Take a peek around Prince William and Kate's London home as Kensington Palace reopens
Prince William and Kate might still be in Norfolk, but their London home is set to reopen to the public later this month, giving fans the chance to take a peek around their main residence.
William and Kate, both 38, chose to spend lockdown in Anmer Hall, their home in Norfolk, with their children Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte.
Kensington Palace has long been associated with younger royals, and it’s where William and Kate have their main residence.
Prince Harry used to live there too, and Meghan Markle moved in with him there before they married and moved to Windsor.
Along with other palaces, Kensington Palace closed when the country went into lockdown in March.
But Historic Royal Palaces announced on Thursday that it would be reopening the West London home on 30 July.
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With Buckingham Palace and Clarence House staying closed during the summer months, Kensington Palace’s opening is the perfect chance for fans to experience a royal day out.
Kate and William have been based in Kensington Palace since 2011, but didn’t live there permanently in the early years of their royal marriage.
They were based there more or less full time by 2017, and chose to send their children to nearby Thomas’s, Battersea, indicating their commitment to London.
When the Cambridges moved, they took over the apartment previously lived in by William’s great aunt, Princess Margaret. Renovations cost £4.5m and took 18 months.
Harry moved from Clarence House, his father’s London home, to a one bed apartment in the palace in 2012, and Meghan Markle lived with him there until Archie was born.
Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank also live in Kensington Palace, taking up residence in Ivy Cottage after they got married,
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Royal fans will recognise Kensington Palace’s sunken garden, where Harry and Meghan held their press conference after announcing their engagement in 2018.
It was also one of Princess Diana’s favourite spots.
Tickets have to be booked online and there are limited slots each day to make sure social distancing can be maintained.
When attendees arrive, they will have their ticket checked from a 2m distance, and are asked to only visit if they are feeling well.
Inside, visitors can tour the King’s and Queen’s state apartments, once home to royals including William III and Mary II, as well as Queen Caroline.
Kensington Palace was the home of Queen Victoria, who became queen at 18 and ruled for 63 years.
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To mark the 200th anniversary of her birth, the palace installed a permanent exhibition, about how she “blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember”.
It includes a scrapbook made by her German governess, Baroness Lehzen, as well as her doll’s house.
The private apartments of William and Kate are not part of the tour.
Both the Cambridges and the Sussexes have hosted various events at the palace over the years. Meghan invited the women involved in writing Together, a community cookbook to raise funds for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, to the palace in 2019.
Crowds gathered in the gardens in May 2018 to watch the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan on a big screen.
William and Kate hosted President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle during a visit in 2016, when Prince George made his famous dressing gown appearance.