Prince William and Kate are marking an exciting new chapter in their lives after returning to London, where their son Prince George will start school in September. The Duchess of Cambridge has already said she intends to do the school run with George, braving the London traffic to drop him off and pick him up from his prestigious prep school, Thomas's Battersea in South-West London as much as she can.
It is likely we will be seeing more of Prince William and Kate, plus their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, now they are living back in London. With that in mind, HELLO! has taken a look at what their new life might have in store, and the London hotspots they may like to visit. Pick up the new issue of HELLO! to read more.
It is not just her brother-in-law Prince Harry that Kate has formed a close bond with; she and the Queen are very fond of one another, too. So it will be comforting for Kate to know Her Majesty is just around the corner to offer support and advice and tea and sympathy should it be needed. Living just a ten-minute drive from the Palace will also make it easier for Kate to attend royal occasions such as state dinners and Trooping the Colour.
Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground:
William has spoken about how he keeps his mother's memory alive for his children, and with this popular attraction now on their doorstep, George and Charlotte will have regular reminders of their late grandmother. The children's wonderland, opened on 30 June 2000 in her memory, has a sensory trail, teepees, a pirate ship and sandy beach and various toys and play sculptures, all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. Located next to Kensington Palace, the playground is a fitting tribute for Diana, who loved the innocence of childhood.
A Mecca for children of all ages, world-famous toy shop Hamleys has its flagship store on London's Regent Street. There, George and Charlotte can indulge their love of Fireman Sam and Peppa Pig. The store is used to accommodating VVIPs, happily opening its doors out of hours for the offspring of celebrities including Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.
Ice Skating at Winter Wonderland:
Come Christmastime, many Londoners and hundreds of thousands of tourists head to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, which boasts the largest open air ice rink in the UK. Live music from the Victorian bandstand provides a great backdrop to the experience and there are more than 100 rides to make you spin, fly and drop. Kate and a 16-month-old George enjoyed a below-the-radar visit here in 2014, when they took a spin on the teacup ride. An added bonus is that photographers require permission from The Royal Parks in order to take photos in Hyde Park, keeping the paparazzi at bay.
Kensington High Street:
One of London's most popular shopping destinations, Kensington High Street offers Kate her favourite high-street stores such as Zara, Jigsaw and Hobbs as well as smaller boutiques. There is also a large organic health food shop, Whole Foods Market, which is where Prince Harry's girlfriend Meghan Markle has been seen shopping when she has been to stay in nearby Kensington Palace.
Natural History Museum:
A very popular outing in the Cambridge household, this museum houses more than 70 million botanical items, 55 million animal exhibits, 9 million archaeological relics and 500,000 rocks and minerals, which means there's something for everyone. William and Kate, who has been patron of the museum since 2013, often take George here, where he happily roams around the dinosaur gallery. His parents took him to the museum's Sensational Butterflies exhibition for his first birthday, photos from which were released to celebrate his milestone day.
This summer saw Kate attend her first Wimbledon tennis tournament as royal patron. She loves to play, too, so could always join her sister Pippa on court at Queen's, named after Queen Victoria, it's first patron and where Pippa is a member. The club hosts the Aegon championships, where Kate would be able to cheer on the likes of Sir Andy Murray and this year's winner, Feliciano López.
As a hands-on mum, Kate will be spending a lot of time at Thomas's Battersea after George starts there next week. The school has an active parent-teacher association and encourages parents not only to support their child's learning but to get involved, too. The school prides itself on being a good neighbour to those on its doorstep and many Thomas's parents volunteer to read every week with pupils in five local primary schools. School families are also invited to join in with the annual carol concert in Battersea Square.
William, Kate and Harry will visit the White Garden in the grounds of Kensington Palace this week with representatives from charities supported by Diana, Princess of Wales. The historic Sunken Garden has been temporarily transformed into the White Garden and planted with Diana's favourite flowers to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
George and Charlotte adore animals and will be enraptured by the wildlife at London Zoo. Situated in Regent's Park, it was set up in 1828 and is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It is home to 698 different species of animal including the penguins. George also loves the children's zoo at Battersea Park, close to his new school, and has enjoyed several visits there, where he's seen otters, monkeys and chinchillas.
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