It was once the spot where the young princes William and Harry played and lived with their mother Princess Diana and father Charles. Now Apartment 8 in Kensington Palace has been renovated to act as the new HQ for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's charity work.
The area of the palace has long been in the family for Harry and William, as it remained the home of their mother once Diana was divorced from Charles back in 1996. After a two-year renovation it is to become the business hub for Kate, William and Harry – 'the trio' as they are often referred to.
The Duke and Duchess have already taken up residence in Apartment 1A of Kensington Palace, a 20-room home which is set to become their permanent base despite residing in Anmer Hall for the past three years. The ten bedroom Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk was given to them as a wedding gift from the Queen in 2011, however work commitments have meant they spent more time at the West London palace apartment.
The 1A apartment also received a £4.5m facelift in 2011, so it would make sense to retain the property as their permanent home if they will be working in Apartment 8. The couple have already held many engagements at the London address, including hosting Barack and Michelle Obama with Harry back in April. The apartment also used to be the home of the Queen's sister Princess Margaret, from the 1960s onward.
'It makes total sense,' Royal author Ingrid Seward told The Daily Mail. 'They have two lovely new reception rooms which are great spaces for them to have meetings and officially entertain. One of the rooms was the drawing room which overlooks the rose garden and outside courtyard and was at one time connected to the dining room. The other room was a TV and sitting room.'
'You can understand why the boys wanted to take the rooms on. I imagine it's a way of them keeping Diana's memory alive.'
The need to relocate to Apartment 8 in London is more in need than ever as the Queen has already turned over some of her charities to William, who was also sworn into the Privy Council – the Queen's most senior advisory board – earlier this month. It is all too fitting that this charity work will be based in the home of their mother who dedicated her life to charitable causes also.
William and Kate have already started work in the rooms with the Duke meeting with Attitude magazine and members of the LGBT+ community in the recently refurbished state rooms to discuss the mental health implications of sexuality and gender-based bullying.
Kate Middleton guest edited the UK edition of The Huffington Post in the 'News Room' in Apartment 8, in February, to support the launch of the website's mental health initiative 'Young Minds Matter'.
The work that 'the trio' have already done to promote Mental Health will be continued from the Kensington Palace offices, which will act as their permanent base.
The building itself was built in around 1605 as 'Nottingham House', which was then was purchased by William III and Mary II in 1689 for £20,000. The building was remodelled by the architect Christopher Wren, who also designed St Paul's cathedral, into the model we see today.