Kensington Palace set to receive a swanky extension

Not only is the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, about to embark on a hunt for a new private secretary. She’s also going to be in need of some contractors.

Prince William and Kate are set to move into London’s historical Kensington Palace full-time later this year, but before they do, they want to channel their rich London neighbors and add a sprawling, two-story basement.

The basement application has actually been put forward by Historic Royal Palaces, the charity which looks after the state apartments at the palace, reports the Daily Mail. But rather than adding a pool or a movie theatre, the new underground levels — along with one above ground level — are intended to house around 100 members of staff working at the palace, as well as a ceremonial dress collection. The addition is planned to go next to the Orangery, an area of the palace built in 1704 for Queen Anne currently used as a restaurant for visitors.

Although one of many royal residences in London, Kensington Palace is not strictly residential. William and Kate’s home at the palace is apartment 1A, which reportedly has 22 rooms and two kitchens — more than £4.5 million ($5.5 million) has been spent on renovations to their spread. Prince Harry also lives on the grounds, in Nottingham Cottage.

Rich Londoners are such big fans of sprawling basement additions that the neighborhoods of Kensington and Chelsea now restrict “iceberg basements” at residential properties and banned them altogether at listed properties. We suspect this application might benefit from the royal connection though.

[Daily Mail]