For most couples, choosing a first apartment means sharing a 300 square-feet cramped studio flat that really puts a relationship to the test. For Kate Middleton and Price William, it means choosing apartment 1A of Kensington Palace as their first royal digs.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen the apartment, rather sub-castle formerly home to the late Princess Margaret, as their first home. However their soon-to-be royal digs, complete with 20 rooms and a private garden, present a royal pain: remodeling which must be fit for a queen.
Lying within the palace grounds, the apartment was last renovated in the 1960's. According to The Daily Mail, £1 million will be spent to remodel the apartment which Will and Kate will move into in 2013 upon its completion.
The extent of the work needed to turn the apartment back into a home is not yet known, but it is expected that it will not be ready for occupation until at least the middle of 2013, a palace spokesperson said.
Renovations are set to include everything from new plumbing, rewiring electrics and removing asbestos, along with redecorating the rooms, mostly pink and blue. The renovations will be funded partly by public grants, partly from the royal checkbook.
One snag: Renovations will not begin until September 2012, as apartment 1A was opening to the public since 2004. The apartment is currently managed by Historic Royal Palaces, a charity which runs tours and uses the apartment for offices, classrooms and storage.
A spokesman for Historic Royal Palaces said they were delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen Kensington Palace as their permanent home.
Thanks to the Queen's lobbying efforts to get the apartment back in the hands of the royal family, William and Kate will move in following the exhibition and extensive renovations.
The move will suit the newlyweds well, as other options included apartments 8 and 9 where William grew up with his brother and parents Charles and the late Diana until 1998. However, many sources claimed Kate was not comfortable to live in the home and did not like its lack of private gardens.
Currently, William and Kate reside at both Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom home at Kensington Palace nicknamed Nott Cott with a small garden, and their Anglesey residence. Prince Harry, who currently lives in the Clarence House, will move into Nottingham Cottage once WillCat moves into apartment 1A.
Once home to Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, apartment 1A at Kensington Palace was a true happening after the royal couple moved in in the 1960's. According to The Daily Mail, it was not uncommon to rub elbows with greats like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Vidal Sassoon during parties in 1A.
In 2013 after renovations are complete, four-story, 20-room apartment 1A will become the home to Kate Middleton and Price William complete with a dining room, drawing room, Lord Snowdon's former study, Princess Margaret's garden room, extensive staff quarters and a nursery, perhaps for that royal baby we're all hoping for...