Just in time for the birth of their second child, Prince William and Kate Middleton have finally completed nearly two years of renovations on their new country home, Anmer Hall.
Located on Queen Elizabeth’s 20,000-acre Sandringham estate on the East Coast of England, the 10-bedroom residence is now the perfect place for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to bring up Prince George and his new little brother or sister. Not long after the royal baby is born, the young royals are expected to head to the Norfolk mansion, which has all the comfort and privacy they need to adjust to becoming a family of four.
An estimated $2.3 million has been spent to upgrade Anmer Hall to the home of Kate's dreams Photo: Getty Images
With her eye for interiors, Kate has overseen the estimated £1.5 million, approximately $2.3 million, refurbishment, along with the help of experts, making sure to respect the building's late Georgian architecture and surrounding landscape. Architect Charles Morris, who has worked with Prince Charles, designed a new garden room and re-routed the driveway to create a larger parking area.
The inside was decorated with help from in-demand designer Ben Pentreath, who has previously worked for Kate’s father in-law Prince Charles, as well as actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler.
Ben has a love for classic country houses, but isn't afraid to bring them up to date with a splash of color and some bright wallpaper. The 43-year-old designer is known for mixing antique furniture with modern accessories, and has reportedly encouraged Kate to step out of her comfort zone.
Kate has opted for bold, modern interiors as well as adding a new kitchen and garden room Photo: Getty Images
While parts of the house, including George's nursery and the drawing room, are traditional and classic, the other areas reflect this bold new approach. For instance, Kate had the dining room painted jewel green. She also had a new, child-friendly kitchen installed.
Designer Anne Allen has also been involved in the project and has been spotted discreetly shopping for pieces with Kate in the nearby towns of Fakenham and Holt. Residents have become used to watching the young mother pop in and out of local stores.
The royal couple is often seen around their tiny village, which is so small that it doesn't even have a pub. Left largely to themselves by the locals, the Duke cycles along country lanes and the couple dines together in pubs around the area.
Peace and quiet, out of the public eye, and together with their family is vital to William and Kate. Luckily they already have a small circle of friends in the area, including Prince George's godfather William van Cutsem and his wife Rosie.
Friends such as William van Cutsem and his wife Rosie live nearby Photo: Getty Images
Anmer Hall is also well-located for William’s job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service, which operates out of two airports, both within 50 miles of the house. William is expected to return to his job on June 1, after taking off for six weeks through a mixture of paternity leave and unpaid leave. When he finishes his training, the pilot prince will begin operational shifts, attending emergencies across the region.
Although caring for a small baby, while your husband has such a demanding job is not ideal, Kate's life is organized enough for her to cope with the challenge. She will have the help of the family's Spanish super-nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. Her mother, Carole Middleton, with whom Kate is very close, will also lend a hand when needed.
Kate at an East Anglia Children's Hospice event in Norfolknear Anmer Hall Photo: Getty Images
To help with the housework, the royals are in the process of hiring a new housekeeper. Their advert for a new member of staff appeared in the magazine The Lady, stating: "discretion and loyalty is paramount." Duties were listed as "the preparation of meals, assisting with childcare and caring for the dogs," giving an insight into the inner workings of their busy home.
At Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess are no doubt hoping to give Prince George and his new sibling an outdoorsy childhood, with plenty of space to run around with the family’s cocker spaniel Lupo, and where they can bring them up as happy, grounded individuals.
Read the full story in this week's HELLO! magazine, available via digital download or on Friday at all Barnes & Noble stores and selected newsstands.