Inside William and Kate's Windsor house hunt – from dolphin-themed cottage to pad that hides TOMB of famous royal

PRINCE William and Kate are looking to move their family out of London – and closer to Granny.

The royal couple are said to be considering relocating to Windsor and have even been scouting potential schools for their three children, Princes George and Louis, eight and three, and Princess Charlotte, six.

They currently reside at the 20-bed residence, Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, but they prefer spending time in the country and dislike battling the school run traffic to and from Thomas's School, Battersea.

But their country home, Amner Hall, in Norfolk, where they like to spend school holidays and weekends, is too far away from London to work out full time.

Windsor, then, would be an ideal commute and would place them close to the Queen, who has chosen to base herself at Windsor Castle.

But where might the Cambridges live? The Queen has several properties in Windsor, but it's been reported Wills and Kate are also considering private properties. Here, we examine the pads on their radar so far.


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The "forgotten castle"

Fort Belvedere was built in 1750-55 for the Duke of Cumberland and expanded in the Gothic Revival style in the 1820s for King George IV.

It is a Grade II listed building within Windsor Great Park and has some quirky features, like an octagonal dining room, added by George IV, and a set of 31 guns which were used to fire salutes until 1907, often for Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria used the place as a tea house and opened it to the public in the 1860s.

There's also a swimming pool, which was converted from the lily pond by Edward VIII, and a tennis court, which would appeal to tennis fan Kate.

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There are also stables, which is good news for the three Cambridge children who are keen riders, having started taking lessons while holed up in Anmer Hall during the pandemic.

Fort Belvedere is best known for its part in one of the most famous chapters of Royal history, as it was home to Edward and Wallis Simpson.

American divorcee Wallis Simpson moved into the home after receiving threatening letters for her relationship with Edward, and it was at Fort Belvedere that he signed the Instrument of Abdication to give up the throne in 1936.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor then moved to France, and years later, their home was used for the filming of the ITV drama, Edward and Mrs Simpson.

During World War II, the place was occupied by the Office of the Commissioners of Crown Lands, after evacuating their London offices.

Fort Belvedere then stood empty until 1956 when the Queen's cousin, Hon. Gerald Lascelles, younger son of George V's daughter, Mary,moved in.

He did away with a lot of Edward's refurbishments, reducing the vast 30-40 room house to a more family-friendly place comprising six bedrooms, and five bathrooms along with three cottages for staff.

He gave up the lease in the 1970s, following his divorce, and Canadian billionaire Galen Weston moved in.

The retail magnate died last year but his wife Hilary and family continues to live there. They have extended the lake and added a polo stud to the land, which might appeal to William who was a keen player.

Gilded dolphins and a scandalous history

Adelaide Cottage is another of the Queen's residences in Windsor, which was touted as a possible home for Prince Harry and Meghan.

It was built – and named after – Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV. More modern than Fort Belvedere, it was built in 1831.

It seems Queen Victoria liked to do the rounds in Windsor as she also enjoyed popping into this property for tea or breakfast.

The real gems of the place came during a renovation in 2015.

Could Kate and Wills go private?

Sam Williams, regional partner for Garrington, an independent property finding company, said there are plenty of places where the Cambridges can fit in should they choose to look at private properties.

She said: "Their biggest concern is going to be privacy and security and that's why the royals tend to flock to the Windsor Royal Park.

"If they were to look at private properties and they want space, they will have to head out of town, for example to west Berkshire, where the Duchess's family live.

"There are plenty of places where they would be able to pop into the local shops or pubs without raising an eyebrow.

"There are many large properties around the area, but whatever level of the market you're looking at, there is a severe shortage at the moment."

A ceiling of gilded dolphins was added to the main bedroom, along with a rope decoration from the Royal George yacht and a Greco-Egyptian fireplace.

It has its own scandalous history too.

It was home to Royal Air Force Captain Peter Townsend, a former Battle of Britain pilot, who moved in with his wife Rosie Marchioness Camden in 1945.

After the pair divorced in 1952, he proposed to Princess Margaret.

However, the Queen – under pressure from the Government and the Church of England – refused to give permission for her to marry, under the Royal Marriages Act 1772.

Most recently, it was occupied by Simon Rhodes, son of the Queen's cousin and best friend Margaret Rhodes, who died in 2016.

The Cambridges could visit the Queen unseen by the public, by way ofthe property's seven gated entrances and exits to Windsor Castle.

Peaceful refuge

Another option could be Frogmore House, not to be confused with Harry and Meghan's former home, nearby Frogmore Cottage, which is now home to Princess Eugenie's young family.

Like the Cottage, it was also named after the population of frogs living in the marshy land.

This 17th century Grade I building is just a half-mile hop, skip and jump from Windsor Castle.

Its first occupant was George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland. She continued to live there after the Duke's death in 1716, until 1738.

George III bought it for Queen Charlotte in 1792.

She used it as a refuge from the hectic life of royal court. There, she and her unmarried daughters would enjoy such leisurely pastimes as needlework, painting and reading.

Queen Victoria's great-grandson Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was born on the estate in 1900. It would be a fitting home for Prince Louis, who was named after him.

The late Duke of Edinburgh fitted out the Britannia room with mementos from the Royal Yacht after it was decommissioned.

It underwent a £2.5million renovation in the late 1980s.

It's also home to Victoria and Albert's mausoleum. The couple wanted their own special resting place, rather than being buried alongside other Royals in Westminster Abbey or St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Prince Andrew's pad

The Queen also owns the 30-bed Royal Lodge, but it's unlikely disgraced son Prince Andrew will give it up.

He has the rather unconventional situation of living there with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, although it's so vast, they can have their own quarters.

Besides, she calls themselves the "happiest divorced couple in the world".

The Queen Mother lived there for over 70 years and died at Royal Lodge with the Queen at her side.

Since then, Andrew – who settled a sex abuse case earlier this year – has spent £7.5million on renovating the place.

It boasts an indoor swimming pool and an additional eight separate properties or staff.

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The three Cambridge children would enjoy playing in Y Bwythyn Bach – or The Little Cottage – a gift from Wales to the Queen in 1932.

The miniature thatched cottage has served as the official royal playhouse for generations.

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