A royal trend: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and multigenerational living

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have just announced their engagement, have been living in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. Who else lives there?

Kensington Palace has been home to the royal family since the 17th century, when it was bought by William III and his wife Mary for £20,000 (equivalent of £4.6m today) to replace their existing London residence, Whitehall Palace.

The palace was then improved by Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, and later by Queen Anne, who concentrated on overhauling the gardens and building an orangery. In the 19th century, the palace was split up into apartments housing a number of royals.

There are now six apartments there, home to the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who are all aged over 70 – a prime example of multigenerational living.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also live there in Apartment 1A, which they controversially renovated at a cost of around £4.5m.

Trendsetters

The royal situation is obviously somewhat different to most multigen homes – William and Kate’s ‘apartment’ contains 22 rooms, including two nurseries and three kitchens.

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed a 46% rise in the number of people living in multigenerational properties, as it becomes a more affordable option than renting privately or getting on the property ladder.

Like the palace, the trend for reconfiguring homes to adapt them for multigen living has also seen a rise, with an estimated 125,000 properties a year being converted.

One of the major benefits reported from living with multiple generations of a family, aside from the obvious financial perks, is the knowledge that can be gained by youngsters from living with older relatives. Around 21% of 18-24-year-olds still living at home said that they lacked the household skills their parents and grandparents had.

Maybe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will use their proximity to the older royal relatives to help them learn the basics of housekeeping?

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Kensington

A royal trend: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and multigenerational living

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