Prince William and Kate will move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor

Kate and William enter new era to give their children as ‘normal a start as possible’: Charlotte, George and Louis will go to £21,000-a-year prep school near Ascot as couple downsize to Adelaide Cottage and ‘put them at the heart of every decision’

  • Prince William and Kate are going to move with George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor 
  • Three children will all be sent to the prestigious nearby £21,000-a-year Lambrook School from September 
  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want children to have a country upbringing and be closer to Kate’s parents 

Prince William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor and send them to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School nearby, it was confirmed today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been planning a move to Berkshire since last year and royal aides have now revealed their children will all go to the same school, seven miles from their new home, from September.

William and Kate, both 40, who are currently based at Kensington Palace in London, are said to want to give the youngsters a country upbringing and want to be closer to the Duchess’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton.

A source said: ‘This is very much a decision that two parents have made to give their children the ‘most normal’ start possible. KP can be a little 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 very much a decision that’s been led by the kids.’ 

The couple, who will also now be closer to the Queen’s private apartments at Windsor Castle, will retain the 20-room Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as a base in the capital – and this will also be the offices for their staff.

The Cambridges also intend to also keep a third property – their current country home at Anmer Hall on the 96-year-old monarch’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, which they are expected to still visit there for retreats.

William and Kate are understood to want to be closer to the Queen, who has suffered various health issues over the past year – and this will position them in a new era where they are taking over more important royal roles. 

Adelaide Cottage will be William and Kate’s fourth property if including a holiday home in Scotland. William was given the Tam-Na-Ghar cottage on the Balmoral estate by his great-grandmother the Queen Mother in 2002.

The Cambridges will use the pretty 19th century Adelaide Cottage as their base after the Queen gave them permission to lease the four-bedroom Grade II listed cottage, which belongs to the Crown Estate. It was built for Queen Adelaide in 1831 and is nestled a ten-minute walk from Windsor Castle in the private Home Park.

William and Kate had been known to have set their heart on the outdoorsy preparatory school Lambrook, with its 52 acres of grounds, for their youngsters where fees will cost William and Kate in excess of £50,000 a year. 

Kensington Palace confirmed the family will be moving to Adelaide Cottage before the school term begins. A spokesman for the couple said today: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have today announced that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will attend Lambrook School in Berkshire from September 2022.

‘Their Royal Highnesses are hugely grateful to Thomas’s Battersea where George and Charlotte have had a happy start to their education since 2017 and 2019 respectively and are pleased to have found a school for all three of their children which shares a similar ethos and values to Thomas’s.’

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5

William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)

Adelaide Cottage had previously been mooted as a home for newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan in 2018 who were at first living in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, before moving to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

Prince Andrew, who lives nearby at Royal Lodge, was also thought to have had his eye on Adelaide Cottage for his younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, 32, her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and their baby son August.

New home has link to royal scandal and gilded dolphin ceiling

The Cambridges’ new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home nestled in Windsor’s Home Park.

It was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend, who lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary to be on hand for the king in his role as equerry.

Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, her mother Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, as a teenager before the romance began, would regularly take tea in the gardens of the cottage with the Townsends and their two young sons. Margaret’s love affair rocked the Establishment, but she put duty before desire when she called off plans to marry divorced Townsend in 1955.

Relocating to Adelaide Cottage means William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are just 10 minutes’ walk south east from ‘Gan Gan’ the Queen at Windsor Castle. Even closer is Frogmore Cottage, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use when visiting the UK, although the brothers’ long-running fallout makes it unlikely they will be socialising together any time soon.

The property was rebuilt more than 190 years ago as a cottage orne, or decorated cottage, for Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, to be used as a summer retreat. It was built in 1831 on the site of the old Head Keeper’s Lodge on the North Slopes of Home Park.

According to Historic England, the public body which cares for England’s historic buildings and places, Adelaide Cottage is a ‘picturesque’ two-storey stucco-faced dwelling with casement windows, and elaborate pierced bargeboards edging the roof.

The principal bedroom has a coved ceiling decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George, and a good marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

The south entrance is flanked by paired diagonally set chimneys with stepped bases, and the house has a porte-cochere, a canopied entrance to provide shelter. There is a verandah with bargeboard eaves on the east side.

Its four-bedrooms mean that for the first time since she joined the family, William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will live elsewhere, as will other staff including the housekeeper and the chef, giving the Cambridges more privacy.

The location offers the family easy access to the private 655-acre Home Park and the historic royal estate’s network of drives, gardens, farms, nearby trout stream, Frogmore House and Royal Mausoleum, and Queen Victoria’s Walk flanked by cedars. Other benefits include neighbouring Windsor Great Park, which spans more than 5,000 acres, with its Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, deer park and woodland trails in the Valley Gardens.

The property, previously known as Adelaide Lodge, was constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville using materials from John Nash’s Royal Lodge built for the indulgent Prince Regent. Its entrance bears the initials AR (Adelaide Regina) and the date of 1831. It sits next to another property called Adelaide Lodge, which is empty and inhabitable due to problems with it not being underpinned.

Queen Victoria often visited the cottage for breakfast or tea, according to the Royal Collection Trust. Her beloved King Charles spaniel Dash, whom she would dress in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, was buried there after his death in 1840.

He was honoured with an effusive inscription on his grave reading: ‘Here lies Dash, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, Reader, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of Dash.’

The house, which features a fountain in the centre of the garden, was more recently home to Simon Rhodes, the son of the Queen’s late first cousin Margaret Rhodes.

But it appears first refusal has gone to William and Kate – who had also been looking at Frogmore House and Fort Belvedere on the Windsor estate, before both were considered unsuitable.

At Kensington Palace, which has been their main residence since 2017, their home borders the bustling Kensington High Street – and the palace itself can be seen from Kensington Palace Gardens. It has often been likened to living in a ‘goldfish bowl’.

But their new home at Adelaide Cottage is nestled in the heart of the Crown Estate’s Home Park, with much more scope for horse riding, walking the family dog and playing away from prying eyes.

The move is in keeping of with the desires of Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, who is said to have strived for a ‘normal life’ for him and his brother, despite their royal status.

The switch to Windsor also means the Cambridges will be near to the home of the Duchess’s parents, the Middletons, who live 45-minutes away by car in the village of Bucklebury. 

William and Kate will retain Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A, which was refurbished with £4.5million of taxpayers’ money in 2013, as their official residence and their 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 underwent large-scale building work at their own cost.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: ‘Relocating to Adelaide Cottage in the ultra-private Home Park at Windsor takes away the ‘goldfish-bowl’ aspect of the Cambridge family’s life.

‘Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace is perfect in so many ways but the Duke and Duchess and their children are unable to come and go as they might like or take advantage of the nearby London parks because of the ever-present privacy issues.

‘Logistically, having all three children in the same school makes perfect sense because it means just one school run. With the family in Berkshire the journey will be considerably shorter and easier than the nightmare that was Kensington Palace to Battersea twice a day.

‘It also means that the cost of security, always a contentious topic, is much lower than if Louis was at a different school to his siblings.’

A royal source said the duke and duchess were very conscious of how their move stands in contrast to the cost-of-living crisis impacting the nation.

Asked whether the couple was mindful of the economic difficulties facing many who would not be able to afford such opportunities, the source said: ‘They absolutely are.

‘It’s something they have thought long and hard about and this is a decision they have not taken lightly.

‘It would have been extremely difficult for them to continue on as senior working royals if they were based in Norfolk.

‘What they have basically done allows them to put the kids first, but also to continue on doing what they do all day, every day.’

William and Kate will pay market value on the property from their own private funds, not from taxpayers’ money via the Sovereign Grant, and will foot their own moving costs.

Future king George, nine, and Charlotte, seven have left their current school Thomas’s Battersea in London and four-year-old Louis be starting full-time education.

They will enjoy first class facilities at Lambrook including a swimming pool, sports pitches and new £6 million academic and ICT building.

The day and boarding school offers both weekly boarding and flexi boarding for the older two – where they can opt for a night’s stay as and when they choose, but George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.

The Good Schools Guide describes how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’, with Lambrook’s pastoral care described as excellent.

Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook School, said he looked forward to the Cambridge children starting.

‘We are delighted that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will be joining us this coming September and very much look forward to welcoming the family, as well as all of our new pupils, to our school community,’ Mr Perry said.

Adelaide Cottage is seen, circa 1900. It was built in 1831 as a retreat for William IV’s wife Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen

Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools, wished George and Charlotte ‘every happiness and success’ at their new school and thanked them and other leaving pupils for ‘upholding the school’s values and for their many contributions to school life throughout their time at Thomas’s’.

Fresh air and freedom await George, Charlotte and Louis at ‘magical’ school 

Set in 52 acres of idyllic Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom’.

Its new royal charges, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will enjoy a nurturing education at the wholesome, co-educational independent day and boarding school for three to 13-year-olds near Ascot, just a 10-minute drive from their new home in Windsor.

The Good Schools Guide describes it as a ‘classic prep school’ with a ‘heart of gold’, and tells of how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in the vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’.

Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an astroturf, hard courts, a squash court, cricket and other sports pitches. It has a Diamond Jubilee performing arts studio, dance studio and sports hall, and a new £6 million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning.

The prospectus quoted one parent as saying: ‘It’s the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the tree stumps.’

There is school on Saturday mornings followed by an afternoon of sports fixtures for pupils in Year 5 and above which includes nine-year-old George.

Lambrook offers weekly and flexi-boarding for boys and girls aged seven onwards, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having the option to let George and Charlotte stay as little as one night a week on an ad-hoc basis, with the sleepovers booked online. George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.

‘Weeknights sound like a hoot; think Harry Potter evenings and lashings of hot chocolate,’ Talk Education said in its review of the school.

Fridays are the most popular night for one-off boards, leaving parents free to host dinner parties and nurse hangovers, the Telegraph reported. 

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8, with an additional £1,481 per term for boarding for Y3-8. It means William and Kate will be spending in excess of £50,000 a year on their children’s private education.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips. Boarding for the older two Cambridge children would cost an additional £8,886 a year if chosen at a later date.

Lambrook, a Christian school, prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam – taken by private school pupils as part of the selective admissions process at age 13. With 620 pupils, it is a larger than average pre-prep and prep school but billed as not as pushy as its London counterparts, with some of its intake being bussed in from west London and Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

Year 8 leavers join prestigious schools such as William’s alma mater Eton, Wellington College, Marlborough College, where Kate went, and Charterhouse among others. 

Headmaster Jonathan Perry is known for his charm, and performed a rock-and-roll dance and jumped on chairs to cheer up pupils during lockdown. His wife Jenny works with the pastoral team, with the pair praised for their focus on emotional wellbeing, perfectly in line with William and Kate’s campaigning on mental health.

Mr Perry says on the school website: ‘We give our pupils the ‘feathers to fly’ so that when they move on to the next stage of their educational journey, they will spread their wings and will take flight; leaving as confident, happy, engaging, mature, considerate and thoughtful young adults who are outward-looking global citizens.’

Lambrook’s on-site orchard is home to pigs, chickens and rabbits, available to cuddle during tutor time wellbeing walks, bees with hives, and visiting lambs, and George and Charlotte will have an enrichment afternoon every Monday to complement their academic studies.

They will be able to draw from a huge range of activities for this including farming, bee-keeping, chess, mountain biking, ballet, tap, jazz, mini-masterchef, polo, podcast-making, scuba diving, skiing, as well as life-saving, survival, debating and public speaking.

Louis, who will be in reception, will enjoy ‘Forest Fridays’ and be ‘taken on a journey of discovery in the beautiful outdoors’, the school’s prospectus says, mirroring the Duchess of Cambridge’s philosophy of the importance of outdoor play and spending time in nature.

Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ while the Good Schools Guide said one mother was ‘mystified by how they get pupils back for lessons, but like clockwork they tumble in, ruddy-cheeked and full of fresh air’.

And parents enjoy the benefit of not having to deal with muddy PE kits. Games clothes are handed in at the start of term and remain there to be laundered by staff, before being sent home at the end of term. Every item must be named but only sewn-on tags are permitted.

The main school building is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860 and two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, attended, with Victoria travelling from Windsor Castle to watch them in plays and at cricket matches.

Uniforms consist of blue and green tartan kilts for girls and and navy corduroy trousers for boys, plus check shirts, navy pullovers and blue and green ties.

William and Kate can also immerse themselves in the school’s busy social life amid reports of plentiful Lambrook get-togethers and helpful WhatsApp groups. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Range Rovers apparently fill the car park.

But one Mumsnet user wrote: ‘I have been rather put off by the size of Lambrook, and the reputation of ‘Lambrook’ parents. We are not super wealthy, nor are we city people or country landholders!’

Overseas school trips include jaunts to France, Italy, Iceland and South Africa. But Year 7 students preparing to embark on a canoeing trip in Sweden must each first fundraise £500 to help an underprivileged child do the same through the Teenage Wilderness Trust. Sustainability – no doubt a hit with eco-conscious William – is also key with the children planting 400 saplings to create a new woodland.

It is the first time Lambrook has been chosen for a future king and his siblings.

William and Kate will be spending in excess of £53,000 a year on their children’s private education.

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any future boarding which costs £1,481 per term per pupil for Y3-8, potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips.

Adelaide Cottage has been used as a grace-and-favour home for royal staff and family friends in recent years.

It was built in 1831 as a retreat for William IV’s wife Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, and was also known to be a favourite home of Queen Victoria who often ate her breakfast there.

But the most famous former resident is the late Group Captain Peter Townsend, who had an affair with the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret that caused a national scandal. He died in 1995.

Adelaide Cottage features a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace and a principal bedroom with a coved ceiling featuring gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the Royal yacht Royal George.

It also has seven gated entrances and exits to Windsor Castle so the family can come and go in relative privacy. The cottage had major renovations in 2015, which means the Cambridges would not face a big bill to remodel it.

William and Kate will also give up their live-in Norland nanny, Maria Borrallo, for the first time when they move to Adelaide Cottage.

The couple hired her in 2014 to help look after George when he was aged just eight months – and she has lived with the family for almost nine years. She will however be kept on full-time by the family.

Lambrook School, which has existed 1860, is also where two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, were pupils in 1878.

Queen Victoria used to travel from Windsor Castle to Lambrook to watch her grandchildren in plays and cricket matches – and parked her carriage where the new Queen’s building now stands so she could watch from there.

The school on the outskirts of Bracknell is only a 20-minute drive from Adelaide Cottage, and their new home is just a short stroll to see the Queen at Windsor Castle.

A royal source said being able to be close to the 96-year-old monarch was a factor in the move.

Four bedroom detached rental properties in Windsor with substantially less land are currently priced at anywhere between £3,000 to £5,750 a month.

Adelaide Cottage also ensures the family are close to Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton, and sister Pippa Matthews in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

When Harry and Meghan visit Britain next month on a trip from their new home in California, they are expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage – although the couple are unlikely to meet with William and Kate.

Frogmore got its name from Queen Victoria, who described the ‘immense number of little frogs’ as ‘quite disgusting’ when visiting in 1875. 

It had a £2.4million renovation paid for by taxpayers in 2018, but Harry and Meghan have since repaid the money.

Members of the royal family have experienced their fair share of ups and downs as pupils of a variety of prestigious establishments.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have drawn on their own experiences of education when choosing Lambrook as the next school for their three children.

It is the first time a future king and spares to the heir have been signed up for the private day and weekly boarding school near Ascot in Berkshire, which prides itself on its academic success teamed with an outdoor lifestyle.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte began their school days happily at private day school Thomas’s Battersea – a busy, cosmopolitan establishment in south London – with George starting in 2017 and Charlotte in 2019.

The school’s most important rule was to ‘be kind’.

As a toddler, George went to Westacre Montessori School near the Cambridges’ Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, while a young Charlotte went to Willcocks Nursery School, near Kensington Palace, in 2018, followed by Louis in 2021.

As a 14-year-old, Kate withdrew from independent girls’ school Downe House in Cold Ash, Berkshire, after just two terms when she was reportedly bullied.

She started afresh at Marlborough College, a £42,930-a-year co-educational boarding school in Wiltshire, where she went on to blossom, captaining the hockey team and doing well in her exams.

The duchess has long campaigned on the importance of a child’s early years and with William on mental health issues.

The duke and duchess previously attended a child mental health conference to learn about issues surrounding the transition years between primary and secondary education.

William’s first experience of school was Mrs Mynor’s Nursery School in west London which he joined aged three.

From the age of four the duke went to Wetherby School, also in west London, before spending five years at Ludgrove School in Berkshire.

William went on to board at Eton College, as did Prince Harry, for five years and it offered him a sanctuary when his parents were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and provided stability in the difficult years that followed his mother’s death.

His housemaster Dr Andrew Gailey was an important source of support. Dr Gailey’s role earned him an invite to the royal wedding in 2011 and the title of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), an honour in the Queen’s gift.

It was Dr Gailey who was cited as influencing William’s university choice, having studied at St Andrews himself.

Kate’s prep school was St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, Berkshire.

She joined the public school, where fees are now up to £6,845 per term, in 1986 when her family returned to the UK after spending two-and-a-half years in Jordan where she attended a nursery school.

All three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – will be sent to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School in Berkshire

She stayed until she was 13 and was predominantly a day girl but in her later years also boarded for part of the week.

Both William and Kate were academic at school and went on to university, achieving a 2:1 at degree level.

George, Charlotte and Louis’ grandfather the Prince of Wales went to Cheam prep school as a boarder at the age of eight. He went on to have a difficult time at secondary school as a teenager.

Charles was sent to Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, following in the footsteps of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, but was picked on and described his days there as ‘a prison sentence’.

Charles did admit, however, that the school instilled him with self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.

He spent part of the school year in 1966 as an exchange student at the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia – the first member of the British royal family to attend an overseas Commonwealth school.

Gordonstoun is also where Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex were taught.

The Queen, however, was educated at home with Princess Margaret. After her father succeeded to the throne in 1936 and she became the heir, she was taught constitutional history and law. She also studied art and music, and is fluent in French.

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