Prince William and Kate Middleton are moving. While they’re not flying across the world like Prince Harry or Meghan Markle, their new home has a bit of a scandalous history. Let’s learn what’s happening.
Prince William’s Birthday Move
With his 40th birthday just around the corner, William is planning to celebrate by leaving London. The heir-in-waiting will move from London to Windsor along with Middleton and their three children. The goal is to have the royals a bit closer to Queen Elizabeth, whose health is starting to falter.
Reports indicate the pair is going to move into Adelaide Cottage on the royal family’s Windsor estate. This means they won’t be very far away from their disgraced uncle Prince Andrew, who’s still living on the royal property in a 30-room home. William and Middleton will still keep their London apartment in Kensington Palace, but they’ll be Windsor-based moving forward.
What Can The Cambridges Expect?
Adelaide Cottage has been a popular spot for the royal family dating back to its remodeling in 1831. Queen Victoria was a frequent visitor for tea, as was Elizabeth. The property is considered a “grace and favor” property, so basically Elizabeth can gift it to whomever she wants.
It’s a 10-minute walk from Windsor Castle, so William will not be far away from his grandmother at any given moment. It’s also pretty darn close to Frogmore Cottage, the sometimes residence of Harry and Markle.
An Interesting Inhabitant
The cottage has one very interesting former inhabitant: Peter Townsend. The RAF officer was an equerry to King George VI, so he had direct access to Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret. Viewers of The Crown may recognize the name, as Townsend had an affair with Margaret for years.
Beginning in the 1940s, Townsend and Margaret became close friends and eventually lovers. This was a problem for two reasons: Townsend was of far lower social standing than Margaret, and he was married. He got divorced while Margaret was grieving for her father, and the two soon became an item.
Townsend proposed in the early 1950s, but his divorce loomed large. Winston Churchill refused to back the marriage, partially because of the still-fresh-in-everyone’s-mind abdication crisis only a few years earlier. Townsend was posted abroad, and the relationship was put on pause.
In 1955, Margaret announced that she would not marry Townsend. She realized the Church of England would never back the marriage. She soon fell in love with photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, while Townsend married Marie-Luce Jamagne in 1959.
Who knows if William is even aware of the Townsend scandal, or that he’s moving into Townsend’s former home. Perhaps the scandal could prove an omen for the Cambridges—or maybe it’s just one huge coincidence.