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Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home has link to royal affair

Adelaide Cottage is a 10-minute walk from the Queen’s Windsor Castle residence

Laura Elston
Tuesday 23 August 2022 06:12 BST
William and Kate move family to Windsor to ‘put George, Charlotte and Louis first’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are moving to a new home on the Windsor estate, Kensington Palace has confirmed.

The move will see Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis start the new school year at Lambrook School this September.

The four-bedroom home, Adelaide Cottage, is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home nestled in Windsor’s Home Park – and it has a rather scandalous history.

It was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend, who lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary to be on hand for the king in his role as equerry.

Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, her mother Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, as a teenager before the romance began, would regularly take tea in the gardens of the cottage with the Townsends and their two young sons.

Margaret’s love affair rocked the Establishment, but she put duty before desire when she called off plans to marry divorced Townsend in 1955.

Relocating to Adelaide Cottage means William, Kate and their children are just 10 minutes’ walk south east from “Gan Gan” the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Even closer is Frogmore Cottage, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use when visiting the UK. Princess Eugenie currently lives here with her husband Jack Brooksbank and their one-year-old son, August.

The property was rebuilt more than 190 years ago as a cottage orne, or decorated cottage, for Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, to be used as a summer retreat.

Princess Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend (PA Archive)

It was built in 1831 on the site of the old Head Keeper’s Lodge on the North Slopes of Home Park.

According to Historic England, the public body which cares for England’s historic buildings and places, Adelaide Cottage is a “picturesque” two-storey stucco-faced dwelling with casement windows, and elaborate pierced bargeboards edging the roof.

The principal bedroom has a coved ceiling decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George, and a good marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

The south entrance is flanked by paired diagonally set chimneys with stepped bases, and the house has a porte-cochere, a canopied entrance to provide shelter.

There is a verandah with bargeboard eaves on the east side.

Its four-bedrooms mean that for the first time since she joined the family, William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will live elsewhere, as will other staff including the housekeeper and the chef, giving the Cambridges more privacy.

Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo at Charlotte’s christening (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Archive)

The location offers the family easy access to the private 655-acre Home Park and the historic royal estate’s network of drives, gardens, farms, nearby trout stream, Frogmore House and Royal Mausoleum, and Queen Victoria’s Walk flanked by cedars.

Other benefits include neighbouring Windsor Great Park, which spans more than 5,000 acres, with its Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, deer park and woodland trails in the Valley Gardens.

The property, previously known as Adelaide Lodge, was constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville using materials from John Nash’s Royal Lodge built for the indulgent Prince Regent.

Its entrance bears the initials AR (Adelaide Regina) and the date of 1831. It sits next to another property called Adelaide Lodge, which is empty and inhabitable due to problems with it not being underpinned.

Queen Victoria often visited the cottage for breakfast or tea, according to the Royal Collection Trust.

Her beloved King Charles spaniel Dash, whom she would dress in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, was buried there after his death in 1840.

He was honoured with an effusive inscription on his grave reading: “Here lies Dash, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, Reader, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of Dash.”

The house, which features a fountain in the centre of the garden, was more recently home to Simon Rhodes, the son of the Queen’s late first cousin Margaret Rhodes.

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