The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have moved into Apartment 1a of Kensington Palace, and the price tag might provide quite a shock to the public. William and Kate’s home remodel is costing about $6.5 million dollars.
Last year, $1.6 million was spent on the remodeling, but this year that number has already increased by $4.9million. The palace also confirmed these numbers. However, before taxpayers become too upset, the amount makes sense after taking into consideration the home’s condition.
Apartment 1a is actually a four-story home, with 30 rooms and nine bathrooms. When it was first built, the space was originally used as offices, so everything needed to be converted over to become a family home. The last renovation of the space was done over 50 years ago, in 1963, so the updating needs were extensive.
The apartments were said to be in bad shape and $700,000 of the budget was spent of rewiring and plumbing. The Senior Palace source confirms that the apartment did not even have running water.
The taxpayers, through a Sovereign Grant, funded William and Kate’s $6.5 million dollar home remodel. However, the Royal family and Prince Charles were responsible for any design-related costs, such as the furnishing and fixtures in the living section of the compound. The couple saved money on furnishings by bringing 365 wooden wardrobes out of storage.
William and Kate also paid for the kitchen themselves as a way to keep costs down. The kitchen is described as family style, comfortable, and not lavish. There is also another kitchen that will be used for events and official functions, and is said to have a full wall of ovens.
Remodeling Apartment 1a has not been without its mistakes. Kate was reported to be unhappy with the color of the walls, and picked out a new paint to cover it. However, the color turned out to be more purple that she expected, and it had to be repainted again.
The Royal family is also renovating another property, their country home Ammer Hall. Ammer Hall is located on Queen Elizabeth’s estate, and was given to William and Kate as a present. Ammer Hall includes 10 bedrooms, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. The couple just repaved the driveway, added a new sitting room, and planted more trees to shield the home.
The apartment that William and Kate are living in now has quite a history. Previously, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon also lived in the apartments, but that was over 50 years ago. Also worth noting is that Kensington Palace is not owned by the Royal family, so they can never sell it. The Palace is held in trust by the nation.
However lavish William and Kate’s $6.5 million dollar renovation sounds, the palace insists that it is not wasted money. Any money spent by taxpayers went only the basic essentials and structural work. A spokesman for the couple explains that this will be William and Kate’s home for many, many years and will serve as their official residence. The spokesman again adds that the couple was at pains to ensure the remodel was not extravagant.
By Sara Petersen