Prince William and Kate Middleton will throw open part of their Kensington Palace home for children to learn about the royal family in new education centre
- Plans submitted for an extension to the Grade-I listed Queen Anne’s Orangery
- The 323-year-old Orangery will be open for children to learn about the Royals
- Queen Anne had the Orangery originally built to protect her citrus trees in winter
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to throw open part of their Kensington Palace home for schoolchildren to learn about the Royal family.
Prince William and Kate Middleton hope to use the 323-year-old Grade I-listed Queen Anne’s Orangery as a base for educating young pupils on Britain’s royal heritage.
Plans have been submitted to build the education centre at Kensington Palace, where a two-floor extension to the Orangery will allow enough space for a lunch and afternoon tea restaurant, catering facilities and an outdoor terrace.
Prince William and Kate Middleton hope to use the 323-year-old Grade I-listed Queen Anne’s Orangery as a base for educating young pupils on Britain’s royal heritage
Plans have been submitted to build the education centre at Kensington Palace, where a two-floor extension to the Orangery will allow enough space for a lunch and afternoon tea restaurant, catering facilities and an outdoor terrace
A new garden will also be created linking the Orangery – which was originally built to protect Queen Anne’s citrus trees in winter – to the Cambridges’ home.
A royal source, said: ‘Education is a very important thing and they want to be able to teach younger children about the monarchy.
‘William and Kate are very much the idol royals and having the new centre here will be the perfect backdrop for students to learn.
‘They are trying to give out a positive message through this project, they are widely appreciated in society.’
The project is being covered by private donations and reserves from Historic Royal Palaces.
A Historic Royal Palaces spokesman, said: ‘Our exciting new plans for the Kensington Palace Orangery Learning Centre, provide us with a light and spacious purpose-built education facility designed to meet the needs of our school and community groups.
‘It will also house new catering and toilet facilities for the popular Orangery restaurant, alongside offices to support our events team who regularly work in the building.
‘As part of this project, we are undertaking vital conservation work which we hope will shed new light on the building’s fascinating past, as well as creating a new garden linking the Orangery to the palace for visitors and park users alike to enjoy.’
Within planning documents, Sue Foster, director of planning and place, said the learning centre would provide teaching spaces ‘in a child safe and secure environment’.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with two of their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte
The Royal Household and Historic Royal Palaces say they typically engage students through exploration, debate, drama and creativity.
It’s education programme, they say, will allow students to explore the palace and learn through a ‘history where it happened’ initiative.
Teaching will include how the monarchy has changed over the past 1,000 years and how royal traditions which have evolved over time.
It comes after the royals came under fire after lodging plans to build a mega-basement containing office space for employees of Historic Royal Palaces and the Queen’s Dress Collection.
There were 18 objections to the plans, which infuriated a number of locals, but the proposals eventually got the go ahead in September.
The row centred around the size of the proposed basement at the Orangery which locals claimed the council’s own policy, known as CL7, which prohibits double level basements.
However, at the time, the council said it was designed to address the over-development of residential properties in densely built-up areas, something that doesn’t apply to Kensington Palace, which is calls it a ‘unique site in many respects’.
The Orangery was built in 1704-05 for Mary’s younger sister, Anne, who became Queen when William died.
Anne also used the Orangery at Kensington Palace for entertaining and parties.