Royal historian: ‘It makes no sense’ for the Cambridges to move to Windsor

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About a month ago, royal elves went to the Mail on Sunday with a curious series of plans. Prince Charles will apparently make several adjustments to the living situations of various royals in the coming months and years. When the Queen passes away, Charles’ plan is to basically have a small apartment in Buckingham Palace, and spread out his offices between BP, St. James’ Palace and Clarence House. In addition to that, he’ll keep Highgrove as his country abode, but he’ll merely “rent” it from the Duchy of Cornwall. Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate are apparently very keen on having a permanent family home in the Windsor Castle complex. When the Queen passes, it’s likely the Cambridges will call Windsor Castle their permanent home, but in the meantime, there’s some energy towards giving them one of the larger homes in the complex. There’s some talk of making Andrew pack his bags and giving Royal Lodge to the Cambridges. But what about Fort Belvedere, a large Gothic castle/fort which is currently rented out to a private family? Well…

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge currently split their time between an apartment in Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall, Norfolk. It is in the latter residence where they spent the third lockdown. In recent years, much speculation has surrounded where they might permanently move their family of five. The royal residence that has attracted the most attention is Fort Belvedere in Windsor.

As recently as August, reports suggested William and Kate had their eye on the former Duke of Windsor’s home. Fort Belvedere is steeped in history: a Grade II listed house with a Tower towards the southern end of Windsor Great Park, it is the location in which King Edward VIII signed his abdication papers in 1936. It is currently owned by the Crown Estate and is leased out to the Weston family — close friends of the royals.

While many claim the Cambridges could imminently move into the home, Marlene Koenig, a royal historian, argued that it would make no sense for the family to move far out of central London. She told “You have people saying William and Kate are going to move to Windsor, and I’m like ‘Why?’ They already have a large apartment in Kensington Palace. They’re not going to move to Fort Belvedere — why would they do that? They might have a little place when Charles is King. But there’s no need. The kids go to school in London, why would they pick up sticks and move to Windsor. There’s no need for that.”

[From The Daily Express]

I don’t know who these comments are being directed at, but the genuine vibe these days is that William and Kate want to get the hell out of London. Weirder still, the vibe is that Prince Charles also wants to get them the hell out of London. Like, Charles wants them tucked away somewhere so no one can see how dysfunctional, lazy and useless they are? And the Keens just want to be tucked away where they can be lazy and no one will look too closely. Back in June, we even heard that they were so desperate to leave the city, they were already looking at homes in Berkshire close to Kate’s parents. So… yeah, something is up. Will they move to Fort Belvedere? Eh. That place looks haunted. My guess is that William is still trying to convince his father to kick Andrew out of Royal Lodge.

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75 Responses to “Royal historian: ‘It makes no sense’ for the Cambridges to move to Windsor”

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  1. Chelsea says:

    Looks drafty.

  2. Becks1 says:

    So what’s weird about this story is how it keeps changing. first it was they were looking for another house in Berkshire to be close to her family, then it was about them moving to the Royal Lodge, then Windsor Castle itself, and now its about this Fort Belvedere place.

    I can’t decide how much of this is about a potential divorce, and how much is about William realizing than Anne, Andrew and Edward all have much bigger houses than Anmer, lol.

    • notasugarhere says:

      FOTFL if they end up in the Duke of Windsor’s former home. What would the W&K stans do with that, after they trashed everything to do with Wallis and Davis in their railing against Frogmore Cottage?

      If it turns out true, it may be because redoing Frogmore House would get them too much bashing in the press. So they’ll throw Charles’s friends out of Belvedere.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Becks- that last point is spot on. Wills is now trying to flex his muscle on others, now that Harry’s gone. Harry as Wills’ whipping boy/servant/scapegoat was crucial to family equilibrium. Without him, Wills is running roughshod over everyone else. No wonder they’re all mad at Harry. No wonder they think Will needs him.

    • Mac says:

      IDK, Charles may be floating ideas to get William out of London so he has the spotlight to himself. Floating Windsor Castle didn’t work, floating the Great Lodge didn’t work, so now he is trying Ft. Belvedere, which looks creepy AF.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Charles has no reason to want William out of London or out of the spotlight. Charles spends very little time in London himself. He needs William working far more than he does now, because a lazy heir to the heir makes Charles look terrible.

      • Becks1 says:

        I don’t know about Charles wanting William out of London, but even if he did, I don’t think he would want William in Windsor Castle, which is an enduring symbol of the monarchy, the name of their royal “house,” something that people associate with the monarchy in the UK, etc. Basically i don’t think Charles would want to give William that free PR of being associated with Windsor Castle.

        What I can believe maybe is that William wants a new place to leave, some places in windsor were suggested, William is pushing for the castle, and now we’re back to Ft Belvedere.

        IDK. This story has been going on for a while now though so its clear that SOMETHING is happening behind the scenes re: the cambridges living arrangements.

      • Sid says:

        This is straight out of the Cambridge-Middleton playbook. Charles ain’t got nothin to do with this particular circus.

    • Merricat says:

      What’s weird about this story to me is that anyone expects the Cambridges to make sense. The stories about them have been flaky for weeks, it seems.

    • MMadison says:

      It does seem like someone is trying to find his own “Highgrove”. Reminds me of Charles having his own personal space that Diana hated and the 3rd person in the marriage loved.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        @mmadison that’s what Highgrove reminds me of. The place that Charles always ran away to when he wanted to be comforted by his mistress.

    • Sunday says:

      Yup, I think the majority of this story is William raging that “Harry has a mansion that cost HOW MANY MILLIONS and has HOW MANY BATHROOMS?!?!?!” It is INCONCEIVABLE that the SPARE have anything nice, ever, and so William needs something grander, stat!, so he can show everyone how important he is. IMO that explains why they first looked at private homes and then shifted to royal properties.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Yup. Looking at pics of Fort Belvedere, the first thought that came to mind was that he and Kate are desperate to one-up Harry and Meghan in any way possible. I think the fact that they have a much nicer home in a beautiful location is giving Mr. Incandescent fits.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Becks1, would not be surprised if Willy the Bully doesn’t peak over the urinal to see how he ranks either! We know he has no balls, but he does have a bat……

  3. Jais says:

    Who is this royal historian making too much sense and saying it makes no sense for them to leave London?
    I had to look her up and Marlene Koenig is a Virginia- based royal historian who also wrote a logical article about how Meghan will not be stripped of her title regardless of whether she lobbied for paid leave.

    • Becks1 says:

      She’s on twitter a lot, i follow her, to be honest I didn’t realize she was an actual historian, I just thought she called herself a royal expert in a kind of TIC way, lol.

    • Carty says:

      She has a history of dragging Princess Diana and later Meghan. I suspect she’s a PC mouthpiece

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Nah, Marlene is trash. She frequently hates on Meghan and interacts with the mugziters on Twitter and pretends to be innocent when she’s called out.

    • Courtney B says:

      In full disclosure Marlene is a friend of mine. And she is a real, serious historian and expert. She’s pretty fair and has said a lot of nice things about Meghan and not nice ones about the Cambridges. She was calling them out on their laziness within their first year. But she is blunt and brusque and that often offends people. You may not agree with her but she’s no faux royal expert. And she’s no ones mouthpiece.

  4. notasugarhere says:

    FYI, Marlene Koenig is a racist b!tch. No nice way to describe her.

    • Chloe says:

      Is she even a historian? I thought she was a blogger who simply interested in royals and their history. Doesn’t make her an historian.

      • Courtney B says:

        She is one. A highly respected one.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m trying to find her credentials and they’re pretty well buried. She has a BA and MLS? Is she a professor anywhere? It seems she has labeled herself an expert but the most I can find is that she has a MLS and maybe a professor of architecture?

        That’s not a good sign for her being an “expert”.

      • Nic919 says:

        She has worked as a research librarian for years and she’s done research beyond just the BRF. Her historical knowledge of various royals is extensive and has more substance than the British tabloid hacks who call themselves experts because they go to the same parties as the royals and have a British accent.

    • Becks1 says:

      I thought there was an issue with her! I follow her but I know I stopped a while back and then started again bc I get her and this other person on twitter with a similar profile pic confused.

      i’m not the best at Twitter. 😂

      • Annie says:

        @Becks, you’re right, she’s not a historian. I think she’s a librarian. She IS very smart, and she has been following the royals for decades, but so have many of us. She’s an American blogger who decided to call herself a historian. It’s great that she’s been a good friend to you, Courtney, it’s not as if I’m suggesting that she’s an all-around terrible person. But she isn’t a serious scholar, she acts beyond juvenile on Twitter because she has very poor communication skills, and she has said hateful things about Meghan that a professional and serious historian just would not say. She does not present herself as professional in any way. I do think she has a ton of knowledge about the history of the BRF, but the tabloids will publish anything that anyone says. Anyone can call themselves a “Royal historian” or Royal expert” or “Royal commentator,” and the press just runs with it. No qualifications needed.

        Even her quotes in this very article are all just her opinion. She said, “ You have people saying William and Kate are going to move to Windsor, and I’m like ‘Why?’” It’s pure gossip. No serious historian would say “I’m like” in an article for print, it makes them look ridiculous and not an intellectual to be taken seriously. And there is not one thing Marlene says here that we here on Cb don’t already know or have speculated about. Referring to her as a historian is insulting to actual historians.

        Courtney, I’m not going to proclaim she’s racist because I don’t know her personally like you do, but if someone was going strictly by her comments about Meghan, I can she why she is viewed as racist by many. Who is she highly respected by, in your opinion?

    • Courtney B says:

      She’s a friend so I need to take exception with that. Seriously. As I said up thread she’s awfully blunt and has made a number of enemies because she will speak very plainly and really doesn’t suffer fools. But she’s not racist. Period.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Courtney B, I think it’s wonderful and important for us to see how some historians are in real life, and you describe her as a woman of morals and truth. Those are endearing qualities no matter how people view her. Also, she has as solid reputation as well.
        Thank you for standing up for her. You are a great friend!!

    • Pat says:

      +1 That describes her in my book

  5. Rapunzel says:

    Silly historian. The Cambridges don’t want to move to Windsor because it makes sense. They want to move to Windsor because their marriage is crumbling and it’s easier to hide that outside London. And because their vacations will get less attention living out there. And likely also because Willyboy is greedy and wants more homes and moving there is his excuse to get a new toy.

  6. Chloe says:

    The royal historian in question is as far as i know not an actual historian. Simply a royal follower who likes the history of royals.

    • Courtney B says:

      I’m repeating myself but still. She’s a serious historian and very highly respected. No dilettante and there to blow smoke up people’s butt. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea but she knows her stuff. I’ve known her for twenty years. She’s a frequent writer in magazines and a knowledgeable one. She can explain some finer points especially about letters patent and that stuff better than most.

      • Becks1 says:

        You are repeating yourself. I understand your loyalty but if everyone here has a similar impression of her, maybe the issue isn’t just that “she’s blunt.”

        The most I can find is that she is an academic librarian which I know takes skill and training but isn’t the same thing as being a historian – I think people expect some serious published writings or research with that title, or a graduate degree in that field.

        Again I get she’s your friend, but if she wants people to respect her as a historian, she has to offer something to respect, and that’s what people are responding to.

      • Annie says:

        Cosign everything Becks just said. And as a comparison, I looked up the credentials of Kevin Kruse, an actual historian, and this is what’s on his Wiki page:

        “Kruse graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He received his Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. He wrote his PhD dissertation on white flight in Atlanta.

        In 2000, Kruse joined the faculty of the Princeton University Department of History. In 2019, Kruse was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in General Nonfiction by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation to support archival research for his next book, The Division: John Doar, the Justice Department, and the Civil Rights Movement. In May 2020, Kruse was elected to the Society of American Historians.”

        So to call Marlene, who is really just a hardcore fan who knows a lot about the British Royal family, like many of us here do, except she has a blog, a historian, is ridiculous, but it’s not as if we expect the trashy British tabloids to actually vet who they interview or ask for quotes for a piece like this. Everything she said in this article is opinion or gossip or speculation. You said she “can explain some stuff better than most” which may be true, but that does not make her a historian. It just doesn’t.

        And as Becks said, it’s not just that she’s blunt. There’s a difference between blunt and the way she conducts herself Twitter. You used the word blunt, but I would describe her as strident. She’s comes across as so petty and immature that I’ve known people who were shocked to learn her age, because she acts like a teenager most of the time. She bickers with people, blocks many people who disagree with her, and she’ll do things like repeat the same reply to every single comment on a thread, it’s like she HAS to tell every single person that she’s right and they’re wrong. If you want to consider her a historian, that’s fine, but realistically she is not one.

      • ChattyCath says:

        Nothing is black and white. We all need to stand back. We’re in danger of adopting the stance of the RRs but the opposite way round, it’s horrible in the UK at the moment with Brexit and our useless Government. All the bad press is to deflect us from those issues,

  7. sue says:

    Gasp! Housing crisis reaches the royal family!

    • candy says:

      Right? When 18 castles isn’t enough…

      • nina says:

        How the heck, in this day and age do people in the UK tolerate this kind of hosing by the BRF. Millions for no other reason but they were born in the right family.

  8. Sofia says:

    When this story first came out, I wondered if the move to Windsor was because they felt like the queen wasn’t giving them enough attention and they hoped by moving into her literal backyard, they would (but it would have been a waste because if she wanted to give them attention, she would) but then the story changed to after her death and I became confused all over again, lol.

    Still don’t know what purpose a move to Windsor would serve. Unless it’s for a separate lives arrangement or W&K wanting a bigger house.

  9. candy says:

    They’ll obviously be in London much of the time, but they don’t need to live in London to do 1 or 2 engagments a week. The kids will soon be off to boarding school in Windsor/Berkshire so there’s no need to stay in London on account of them. Even if they’re in London for a few more years, the change affects their country residence, not their Kensington apartment. There’ve been so many stories about this I absolutely believe they’ll be moving to Windsor. I believe the initial story that they won’t be moving into Belvedere though. They definitely can’t move into frogmore cottage, lol.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Yeah, I think at this point it’s only a question of where exactly they’ll be moving to and whether they’ll really be keeping Anmer Hall. I still kind of think all this new home talk is them dealing with a serious separation tbh. They’ve already led pretty separate lives for years before, so this + the mysterious stint of Zoom calls at Sandringham earlier this year signal something more serious happening in their household imo.

  10. Nic919 says:

    This article only serves to remind everyone that the Cambridges have disappeared for about a week. William did an investiture for Marcus Rashford because of course, but keen Katie is still MIA and she left COP26 a day before William.

    It’s beyond ridiculous how little they do.

    • GRUEY says:

      Exactly. Which is why it’s so weird that they bothered announcing a week vacation two weeks earlier. Or is the strategy to announce vacations every once in awhile so people will assume they’re “working behind the scenes” on the other days we don’t see them? I still don’t really understand Royal scheduling but is every single meeting/phone call more or less on a publicly available schedule?

    • Marivic says:

      In Cop26 event, Kate left ahead of William because she most likely got a dressing down from her husband for trying to feed him a tub of dead larvae. He found her trivial and juvenile. Just like a child she was asked to pack away.

  11. LeonsMomma says:

    If I were the Cambridges, I wouldn’t move to Fort Belvedere—it’s got bad king karma. (And you can take that two ways.)

  12. Lady Esther says:

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I think William has always wanted Frogmore House, for multiple reasons: 1) It’s grand enough to suit the ego of the heir to the heir, much more so than Anmer 2) it’s not Prince Andrew leftovers like Royal Lodge would be, even with the bonus points of satisfaction for kicking him out, 3) it’s further away from tittle-tattle royal staff that he’d always have to worry about in Windsor Castle itself, and 4) it’s a stick in the eye to Harry, who I think always wanted Frogmore House and had to settle for Frogmore Cottage. The fact that it’s closer to Eton, where George is expected to go, and would suit Kate because it’s closer to Berkshire are probably numbers 5 and 6 on the list.

    And what’s stopping him? Just because Frogmore House hasn’t been a royal residence for years doesn’t mean it can’t revert back to that status. All things are possible once Charles is King.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Lady Esther: Frogmore Cottage is considerably smaller than other royals’ residences. William didn’t have his eye on it and Frogmore House would never be given to anyone in the family because it not a residence. Harry would have known that the House was not have been available.

      • Lady Esther says:

        I know Frogmore Cottage is considerably smaller, and was unsuitable for Harry; but it’s Harry who had the real connection to Windsor: engagement pics there, wedding there, etc…I think he and Meghan made their preference clear for Windsor as a base, whereas the Cambridges never have. Whether or not Harry could have actually gotten Frogmore House while the Queen was still alive is anyone’s guess, but by the time Charles became King, as the son of the King and the second in line to the throne (edit: not second in line as that’s for William’s children, but the second son), he certainly could have, considering the grand houses that the Queen’s children received.

        I don’t think William would ever have given Frogmore Cottage the time of day. Frogmore Cottage was a royal residence in the 18th century, and is still owned by the Crown Estate; no reason why it can’t revert back to a private residence for a royal once Charles is King. I still think William is gunning for it, for the reasons I already listed.

    • Lady Esther says:

      Damn, I meant Frogmore House was once a royal residence, and can be again; and that William is gunning for Frogmore House, not Frogmore Cottage. Not enough coffee today!

  13. Amy Bee says:

    I don’t believe this story. I think KP put it out to give the press something to write about since they have no info on Harry and Meghan to leak.

    • Chrissy says:

      That, and no one’s seen either of the Lamebridges since their dud appearances at COP26. This non-story fills the void. They need another residence like a hole in the head. Just the idea is obscene as they do little to no work! Entitlement is no excuse for this excess.

  14. Harper says:

    Burger King can’t wait any longer to have one of the big royal properties to his name. He is nearing forty and obviously thought more of the royal riches would be his by now. Even Rose has a bigger place than the FFK. He’s done waiting and like Veruca Salt he wants it now.

  15. Aud says:

    William just wants to see someone get kicked out of a house for him.

  16. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I personally love the look of Fort Belvedere!!! So much history in those walls. Haunted? Excellent. I grew up in a haunted house, our last home was off the charts active and I was thrilled (sadly our current home is not. Rats.)
    I love everything about the architecture. I would work it into every conversation… “Why yes I DO live in Fort Belvedere, haunted out the wahzoo, no big deal”
    Yes I know. I ain’t wired right 😆

  17. Nick G says:

    Do any Canadians here know if the Westons who live there are Hillary and Galen Weston ? The billionaires? I’m assuming so, but the thought of those two evicting that family is amusing, to say the least.

    • KL says:

      Just looking up Galen Sr.’s wiki page… he died fairly recently, but yes he and Hillary did live there from time to time. So maybe Hillary doesn’t need it going forward?

      The Canadian upper crust (lol… Weston? Crust? I’ll see myself out.) is always full of surprises.

  18. Jumpingthesnark says:

    I think Billy is trying to flex as above, although he prob has no intentions of living there full time. This is a house for Buttons and the kids — she wants somewhere relatively near Eton where George ( and eventually Louis) will be going to school, so they can live at home and not be boarders, or so that they can at least come home on weekends. There is prob also a fancy pants girls private school in the area for Charlotte too.

  19. Murphy says:

    Ok what did the Westons do to piss off William for him to plant this dumb trash. L

  20. Carolind says:

    Only the reigning monarch should live in Windsor Castle. Charles might not want Windsor when he is king – says it is too noisy and loves Highgrove – but William should not get it until he is king. It is not feasible for him to live there anyway until last child is out of school in central London and at prep/boarding school or whatever.

  21. A says:

    For the last couple of months we keep hearing about Kates “power ” but she is increasingly seen doing less and less. I think the whole wanting to move to Windsor thing has to do with trying to justify their whole lack of work ethic. I also think the queen is the one putting the kabash on it. The uk tax payer is paying for Buckingham palace renovations, the jubilee, and Andrews court case. If the Cambridge’s were smart they would just buy their own house nearby and claim it was so they could take care of granny. Of course if they were smart they would not have told people they were ready for more responsibility, without actually taking on more responsibility in the first place!

  22. Amy says:

    A little googling showed me a) the house is beautiful and b) it’s been leased since the 80s by Galen Weston, who is basically Canadian Royalty. It will be interesting if they try to turn him out.

    • Chrissy says:

      Wouldn’t it be funny if Galen Weston is told to vacate in favour of the Lamebridges? He could make a fuss about being a beloved, long time family home and get us Canadians so upset, that it leads to Canada threatening to leave the Commonwealth over an eviction. That would be delicious and just desserts. Ha!

      • candy says:

        I think the Cambridges have a way of kicking people out of their homes by leaking these stories about where they plan to live. That said, I don’t think they want to live at Belvedere.

    • Thirtynine says:

      Mm, I had to google it too. It is incredibly beautiful, but I couldn’t picture Kate and the kids there in those rooms.

  23. Taylor says:

    I went to a party there 25 years ago. It is a gorgeous place.
    The stables too are so luxurious that anyone would happily move in there.