Prince William and his new wife Catherine are scheduled to move into his childhood home of Kensington Palace – and Prince Harry will be be their neighbor.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 29, will move into Princess Margaret’s former apartment within Kensington Palace.
A $1.54 million renovation will soon begin at the four-story, 20-room Apartment 1A, which comes complete with its own private walled garden.
The couple are not expected to move in until mid to late 2013, once Prince William has completed his duties as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot in Anglesey, Wales.
“The apartment into which they are moving is currently managed by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is used for a number of purposes, including offices, classrooms and storage,” a Palace spokesman said.
“The extent of the work needed to turn the apartment back into a home is not yet known, but it is expected that the apartment will not be ready for occupation until at least the middle of 2013.”
The Palace described the apartments as unlivable and has asbestos, as well as poor wiring and plumbing.
Many of the rooms are still painted in pink and turquoise, Princess Margaret’s favorite colors, from when she lived in the palace after her wedding to Lord Snowdon in 1960.
It has not been lived in since the Queen’s sister died in 2002.
Public grants and contributions from the Royal Family’s own fortune will help cover the renovation costs.
The accommodation includes a dining room, drawing room, Lord Snowdon’s former study, Princess Margaret’s garden room, extensive staff quarters and a nursery – which could come in handy if the rumour mill of Catherine’s pregnancy proves true.
The Duke and Duchess currently divide their time between Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, and their small Anglesey house in remote seaside Wales.
Prince Harry is expected to move into the Kensington Palace cottage to be near his brother.
Their mother, the late Princess Diana, lived at Kensington Palace from 1981 until her death in 1997 and both Princes associate the Palace with the happy memories they have of her.
A source told Britain’s The Mail on Sunday: “William and Kate visited Apartment 1A and loved it.”
“Kate particularly adored the private walled garden because she loves gardening, and she just thought the house has so much potential. She also liked the fact it was so close to Kensington High Street.”
A spokesman for Historic Royal Palaces said they were “delighted” that the royal couple picked Kensington Palace as their permanent home.