Adelaide Cottage - History and Facts | History Hit

Adelaide Cottage

Amy Irvine

04 May 2023
Image Credit: Caleb Robert Stanley (1795-1868) via Wikimedia Commons / Royal Collection

About Adelaide Cottage

Adelaide Cottage (formerly known as Adelaide Lodge) is a Grade II listed property located in Home Park, the 655-acre private Royal Park of Windsor Castle, in Windsor, Berkshire. The Cottage is just to the east of Windsor Castle, around half a mile’s walk from the castle itself, and is currently the principal residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, after they relocated there from Kensington Palace in September 2022.

History of Adelaide Cottage

Adelaide Cottage was rebuilt on the site of an old Head Keeper’s Lodge in 1831 in the picturesque style under the supervision of architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville, for the wife of King William IV – Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen – as a summer retreat. Building materials from Royal Lodge were used in its construction and many royal experts have described the cottage as one of the most “aesthetically pleasing” residences that make up the royal estate.

The property was often frequented by Queen Victoria who would take breakfast or tea in the grounds – so much so a private carriageway was created for her. Her beloved pet dog Dash is also buried on the grounds. Another famous resident was Group Captain Peter Townsend, who was equerry to George VI from 1944-1952 and famously had a love affair with Princess Margaret. He was given the property as a grace-and-favour residence in 1944, and reportedly referred to the cottage as an “icebox” as it only had two radiators.

The 4 bedroom cottage has been a grace-and-favour property since then, and before 2018, the cottage was home to Simon Rhodes, the son of Elizabeth II’s first cousin Margaret Rhodes.

The cottage underwent major renovations in 2015 with the historical architecture still intact. At one point the cottage had elaborate decorations, with the master bedroom still reportedly boasting a ceiling covered with gilded dolphins and a rope decoration originally from the 19th century yacht Royal George, as well as having a slate roof and a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

Adelaide Cottage today

In the summer of 2022, Adelaide Cottage became the home of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. At the time, it was a gift from the Queen, who had the sole decision over who resided there. The family pays market rent, and have also retained their other two residences; Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall in Norfolk.

The move was driven by William and Kate’s desire to give their children a more rural and private upbringing, away from living in the tourist attraction of Kensington Palace in London. The cottage is also closer to Princess Kate’s parents, brother and sister, and means George, Charlotte and Louis can attend school nearby together and live as normal a life as possible.

Getting to Adelaide Cottage

Adelaide Cottage is a private royal residence and as such as not open to visitors, but Windsor Castle is nearby and offers royal fans numerous exhibitions and tours.

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