Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to move to Kensington Palace in the fall—but apparently their soon-to-be new digs are already a bit too cramped. And what do you do when your 400-year-old palace is too cozy for comfort? You build a massive, two-story basement extension, that's what.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their two children—Prince George and Princess Charlotte—have plans to move from Amner Hall in Norfolk to Kensington Palace before Prince George starts his schooling this autumn. In anticipation of the move, officials from Historic Royal Palaces have recently put forth a proposal to build a three-story (with two stories underground) extension to the palace's Orangery, according to the Daily Mail.
The almost 5,000-square-foot expansion is designed to "free up the palace suites for the Royal Family" and move both the palace staff and the ceremonial dress collection underground. "The addition of a basement story is required to allow for the accommodation of administration which must necessarily be moved out of rooms leased from the Royal Household in Kensington Palace," the application reads. The basement extension will feature light wells to allow both light and air to flow in and will join the 22 rooms and two kitchens that Prince William and Middleton will be occupying in Kensington Palace.
"Iceberg basements"—another name for these luxury, underground extensions—have become a popular method for the super-wealthy in London to gain more square footage in recent years, due to both the scarcity of open land and building codes that restrict how high owners can build. But new policies have sought to put a stop to these cavernous expansions, as their construction (which involves extensive drilling and excavating) is highly disruptive, according to the Daily Mail. It appears as though an exception will be made for the royals' basement plans, however—this is Will and Kate we're talking about here.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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