of that might be a small price to pay for rubbing shoulders with your favourite royals? If you're pockets are real deep that is.