The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may occupy only one of Kensington Palace’s apartments, but that doesn’t mean their home renovations are budget-friendly.
According to reports, Prince William and his wife of three years, Kate Middleton, both 32, have spent an estimated total of $6.6 million on refurbishing their four-story abode of some 20 rooms. While British taxpayers (via The Sovereign Grant) already shelled out $1.6 million for the renovations in 2013, new reports confirm the number has significantly grown — an increase which is said to be explained in an official report to be released Wednesday.
“This is the duke and duchess’ one and only official residence,” a spokesperson for the royal couple explained, adding, “It is here that they plan to stay for many, many years to come.”
Despite the refurbishment’s noticeable budget increase, a spokesperson for the royal family claims that the London home’s renovation costs were not reckless, saying the couple was "at pains to ensure that the specification is not extravagant.”
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While Middleton (rumored to be pregnant with their second child) has been spotted busy shopping for home décor in recent months, a majority of the couple’s new furnishings is said to be provided by William’s father, the next in line to the throne, Prince Charles of Wales, 65.
According to a report from People magazine, renovations to the home’s kitchen and the nurseries were necessary due to the recent discovery of asbestos. A new roof, as well as modernized wiring and plumbing, were also reportedly required updates as the building was last overhauled in 1963. “Because it is a historic building, stringent guidelines must be adhered to in the renovations,” reads the report.
In November, Us Weekly reported that the apartment had been fitted to include encrypted Wi-Fi capabilities, central air and a "panic room."
The duke and duchess moved into their home, also known as Apartment 1A, in October 2013. The abode reportedly features five reception rooms, three bedrooms and three bathrooms, a night and day nursery for HRH Prince George (now 11 months old), staff bedrooms and “ancillary rooms.”