Kensington Palace Is All the Rage

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Inside William and Kate’s sitting room in Kensington Palace

Rumor has it that Prince Harry is trying to move into a new apartment in Kensington Palace with, you guessed it, his girlfriend of several months, Meghan Markle. Harry currently lives in Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom residence on Palace grounds on the small-side (relatively speaking). Naturally, this has added fuel to fire that an engagement will be announced later this year, with most speculative dates falling  in July and August.

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Image via the Daily Mail

It’s unclear exactly which resident within KP will go to Harry should he move. Some are saying it may be the late Princess of Wales’s former apartments, which, of course, was the childhood home of Harry and the Duke of Cambridge. Since then it’s been used as a mix of storage and administrative offices.

Other options are the residences of the Queen’s cousins, the Duke and Duchess of Kent or the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester – smaller suites of rooms, but still large enough that they would make perfectly nice homes for Harry’s future family. Reportedly both couples offered to move out when William’s engagement was announced in 2010, but the couple ended up taking over Princess Margaret’s former apartments, the largest in the Palace

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William and Harry with Diana in Kensington Palace

But all told, KP is in the middle of quite the come back, with William and Kate set to move back full time in September. An elaborate addition of office space and storage is planned to help open up resident space and still accommodate staff working out of the Palace. And even the Duke of York’s daughter, Princess Eugenie has made the Palace her home, moving in last summer to a three-bedroom residence, Ivy Cottage – there’s some whispering that she, too, is looking to move to larger apartments if and when her engagement to long-time boyfriend Jack Brooksbank is announced.

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Meghan in London, via Instagram

So, why does this matter? Well, it’s interesting to consider that Kensington Palace will essentially become the home base for the younger generation of royals. KP has a rather unfashionable history, usually housing minor family members (with the exception of Diana and Margaret) who still carry out engagements on behalf of the Queen, but aren’t particularly “famous” as compared with their more senior counterparts. More bluntly, several generations now have referred to it as the “Aunt heap.” It’s come a long way since the 17th century when the William III and Queen Anne used it as one of their favored palaces.

Now, as for Harry and Meghan and these engagement rumors – it’s impossible to say with certainty whether an announcement is imminent or whether this is all just wishful thinking, but certainly Harry has given strong indications that this relationship is not only serious, but in a league of its own. His two former serious girlfriends (that we know about), Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, never prompted a public statement from Harry, and there was certainly fewer signs of domesticity. In a relatively short span of time (less than a year), all signs point to this relationship growing more serious and not less.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if an engagement was announced this summer with a wedding planned for the autumn. For that matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if one came sooner than that. Either way, London is going to be even more bustling with the young Royals by the fall.

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