Did I have a sixth sense as to the gender and future home of the new royal? When I wrote the caption, on June 11th, 2013, I inadvertently typed in ‘king.’ When I took this picture of Kensington Palace in November of 2011 it was under construction – but for who?
Now these questions have been answered. “It’s a boy!” George Alexander Louis. The construction I witnessed was and is on the new digs for Will, Kate and George. They will be taking over the 21-room ‘apartment’ previously occupied by the late Princess Margaret. Apparently construction must not be completed, as after only one night spent in Kensington Palace, the new family headed off to spend time in Bucklebury to stay with Kate’s parents.
According to Wikipedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensington_Palace), Kensington Palace is also home to several sets of royals. Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Prince Harry. I love how Will and Kate’s part of the palace is called an ‘apartment.’ In the US, when we talk about an apartment it’s usually inclusive of maybe one to four or five rooms. And I am guessing there is no sharing of common hallways for its occupants, only separate wings. No need for the sixty-somethings Duchess of Gloucester or Princess Michael of Kent to be disturbed by the late night comings and goings of twenty-something Prince Harry.
Ah, the life of the royals. England, above all other countries, has worked hard and succeeded at keeping their monarchy not only alive and well, but vibrant. Will & Kate are bringing this monarchy into the 21st century, and will make it a monarchy not only for the people, but like the people. Breaking down those old traditional royal barriers: Will changing a diaper, putting the baby in the car seat and into the car, and then actually driving his new family home to their quaint, new humble house. Okay quaint and humble it is not – and with the history of Kensington Palace and it’s past occupants it is not new. It where William and Harry grew up. But it is new for the newest Windsor family.
Will and Kate stopped at being ‘new age’ when it came to choosing a name for baby Cambridge. Here they adhered to classic royal traditional names, all with ties to a royal family. George – Queen Elizabeth‘s father’s name; Alexander – a possible tie to the Queen’s second name of Alexandra; Louis – in honor of Lord Mountbatten, uncle to Prince Philip and mentor to Prince Charles.
Most assuredly one of the first treks out into the streets of London for the new royal family will be to visit the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain. Diana would be so proud of the man Will has become, the wife he married, and the son they have produced – albeit I think she would feel way too young to be a granny.
In the years to come, Prince George will have no lack of tactile stimulation living in the heart of London (not to mention his trips to their country homes and a busy travel schedule.)
Watching the water fowl playing at Round Pond, which sits in front of Kensington Palace. The pond was created in 1730, by Prince George the II. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_Pond_(London))
Or become more cultured by attending one of many events at Royal Albert Hall – from concerts to plays to sporting events.
Or get a bird’s-eye view of his royal constituents from atop the Ferris Wheel at Hyde Park.
Or take in the sights, sounds and smells strolling down the curved and decorated Regent Street during the holidays.
And of course, there will be plenty of visits to spend time with Great Grandma Elizabeth, Queen of England, who will be sure to give her great-grandson the traditional direction needed for the future King of England.
These ‘new age’ royals may be putting the monarchy in touch with the common folk, but that only seems to enhance the intrigue of the royal family to commoners around the world. There were only two camera crews when Prince Charles and Princess Diana departed the hospital with Prince William. When Will and Kate, took then baby Cambridge home, from the same hospital, there were apparently 186 camera crews from a multitude of nations, 5 from Poland alone. (CNN)
I for one will be watching in the years to come for any royal news, as it is certainly a refreshing reprieve from all of the devastating, despicable and depressing news which generally fills the 24-hour news stations.
Where we stayed and drank: The Dukes Hotel, http://www.dukeshotel.com, 35-36 St James’s Place London, Greater London SW1A 1NY, United Kingdom, +44 20 7491 4840. $$$ The location can’t be beat. We stayed for 4 days and only took a taxi twice – to dinner. A block and a half from Clarence House (where Prince Charles lives), and about three blocks from Buckingham palace. Walked to Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, three blocks off Piccadilly Street. Rooms are nice, roomy, but nothing special. It is a boutique hotel, that sits off a back alley. BUT – the Dukes Bar is a must visit! Known for it’s specialty martinis mixed table side – it is an experience not to be missed. Website says no reservations, but we went for three nights in a row to this packed to standing room only bar and called ahead to reserve the coveted window table, which we were only able to acquire one of the three nights.