Since meeting and falling in love, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have set up homes in St Andrews, Anglesey and London, creating cozy quarters away from the royal spotlight that follows them wherever they go.
And now it’s reported that Prince William and Kate could be upping sticks and moving their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis out of the capital and to Windsor.
The beautiful city is the Queen’s new permanent home and the location of William’s old school, Eton, which will be a top choice for George to attend in a few years time.
But what would day-to-day life be like for the Cambridge family if they say goodbye to Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A and set up home in Windsor?
The Mirror spent the day visiting the town and chatting to locals to find out how they’d be welcomed by the community and what family activities they could get up to – and it’s unlikely they’d ever be bored.
KENSINGTON PALACE/AFP via Getty)
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Despite visiting on a chilly, dreary day, the beauty of the town is striking from the minute you step off the train at Windsor and Eton Central Station.
Walking out of the station, the grand fortress of Windsor Castle looms above, reminding you instantly that you’re in the presence of royalty.
But there’s nothing daunting about this quaint town, where the locals are welcoming and kind – and would make excellent neighbors for William and Kate.
After just minutes strolling around the cobbled streets, it’s clear the couple and their three young kids wouldn’t be short of things to do.
Just seconds away from the grounds of the Castle on Church Street, Ellie is putting out tables and chairs at Fortescue’s Gelato.
The 17-year-old has been working at the ice cream parlor for just under a year and knows Windsor really well.
“Everyone on this street is really friendly, it’s a bit like a family,” she tells The Mirror.
“We all speak a lot and everyone gets discounts.”
Would William and Kate be offered such discounts at nearby businesses if they were to become locals?
“Of course!” Ellie says.
She reckons if The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moved to Windsor it would bring significantly more tourism to the area.
“People came last year because Prince Philip [died] and now it’s more that they come for the guard changes and to visit the castle, but they’d definitely bring more people in,” she says.
Just a few doors down from Fortescues is a charming souvenir shop called House of Gifts, run by Muthucumarasamy Kesavan.
The shelves of his shop are covered with commemorative plates, magnets, keyrings and tea towels imprinted with the faces of The Royal Family, but he says business is only just picking up post-pandemic.
“I’ve been here since 2001 but this is one of the oldest businesses [in Windsor]. It’s been here since the 1950s,” he says.
Despite being a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle, he’s not sure if The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make a difference to his business.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
“People like William,” he says. “But I’m not sure it’ll do much from a business side.”
Although he doesn’t live in Windsor, he knows it like the back of his hand after working there for more than two decades.
“It’s not a cheap area to live in and not everybody could afford it,” he says.
“But Windsor has changed a bit from a few years back. I’d say it was 100% safe in the past.”
He adds: “In the last three to five years things have changed – we’re hearing bad news. Not like London or anything, but things have changed.”
Mr Kesavan added he thought there was more crime in the area now than there has been in his 20 years working there.
For parents with young kids, he reckons it’s a great place to raise a family.
AFP via Getty Images)
He says: “We’ve got so many parks around us – and Legoland isn’t far from here.
“But when it comes to The Royals, they have their own set up – so I don’t think they’re going to go to Legoland.”
With a view of the fortress on Windsor High Street is The Castle Hotel, where general manager Sam Goss has worked for several years.
He reckons having Kate and William around the corner can “only enhance” tourism in the area.
“It would be brilliant – they’d have some great neighbours,” he says, adding he hoped they would pop in for their Jubilee themed afternoon tea.
As for what life is like for kids in Windsor, dad-of-two Sam says it’s a “great area.”
“I class myself as a big child,” he jokes, adding Legoland is the top place to visit.
“You’ve got the River Thames here where you can see the boats and try canoeing or paddleboarding,” he says.
The little ones can also feed the ducks and swans with special food – and there’s also plenty of wildlife in local parks.
As the ceremonial wardens line the streets for the changing of the guard, which happens every day apart from Sunday, they stop to tell us why they love Windsor.
Stan Stewart says: “We’re involved with Thames Valley Police during guard changes, state occasions, special occasions and we marshal the public.
“We’re hopefully the face of Windsor.”
His colleague Tony Hutton, who began volunteering because he needed something to do in retirement, says Windsor is a great place to be.
Gesturing towards the castle, he jokes “the neighbors are so noisy, though.”
He thinks Kate and William would be well placed to raise their family in the area.
“They’ve got their own golf course, their own cricket club,” he said.
Stan added the schools in the area are “exceptional” – with the prestigious Eton College just down the road.
While it’s been rumored that Prince Louis’s favorite snack is beetroot, his parents could treat him and his siblings to freshly-made, indulgent fudge at the Fudge Kitchen on the High Street.
Sian Holt, who runs the shop, says Prince William and Harry visited back when they were pupils at Eton and were given plenty of free samples.
“We do get the shop full of all the Eton boys,” she says.
If the kids are lucky, they might even get to see the fudge being made at the back of the shop where staff member Dane walks you through the process.
Heading back towards the station, The Mirror pops into a pub aptly named The Duchess of Cambridge to see if it was up to Royal standards.
With photos of The Royal Family hanging on the walls, this is a pub proud of its heritage, and punters can enjoy a pint while overlooking the castle on the other side of the road.
Friendly manager Aleksandra Stelmasiak, who goes by the name Ola, is thrilled at the prospect of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moving to Windsor – although she admits Kate hasn’t visited the pub named after her yet.
“It would be lovely,” she says.
“I have a seven-year-old son and I’ve been living in Windsor for 15 years now.”
Ola, originally from Poland, moved to the UK in 2006 and lived here and there before settling in Windsor.
What do you think of Kate and William’s decision to move? Have your say in the comment section below.
“It is a good place to raise kids. There’s loads of cool stuff you can do with your child and everybody knows each other – either from here, or from the school or from the town.”
She adds there are plenty of playgroups for parents and children in Windsor – although she’s not necessarily expecting Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to join them.
Ola says: “We’ve got the soft play, and there’s the trampoline center in Slough which isn’t far.”
She adds she’d be starstruck if Kate and William were her neighbors – and reckons they’d receive a very warm welcome to the town.
On a serious note, she’s happy to hear Prince William is sticking by his grandmother after she lost her husband a year ago.
“It’s going to be better for [The Queen] to have her family around her. After Prince Philip died, she’s been here on her own,” Ola says.
“Who’s going to take care of her and help her around? They were married for 73 years. That’s a lifetime.
“We need to look at her as a woman who lost the love of her life. They’re not just celebrities, they’re family.”
The draw of having a pint at The Duchess of Cambridge boozer is tempting – but if William and Kate don’t fancy it, they have another option.
Just a few doors down is JD Wetherspoons pub The King and Castle, which is packed to the rafters – and with Curry Club every Thursday, where you can pick up a Vindaloo and a pint for £9.80, it’s hard to see William and Kate turning down such a bargain.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.