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Removal vans spotted at Kensington Palace as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester prepare to downsize

The Queen's cousin and his wife were previously neighbours with William and Kate

Danielle Stacey

There's been lots of change within the grounds of Kensington Palace over the past couple of years and removal vans have been spotted on site once again this week, as two senior members of the royal family prepare to relocate. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are moving out of Apartment 1 and are set to downsize to a smaller residence, the Old Stables, also located within the ground of Kensington Palace.

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The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at Lady Gabriella Windsor's wedding

The Queen's cousin Prince Richard, 75, and his Danish-born wife Birgitte, 73, moved into the mansion after their wedding in 1972. Their three children Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina Windsor and Lady Rose Gilman are all grown up and have long flown the nest, so it's only natural that the couple are downsizing.

Apartment 1 was previously occupied by Princess Marina, the widow of Prince George, Duke of Kent, who died in a plane crash in 1942. She lived at the residence up until her death from a brain tumour in 1968.

MORE: Prince Harry says Africa was his escape after Princess Diana's death

The house boasts 21 rooms and is next to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's 20-room home Apartment 1A. Before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, it was widely speculated that they would end up living next door to William and Kate. Harry and Meghan previously resided at the nearby two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage.

Royal accounts previously revealed that refurbishment for the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester's new home, the Old Stables, would cost £400,000. According to the report: "The scheme allows for the complete refurbishment of the property including the old and failing mechanical and electrical systems. The project commenced in January 2019 and is due for completion in summer 2019."

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