Duchess Kate Middleton and husband Prince William are officially residents of Kensington Palace and a home that Middleton took charge of redecorating. Now her design secrets are being released while the new family settles into their home.
Apartment 1A in the Palace was once home to Princess Margaret but has been vacant for several years, requiring a great deal of work spearheaded by the Duchess. Nearly every one of the 20 rooms in the apartment received a facelift, or at least a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color chosen by Middleton. Some features still remain, though, including the original crown molding.
"Kensington Palace is safe and contained, and such a welcoming environment," a former resident told Us Weekly. "You feel like you have freedom there."
Prince George will be growing up in his father's old home, which he shared with mother Princess Diana and brother Prince Harry. Rumor has it that Harry may actually move into a neighboring apartment to remain close to his family. Kensington Palace has been modernized to accommodate two heirs to the throne, which requires a great deal of security and protection detail.
The Palace also underwent major upheaval during asbestos removal, and central air conditioning as well as WiFi capability brought it into the 21st century. It currently has his-and-hers bathrooms for the Duchess and Prince as well as three kitchen areas and a panic room in case of attack. Before marrying Prince William, Duchess Kate was required to take self-protection classes and learn how to drive defensively.
She reportedly chose two Corinthian lamps and a Persian rug for the home, which were considerable splurges, but Middleton then managed to keep the budget logistical with other purchases, such as throw rugs from the Peter Jones department store.
"Their home is beautiful. This is a very exciting time for them," a Palace insider told Us.