With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge packing up from their Anmer Hall home to relocate their main base to London, Kensington Palace is starting to become a tad squishy.
Currently home to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the Cambridges along with Prince Harry who lives in Nottingham Cottage and Princess Eugenie and her boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank moving into Ivy Cottage later this year, the space needed for the staff alone is in high demand.
A planning application to Kensington and Chelsea Council last week is asking for a 50m-long basement to free up the palace suites which are currently the offices of around 100 working staff so that the staff of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will have a place to go.
The extra three floors of space will cover over 1,500 sq m, two below ground and one above underneath the Grade 1-listed Orangery. The expansion will also be home to ceremonial dresses from the Royal collection.
“The addition of a basement storey is required to allow for the accommodation of administration which must necessarily be moved out of rooms leased from the Royal Household in Kensington Palace.” reads the planning application sent in by Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which is the charity that takes care of Kensington Palace, along with the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace.
Kensington and Chelsea Council recently banned ‘iceberg’ basements in a new policy to prevent the spread in the borough.
However, the argument is being made that multi-level basements should be an “exception” when part of a “large site” according to The Telegraph. HRP has said that the basement would be less than 50% of the “wider garden area of the site”.
The proposed basement will be discussed by officials later in the year, but Kensington and Chelsea council would not comment on the matter until then.