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William and Kate in Denmark last week. (Tim Rooke/AP Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided to settle down at Kensington Palace.

So far, the Kate and William have been using Nottingham Cottage, a residence on the Kensington Palace grounds as a temporary home when they’re in London.

But after considering a number of options, the royal couple chose the palace that was William’s childhood home as their permanent London address. They will be living in Apartment 1A, the part of the palace occupied by Princess Margaret until her death in 2002. William, however, grew up in a different group of apartments, on the other side of the compound with his mother, Diana.

Lest anyone think that “Apartment 1A” is a cramped ground floor starter flat, royal aides have described it to the Telegraph as the “size of a terraced London house,” with five bedrooms and three reception rooms. By contrast, Nottingham Cottage is a one-bedroom house set apart from the rest of the palace but still on the grounds. Even though it’s smaller, we suspect it’s none too shabby, though apparently William needs to stoop sometimes to avoid hitting his head on the ceilings.

Apartment 1A, however, is still considered a bit of a fixer-upper. It hasn’t been redecorated since Princess Margaret lived there, and it’s been used for office and storage space. Work is not expected to begin until September of next year, with the actual move-date to be sometime in mid or late 2013. In addition to rewiring, heating and plumbing overhauls, the apartment apparently has large quantities of asbestos to be removed.

One of the residence’s benefits for the royal couple is that it will allow them to be closer to Prince Harry. The Queen and Prince Charles have approved of the move.

In other royal-related news about Kate and Will:

• Will and Kate’s decision to settle on a more established permanent residence is fitting in with resurgent rumors that the Duchess might be pregnant.

The main “evidence” fueling the speculation this time comes from the royal couple’s recent trip to Denmark. Observers say that Kate kept touching and rubbing her stomach and they suggested that the red dress she wore to visit a UNICEF center was the type of dress that would conceal a “baby bump.”

The incident that set off the most discussion, however, was Kate’s turning down an offer of peanut butter. Some doctors advise pregnant women not to eat peanut butter because it might trigger allergies in their children. The Daily Mail even went so far as to write that “Kate was seen shooting Prince William a knowing look and grinning as she turned down the paste.”

Other outlets are going further out on a limb. “Kate Middleton and Prince William baby announcement expected,” was the web headline for Scottish broadcaster STV, which also reported that bookies have changed the odds of a baby announcement before the end of this year from 4/1 to 6/4.

A spokesman for the William Hill betting organization said: “We always felt that William and Kate would decide not to wait but the rumors have taken us by surprise and if Kate is already expecting it will cost us a pretty penny.”

• The Guardian reminds its readers that the News of the World began its covert surveillance of Prince William after it was already under police investigation for phone hacking into messages of people in the royal circle. The private investigator hired by the tabloid says he never hacked anyone’s phone and that he never did anything illegal.


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By Paul Hechinger