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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Not your average two-bed cottage... William and Kate get 'starter home' in Kensington Palace grounds

By Katie Nicholl

It is the sort of starter home any newlywed couple might move into - a cosy two-bedroom cottage with a couple of snug reception rooms and small yard.

The only difference is that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first marital home is in Kensington Palace... and is only a temporary base before the couple decide on much more majestic London accommodation.

The Royal couple last week moved into Nottingham Cottage, or Nott Cott as insiders call it, which was previously occupied by Princess Diana's sister Lady Jane Fellowes and her husband Sir Robert Fellowes, the Queen's former secretary.

'It's a very sweet cottage,' says a source.

'Kate has been overseeing a refurb there, but they haven't done much to it, really - it's just a lick of paint to freshen the place up.

'They will use the cottage at weekends when they are in London.

'Although it's not huge it's their own space and they are delighted with it.'

The only downside for green-fingered Kate, 29, is the lack of a garden.

William and Kate -- or WillCat as they have been dubbed since their visit to Hollywood earlier this month -- rent a farmhouse near the Prince's search-and-rescue base in Anglesey, and until recently shared living quarters with Prince Harry at Clarence House.

The Royal couple will use the cottage when they come up to London at weekends

They are currently deciding on a permanent London base, and are tipped to take Apartment 1a in Kensington Palace, a lavish 19-room suite that was once the home of the late Princess Margaret.

The couple reportedly also considered Apartments 8 and 9, the former marital home of Charles and Diana where William grew up, but Kate is said to have been uncomfortable with the idea.

'They have been to look around Margaret's apartment and like it very much,' said a source.

William spent his early childhood at Kensington Palace before his parents' marital problems

'It has plenty of space but they plan to get rid of the turquoise paint on the walls.'

Apartment 1a, which is packed with priceless antiques, currently belongs to the Historic Royal Palaces which uses the space for exhibitions and offices. It has been open to the public since 2004.

If William and Kate decide to make the residence their home, it will have to be returned to the Royal Household.

A spokesman for the couple confirmed that Princess Margaret's former home is 'one of the options' being considered for their London home.

Kensington Palace, where the couple have moved into new accommodation



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