Talk about brothers-in-arms.
Prince Harry is to move in next door to his brother Prince William shortly after his marriage to Meghan Markle, according to reports.
Harry, 33, is to take over Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace, which boasts an interconnecting door to Apartment 1A, better known as the home of Prince William and Kate Middleton and their ever expanding family.
“Apartment” is in fact something of a misnomer, since both apartments are enormous townhouses spread over some 20 rooms.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Harry and Meghan will move into their new apartment as soon as renovations on the property, which has until now been occupied by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, are completed.
The Gloucesters scored the apartment after their marriage in 1972, and it became their family home where they raised their three children.
Harry has spent the past few years living in a small self-contained house in the grounds of Kensington Palace known as Nottingham Cottage.
William also lived in the low-ceilinged “Not Cott” for several years before he was married (and indeed for a few months afterward) whilst Apartment 1A was renovated at vast expense.
Kensington Palace has long been known for accommodating a rotating cast of minor royals, and was formerly regarded very much as a consolation prize when it came to royal accommodation.
Indeed, one former king, Edward VII, referred to it as “the aunt heap.”
However William and Harry have revived the fortunes of Kensington Palace, to which they have a considerable emotional attachment not least because they grew up here, as their mother, Princess Diana, kept an apartment in the palace even after her divorce from Prince Charles.
According to the report in the Daily Mail, a line of fir trees has been planted to obscure the view of the garden of Apartment 1 from Kensington Palace Gardens, Britain’s most expensive street which adjoins the palace.
The young royals have made a concerted attempt to turn Kensington Palace into a power base, as Princess Eugenie also lives at Kensington Palace in Ivy Cottage, a three-bedroom property that was previously the family home of a palace employee.
The move to a bigger house is fueling speculation that Harry and Meghan, who has persuaded her intended to give up smoking and cut down on alcohol, hope to start a family soon after their wedding.
Harry and Meghan are also reportedly in line for another house in the country—it is said they will be handed York Cottage, in the grounds of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, by the queen.