The new home of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton is linked to an affair that shook the British monarchy in the 1950s. The couple and their three children left their facilities at Kensington Palace, in London, to live in Adelaide Cottage, a property installed on the grounds of Windsor Palace, located 35 km from the English capital.
The move has attracted attention because it is a “modest” new home for royal standards. With “only” four bedrooms, the property was built in 1831, as a leisure home for Queen Adelaide (1792-1849), wife of King William IV (1765-1837). However, he is in the British imagination for having accommodated an affair of another member of the Royal Family.
For years, Adelaide Cottage was home to Peter Townsend (1914-1995) and his family. Townsend was a groom for King George VI (1895-1952) between 1944 and 1952, and then for Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to 1953. As a groom, he was the member of the court responsible for looking after the horse used by the monarch in his appearances public.
He was already a divorced man when he began his brief relationship with Princess Margaret (1930-2002), younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, in the early 1950s. The romance was controversial at the time due to the fact that Townsend was divorced. The princess even asked her older sister for permission to marry her boyfriend, but the queen and her advisers chose to send him to a diplomatic post in Belgium.
The affair between Margaret and Townsend was portrayed in the series ‘The Crown’, with the princess being portrayed by actress Vanessa Kirby and her lover by actor Ben Miles.
One of the expectations with William’s move is that it will ease the criticism of excessive spending by British royalty. Among the novelties of the family’s routine in the new house is the absence of a full-time nanny for the children, living with the family in the property, as was the case in their apartment in London.
In the new neighborhood, William and Middleton will live close to famous friends such as actor George Clooney, singer Elton John and actress Anna Friel. With the move, Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend a new school, the Lambrook School.
The two will be students on the morning shift at Lambrook, with classes every Saturday. The institution’s quarter costs £7,000 (R$44,240) per student, with an extra £1,400 (R$8,800) for resident students who sleep on site. The school accepts both boys and girls.