Royal infant on the way, but housing unclear
In this Tuesday, April 30, 2013 photo, Lucinda Croft, the managing director of Dragons, a small British family business that was also tapped to design nurseries for British royals, poses for the photographer as she showcases a hotel nursery suite at a central London hotel. Britain's Prince William and Kate, formally known as the Duchess of Cambridge, plan to move into apartments at London’s Kensington Palace soon after the baby is born in July. Few will ever get a glimpse inside the room where the future British monarch will grow up, but the designers hired by late Princess Diana to create her sons' William and Harry’s nursery at the palace can offer some expert hints.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LONDON (AP) — Is it a boy? A girl? Prince William and the former Kate Middleton aren't telling, and palace officials are not revealing where the royal baby will spend its first few months, since renovation of their future home at Kensington Palace is taking longer than expected.
William's tour of duty as a search-and-rescue pilot in Wales is scheduled to wrap up around September, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as the pair is formally known, are preparing to move from an isolated cottage on a Welsh island to new digs at Kensington Palace in central London.
But the timing isn't quite right. Major refurbishment works at the palace likely won't be finished until at least a month or two after the infant is born. The baby (and future monarch) is due in July.
A major relocation can complicate things for any young parents-to-be, and William and Kate are no exception, despite their wealth and prestige.
The couple's chosen quarters at the palace have fallen into disrepair since its former occupant, Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died in 2002. Workers are still upgrading it and getting rid of an asbestos problem.
FILE - This is a Friday, April 26, 2013 file photo of Britain's Kate the Duchess of Cambridge arrives with her husband Prince William, not pictured and his brother Prince Harry, rear right, to attend the inauguration of "Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden" near Watford, approximately 18 miles north west of central London. s it a boy? A girl? As the due date for Prince William and the former Kate Middleton's first child nears, observers are also asking: Where will the royal baby spend its first few months? The world won’t know the gender of the baby until it's born in July _ and the answer to the second question isn't as straightforward as one might think. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool, FILE)
That means that once the infant arrives, William and Kate will most likely have to make do with their current temporary home in London, a smaller two-bedroom property also at Kensington Palace.
They could, in theory, bring the baby back to their cottage in Wales, although that seems farfetched, given that it's 280 miles (450 kilometers) from London, where the duchess is expected to give birth.
Palace officials will not comment, saying where the royal couple chooses to stay is a private matter.
Wherever that may be, come autumn the new family will be able to move into their permanent London home, Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace. The name is misleading: The property is actually a four-story house with a nursery, 20 rooms and a private garden.
So what will the royal nursery look like? While few will ever get a glimpse inside the room where the future monarch will grow up, design experts are offering some suggestions based on experience.