Prince William and Kate Middleton are one of the world’s highest-profile couples, and members of what might actually be the world’s most famous family. So how do they maintain their privacy? The answer is simpler than you might think—even when there are strangers touring their home every day.
When Laura-Ann Barr went on a tour of Kensington Palace, which houses the offices and private apartment that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge use when they're in London, she spotted a simple trick the royals use to keep the public from seeing their private family garden. “I’m at the Kensington Palace tour,” Barr posted to her TikTok. “Look at the secret windows they have that make sure you can’t see into Kate & Will’s private garden to the right. They have it on all the windows in this room.”
In the video, you can see that while the windows look out onto palace grounds that are open to the public, there is also a walled garden to the right that is the private outdoor space of the Cambridges and their three children, Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3. The parts of the windows that would allow tourists to see into that garden are frosted over in a subtle way that isn’t visible from a distance, but up close is opaque enough to obscure the view.
Recently, a royal insider revealed Kate Middleton’s “top three mom rules,” which largely focus on the importance of spending time together as a family, especially exploring the outdoors. When she appeared on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast last year, the Duchess said she’s happiest when, “I’m with my family outside in the countryside and we’re all filthy dirty.”
“That’s what I would want them to remember, those moments with me as a mother, but also the family going to the beach, getting soaking wet, filling our boots full of water,” she added.
For Christmas this year, Princes George and Louis received camping gear as gifts, and Princess Charlotte received a kids’ video camera.
Though it’s called an apartment, William and Kate's London residence is really a four-story, 20-room space that’s connected to the rest of the palace, but is a largely separate home, the Sun reported. “It has 20 rooms from the basement to the attic, it is not a small house,” royal expert Christopher Warwick said. “All of these royal residences at Kensington Palace are called apartments, which of course makes people immediately think they are flats like the American term for an apartment. They are not.”
Warwick described the royal apartments at Kensington as “wonderful red brick terrace houses. Because they are all joined, but separate houses.”
The Cambridges’ apartment, 1A, was designed as living space for William and Mary in the 17th century.
Kensington Palace, originally built in 1605, became part of the royal holdings in 1689 and has historically been home to younger members of the royal family. Queen Victoria, England’s longest-reigning monarch until Queen Elizabeth surpassed Victoria’s 63-year reign, was born at Kensington and spent her childhood there.
In addition to the Cambridges, the palace also holds the London homes and offices of three of the Queen's first cousins and their wives: the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
On a tour, guests can view the King's State Apartments and the Queen's State Apartments, which have seen three centuries of royal history, and jewels that once belonged to Queen Victoria, as well as the public gardens.
Julie Tremaine is an award-winning food and travel writer who’s road tripping — and tasting — her way across the country. Her work appears in outlets like Vulture, Travel + Leisure, CNN Travel and Glamour, and she’s the Disneyland editor for SFGate. Read her work at Travel-Sip-Repeat.com.
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