Kate & Wills: Welcome to Windsor
It's official – Team Cambridge are moving to Windsor. To help Kate, William and the kids settle into their new home, here's our in-the-know intel on life in the Berkshire 'hood.
After months of speculation, Kate and Wills and their Cambridge crew have confirmed they’ll move to Windsor this summer. I mean, it’s practically a home coming. Their new royal pad looks set to be Adelaide Cottage – a four bed property just a mile from the Queen – with a move to Windsor Castle likely in the future.
To ensure a smooth transition from London town to leafy Windsor, Muddy’s reporting for duty with all the best places for Team Cambridge to hangout. Kate and Wills you can also subscribe here and not only will I be your new BFF but you’ll always be the first to know what’s happening in your new ‘hood.
So rumour has it, the George, Charlotte and Louis will be starting at Lambrook School in Winkfield Row – a smidge outside Windsor. It’s popular with London parents and ticks all the boxes – but it’s also one of the most expensive with day fees costing £6,999 and £8,480 for boarding.
Why Lambrook? It’s one the top prep schools in the UK, is big on sport, offers lots of outdoor fun (they keep chickens, have a kitchen garden and orchard) and it has an exceptional hit rate into the top schools, like Eton, which was Prince William’s old stomping ground.
That said, I wouldn’t discount St George’s Windsor Castle or Upton House in Windsor. St George’s in set in the grounds of Windsor Castle and within walking distance of Adelaide Cottage. They’re also used to educating royal children having taught Edward and Sophie Wessex’s kids James and Louise. Upton House also has royal links having taught Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. But the lack of boarding and the fact it only goes to Y6, makes it the wild card.
Windsor Castle and Home Park set in 655 acres, so there’s plenty of roaming room for the kids to horse ride, cycle, kick a ball and walk with their beloved dogs in private. The Savill Garden is soon to open a stunning adventure playground so you might catch a glimpse of the young royals there.
A move to Berkshire means embracing the river. Bray Lake Watersports is a lush spot to safely paddle board, windsurf, canoe and sail. Alternatively head down the road and hire one of Cliveden House‘s vintage boats pootle down to Henley with a picnic.
For fun for all the family regardless we’re big fans of Go Ape (Black Park or Swinley Forest) or Windsor’s aqua park Liquid Leisure. Kate and Wills getting competitive on the Ninja Warrior course is something I’d like to see.
I’m fairly certain we’ll see more of the Cambridges at Bucklebury Farm – especially as it’s opposite the Middleton’s family home and little sis Pippa and her hubby James are co-owners. It’s the kind of place you can feed the animals, then enjoy five minutes peace while the kids run free range.
Kate and William are often seen in West Berkshire pubs when visiting Ma and Pa Middleton in Bucklebury (The Old Boot, Stanford Dingley and The Pot Kiln in Frilsham, appear to be faves), so it’s fair they’ll be keen to find a local. When Princes William and Harry were at Eton their mum Diana would often treat them to lunch at The Hind’s Head in Bray. Heston Blumenthal’s gastropub is definitely one to have on their radar. But for me, The Greene Oak on the outskirts of Windsor is a great family pub with horse box outdoor tables to avoid gawping. Venture slightly further afield to Cookham (a place used to having famous residents) and they’ll enjoy The White Oak and Bel and the Dragon – a place where rugby star Will Greenwood, broadcaster Chris Evans and actor Tom Hiddlestone have all been spotted.
We all know Kate love popping onto Kensington High Street to get her fashion fix. If she heads to the Royal Arcade, she’ll find her beloved Zara, Sweaty Betty, Whistles and Jo Malone. Venture away from the touristy town centre to St Leonard’s Road for a cluster of cool independents. As ‘climate change influencers’ the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should have Four.State in their Little Black Book. It’s a fantastic sustainable lifestyle shop selling planet friendly goods, including Muddy’s fave Elvis & Kresse‘s recycled London firehose bags. But there’s also refill shop Zero Joe‘s, fashion boutiques Zobia and Roz Clarke and the gift shop Vinegar Hill is worth a mooch. For high end designer togs, Kate will find something in Mojo McCoy. It’s on the other side of the county in Hungerford, so one to pop into when she’s visiting the fam.
For Berkshire’s well heeled crowd, it’s all about the socials. The diary is jam packed with summer events – Royal Ascot (obvs), Henley and Marlow Regattas, Henley Festival – the only music festival that requires black tie. Then there’s the hunting, shooting and fishing crowd getting stuck into traditional country pursuits – and Windsor Great Park is a tweed wearer’s paradise.
If Kate’s after tennis court alternatives to the Hurlingham Club, then there are grass courts in her back garden. Windsor Home Park Lawn Tennis Club is open from April to September. Alternatively, Bisham Abbey is one of Sport England’s National Sports Centres, offering top level coaching in tennis, hockey, rugby and football, with all the associated gyms, physios, nutritionists and kit you’d expect.
William loves his polo and Windsor is surrounded by prestigious clubs. Guards Polo Club is based in Windsor Great Park, where the late Prince Philip was president. They also have an academy to teach George, Charlotte and Louis the art of swinging a mallet while riding a pony. The Berkshire Polo Club, founded by late rock ‘n’ roll impresario Bryan Morrison, attracts a fun crowd, and William’s old man was a founding member.
We know family is everything to Kate and William, but it’s good to fan the flames of romance from time to time. Pull out your fancy pants because we’re sending you off to Oakley Court’s Summer River House – a riverside outdoor dining experience in collaboration with Soho House. All very laid-back and a place where famous faces are 10 a penny.
A few miles down river is the culinary enclave of Bray with its constellation of seven Michelin stars. Go by boat and moor up at Alain Roux’s French fancy The Waterside Inn or enter Heston’s Willy Wonka-style foodie factory at The Fat Duck.
For a VIP spa day, the new Fairmont Windsor Park is the place to waft about in a waffle robe. It has its own VIP spa room that can be accessed via a private lift. Splash about in the indoor and outdoor pools, boost your wellbeing in the cryotherapy chamber (3 mins at -110 degrees), get a rub down on the marble Hammam, and plum for the gold and caviar facial for the ultimate indulgence.