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Renovations begin on Prince William and Kate Middleton's summer retreat

24 SEPTEMBER 2013 Prince William and Kate Middleton are one step closer to being able to move into their summer home with Prince George. Renovation work has begun on Amner Hall, a ten-bedroom Georgian mansion on the Queen's Sandringham estate.

Builders have already removed top soil from a field to make a new driveway – just one of several improvements designed to provide greater security and privacy for the couple and their baby boy.

 

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Archeologists have also moved in to assess whether there is anything of historical significance in the area which has been earmarked for the new driveway.

The team have uncovered what appears to be part of a stone wall, though it's not known exactly what it is or from which period it dates.

Planning permission was granted in March for renovations to the property including the addition of a 16ft by 16ft garden room adjoining the kitchen. A patio area will also be shaded by stone columns with oak beams, and a car park will be built on a front lawn.

The hall's former tenant of 13 years, company director James Everett, is understood to have already left with his family.

 



As owner of the home, the Queen will likely be paying for the improvements. It is one of 150 properties situated on the monarch's's 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate, and is only two miles east of Sandringham House, where the royal family gather every Christmas. It was leased to the Duke and Duchess of Kent as their country house from 1972 until 1990.

Speculation is now mounting that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be able to move in with George in a matter of months.

Their primary residence with be their new A1 apartment at London's Kensington Palace, which has been undergoing extensive refurbishments to be ready for them within the next few weeks.

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