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Bizarre reason Kate Middleton and Prince William's home became a royal residence

Kensington Palace was formerly known asNottingham House

Nichola Murphy

Prince William and Kate Middleton call Kensington Palace home after the Queen gave them the keys to Apartment 1A following their royal wedding in 2011. And although they are not the only royals to live within the walls of the impressive property, it has not always been a royal residence.

SEE: Kate Middleton and Prince William's London home is another scale of luxury - inside

Formerly known as Nottingham House, it was originally built in 1605 as a two-storey suburban villa located outside of London. But it was King William III and Queen Mary II who purchased Nottingham House in 1689 and transformed it into a palace.

The monarchs previously lived in Whitehall Palace which was located in the centre of the city and close to the River Thames. The smoke and damp were said to have been some of the reasons they wanted to move to their new home – which was also closer to their home at Hampton Court.

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According to Historic Royal Palaces, the King and Queen commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to help with the transformation before they moved in on Christmas Eve 1689. 

MORE: 7 things you didn't know about Prince William and Kate Middleton's home Kensington Palace

RELATED: Kate Middleton and Prince William's London mansion's unexpected former residents

It went on to become home to Queen Anne, Queen Caroline, Queen Victoria and more. In more recent years, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon lived in Apartment 10 and Apartment 1A, and Princess Diana and Prince Charles lived in combined Apartment 8 and 9 with sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

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King William III and Queen Mary II purchased Nottingham House, as it was formerly known, in 1689

Now, it acts as the main London base for Kate, William and their three children Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Kent who reside in Wren House, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent who are based in Apartment 10.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live in Apartment 1A with their three children

Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's home is described as an apartment, it is actually four-storey property with 20 rooms including five reception rooms, three main bedrooms, dressing rooms, a night and day nursery, and staff quarters. 

The family also have the added luxury of a second home in Norfolk, called Anmer Hall.

READ: Prince Harry's first marital home Nottingham Cottage – past royal residents revealed

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