Prince William Grew Up in a Literal Palace—How Does He Handle Living in a Four-Bedroom House?

The Wales family relocated to Adelaide Cottage late last summer.

The Wales family at Trooping the Colour on the Buckingham Palace balcony
(Image credit: Getty)

A four-bedroom home is nothing to slouch at and, to many, would seem like the peak of homebuying success. But not all of us are the Prince and Princess of Wales—and when Prince William, his wife Princess Kate, and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis moved from Kensington Palace to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor late last summer, many looked at it as a downgrade, reports The Daily Express. And William—who turns 41 today and grew up in literal palaces—has embraced it.

“Adelaide Cottage is a charming home on the grounds of Windsor Castle and will no doubt provide a lovely base for the family,” said interior design specialist Sophie Smith. “While it may seem small after living in Kensington Palace, the home is still a good size and surrounded by parkland and greenery, so the children will all have immediate access to nature, which is great for overall wellbeing.”

One of the main reasons the family of five moved was so their three kids could have plenty of outdoor space to play—which they would not have had at KP.

“Regardless of whether this is a temporary or permanent move, it could be easy to make the transition from London by trying to replicate some of the grandeur of the larger palaces,” Smith said. “Having been used by several royals over the years, Adelaide Cottage has featured some quite opulent décor—including gilded dolphins on a ceiling! But I always think it is best to be sympathetic to the style of the building. This cottage was built in 1831 and has often been described as a relaxing retreat. By adding contemporary touches and using calming, earthy colors throughout, the family will be able to honor the heritage of the building while making it a comfortable and practical family home, one that feels like a retreat from busy royal duties and gives years of pleasure.”

The Wales family of five on the kids' first day of school at Lambrook

(Image credit: Getty)

Kate Duckworth, a trends and interior export, told The Daily Express “Yes, the four-bedroomed residence, Adelaide Cottage, may seem like a downgrade from the 20-room Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace. Nevertheless, the cottage will allow for greater privacy and independence compared to life in central London, whilst also remaining merely 25 miles away from the English capital. How the children will feel about the move is difficult to determine, however, the move to the smaller abode will allow for the family to have a ‘normal’ family life away from the tourism brought by Kensington Palace. It is also likely the children will enjoy the opportunity to play on the grounds without the watching eye of the public, which is something they were unable to do at Kensington Palace, whilst also being near to the vast grounds of Windsor Castle.”

In addition to Adelaide Cottage, the Walses have kept Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace and also have a country home, Anmer Hall, at Norfolk on the Sandringham Estate.

“We can assume that they do still intend on staying at their other homes when work or life needs them to,” Duckworth said. “Perhaps they will experience the ‘normal’ private life they anticipate from Adelaide Cottage and then decide they prefer the busy city or larger residences.” (Nine months in and no signs of that yet, seemingly.)

The Wales family of five at Easter service at St. George's Chapel

(Image credit: Getty)

William was raised between Kensington Palace (where his mother Princess Diana lived), Clarence House (home of his father, King Charles), and Highgrove House, his father’s country home.

“The Prince of Wales has lived the majority of his life in the public eye, taking residence at various homes that were widely attended by the public and heavily staffed,” Duckworth said. “It is likely that William will appreciate the chance to live closely with his family, with more privacy from onlookers than he would’ve had at Kensington Palace. Adelaide Cottage remains a grand home, despite its smaller size—the master bedroom once boasted a decorative ceiling of gilded dolphins. The prince has lived at Kensington Palace since he was a young boy, moving now and again but always finding himself back in its residence, therefore it is possible that he will once again embrace the move from this central destination within the capital.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.