Adelaide Cottage – the Cambridges’ new home

The house was originally built for William IV's wife, Queen Adelaide in 1831

Kensington Palace announced Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte are to attend a new school in Berkshire, meaning the family will be moving out of central London. 

But where are the Cambridge family set to live? The property in question is Adelaide Cottage on close to Windsor Castle, located in Windsor Great Park.

Adelaide Cottage, photographed c.1877, will become The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new residence. Note the AR and 1831 on the front wall (Adelaide Regina) (RCT).

The cottage is set in a corner of the Home Park on the Windsor Estate. It sits next to the Queen Victoria’s Walk, which runs from Windsor Castle through the Home Park. 

The family’s new cottage is closer to Windsor Castle, the main residence of The Queen since the pandemic after isolating there with her late husband, The Duke of Edinburgh. 

It was originally built in 1831 as a day retreat for William IV’s wife, Queen Adelaide. The cottage was seen as a day retreat for the couple.

Adelaide Cottage was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide near to Windsor Castle. (Wikimedia Commons)

During Queen Victoria’s reign, it became an idyllic, upscale guesthouse, holding a similar reputation to Frogmore Cottage. It also became a popular destination for breakfast or tea for Queen Victoria. 

In 1941, Adelaide Cottage became a ‘grace and favour’ home, a royal property which is given to Royal Family members or staff, usually at a heavily discounted rate or sometimes without charge.

One of the first occupants of Adelaide Cottage was Group Captain Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret’s one-time fiancé. Their relationship caused a scandal when it was revealed to the public. Townsend lived there with his family until 1952.

Peter Townsend used to live in the Cottage. (RCT)

At the time, power was delivered along cables running from Windsor Castle, but the current was poor so it could only support a vacuum cleaner and a small electric heater at any one time…!

Writing in his memoir, Townsend said ‘it was a generous gesture for which I felt deeply grateful, despite the limited amenities of the house.’

He described the home as an ‘icebox’ in the winter, as it had only two radiators: ‘In the drawing room, surrounded by French windows, it was sometimes necessary to wrap up in an overcoat and scarf.’

Adelaide Cottage. (RCT)

Since then the cottage has been home to many individuals, including Simon Rhodes, son of The Queen’s cousin and close friend, Margaret Rhodes, who died in 2016.

Adelaide received several upgrades in 1955, after Townsend moved out. The cottage underwent a renovation in 2015 and today is a four-bedroom family home – with a touch of royal glitz of course. According to reports, the house has elaborate decorations such as a ceiling covered with gilded dolphins and a rope decoration. It also has a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

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