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Biggest royal renovations revealed as Kate Middleton and Prince William ‘consider new project’



Amidst reports suggesting that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are contemplating renovations to their Windsor residence, with the intention of personally financing the endeavor, it is pertinent to reflect upon the most significant royal renovations undertaken in recent years.

While the news of the Duchess’s cancer diagnosis several weeks ago was undoubtedly distressing, her unwavering focus has remained on safeguarding her family’s well-being and achieving a full recovery. The Cambridge family currently divides their time between Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, in close proximity to the children’s educational institution, and Anmer Hall, their Norfolk abode.

Speculation has arisen that the couple is considering renovating an annex adjacent to their four-bedroom Windsor residence, with the aim of creating additional living space for their young family and staff members. However, cognizant of the public scrutiny surrounding the monarchy’s expenditures, the Duke is purportedly contemplating shouldering the financial burden personally.

The majority of royal residences are historic edifices, many of which have served diverse purposes throughout the years, ranging from staff accommodation to state banquets. Owing to the age and nature of these structures, a continuous need for renovation has arisen across all Royal Family dwellings over the years, with some projects being funded by public funds. It is prudent to retrospectively examine some of the most notable instances.

Kensington Palace, an opulent residence, served as the primary abode for the Wales family for numerous years prior to their relocation to Windsor, where their offspring could revel in greater seclusion. Apartment 1A, a four-story, 20-room abode within the palace, underwent extensive renovations commissioned by William and Kate during their tenure, with the substantial bill of £5.4 million being funded by the taxpayer. Despite their move, the family continues to utilize this residence as their London abode.

Buckingham Palace, the iconic centerpiece of the royal residences, is currently undergoing a renovation project of unprecedented scale, spanning an entire decade. This endeavor, funded through a temporary augmentation of the Sovereign Grant – the monetary allocation provided to the royals by the government – commenced in 2017 and is projected to conclude in 2027. The comprehensive works encompass various phases, ranging from the refurbishment of the East Wing to the modernization of the heating and electrical systems, many of which had remained unaltered since the 1950s, as per the Royal Family’s official website.

This state-funded renovation is reported to incur a staggering cost of £369 million over the decade-long period of work. Remarkably, the building remains operational during the ongoing renovations, with the Royal Family gracing the balcony for major events and King Charles hosting audiences there, among other engagements.

During the tumultuous years of the Second World War, Buckingham Palace, the esteemed residence of the British monarchy, found itself under attack. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, were present on at least one occasion when the palace endured a bombing raid. The King’s diary entry poignantly described the incident as occurring “in a matter of seconds,” while the Queen Mother’s account vividly captured the harrowing experience, recounting, “I saw a great column of smoke & earth thrown up into the air, and then we all ducked like lightning into the corridor – There was another tremendous explosion.” Her Majesty further noted the instinctive response to seek shelter, stating, “It is curious how one’s instinct works at those moments of great danger, as quite without thinking, the urge was to get away from the windows.” Remarkably, she observed that “Everybody remained wonderfully calm, and we went down to the shelter.”

In a display of resilience and solidarity, the Queen Mother famously remarked, “I’m glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face.” The aftermath of the war left much of the East End, including areas like Stepney, in dire need of extensive reconstruction, and Buckingham Palace itself required significant repairs.

Frogmore Cottage, a historic property dating back to 1801, has also played a significant role in the lives of the British royal family. Initially serving as a retreat for Queen Charlotte, the cottage later provided shelter to exiled Russian royals following the Russian revolution. More recently, the property underwent extensive renovations, reportedly costing £2 million, to accommodate the needs of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, after their wedding.

The 10-bedroom, Grade II listed property, formerly utilized as accommodation for palace staff, was subsequently granted to the Sussexes, who reimbursed the cost of renovation works upon their decision to relinquish their roles as working royals. In 2023, reports emerged indicating their eviction from the property, with King Charles expressing a desire for his younger brother, Prince Andrew, to assume occupancy.

Despite being offered the keys to Frogmore Cottage, Prince Andrew has reportedly exhibited reluctance to vacate his current residence, the 30-room, £30 million Royal Lodge. The disgraced royal shares this enormous mansion with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson. The property hosted the wedding reception of his younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, in 2018 and was the venue where Meghan first met the late Queen Elizabeth.

Last year, reports surfaced suggesting Andrew’s hesitance to leave the property stemmed from concerns regarding the much-needed repair and maintenance work required for the roof, fearing that once he departed, he might not be able to regain access.

Over the years, sources close to the Duke of York have claimed that he has invested £7.5m in repairing and maintaining the Grade II listed property. Despite King Charles’s decision to revoke the allowance Andrew previously received from his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, Andrew has yet to agree to relocate to a more affordable residence.

Balmoral Castle, the late Queen’s favored residence in Aberdeenshire, has been opened for internal tours this summer for the first time ever. This privately owned royal residence, not part of the Crown Estate, was initially purchased by Prince Albert in 1852. The original castle on the site did not meet the standards of Victoria and Albert, prompting them to commission the construction of an entirely new castle, which still stands today and was where Queen Elizabeth spent her final days.

The gothic-revival castle boasts 52 bedrooms and is situated on 50,000 acres of land. A more recent addition to the estate is the kitchen garden installed by Prince Philip, who, according to Hello Magazine, not only oversaw the works but also actively participated in the digging, leaving a lasting legacy on the property.

At Sandringham, His Majesty King Charles III’s Norfolk estate, the monarch has undertaken a formal initiative to enhance the grounds’ environmental sustainability, drawing inspiration from his late father’s esteemed commitment to ecological causes. In the preceding year, a significant transformation occurred wherein the traditional lawns were converted into an eco-friendly topiary garden, fostering biodiversity and creating a more sustainable green space for the Royal Family and visitors to appreciate.

A statement issued at the commencement of the works elucidated the rationale behind this endeavor, citing the detrimental impact of changing weather patterns and excessive rainfall on the existing expanse of lawn. The newly developed garden, it was explained, would introduce more robust and hardy plant species better equipped to withstand the emerging challenges posed by evolving climatic conditions.

This undertaking exemplifies King Charles III’s longstanding dedication to raising awareness about the climate crisis and promoting sustainable practices, a commitment he has upheld for decades and one that aligns with the environmental ethos espoused by his esteemed father.

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