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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

Home sweet home
Kensington Palace, where the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry grew up, will be where the young family make their home.

The royal homes are in the private side of Kensington Palace, but visitors can explore the side open to the public seven days a week, and see the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, and the fascinating Victoria Revealed exhibition, which tells the story of one of the Palace’s most famous residents.

Dressing up
With such a glamorous and stylish mother, the new baby is likely to be equally well dressed. He can get some inspiration from his female ancestors at the new Fashion Rules exhibition at the Palace, featuring dresses from some of Britain’s best dressed women: The Queen, her sister Princess Margaret, and the Princess of Wales. The Palace is perfectly located for an afternoon’s exploring of fashionable Notting Hill where both mummies and babies will find plenty of hot threads to buy; No added sugar is a fab little boutique selling unique and just-the-right-side-of-quirky baby clothes – perfect for any budding British style
Talking of cute baby outfits, the Earl and Countess of Strathearn – as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are known in Scotland – may want to kit out their newborn in a typical Scottish outfit, and who could resist doing the same with their little one? Little Legs Baby Kilts is a Glasgow-based company that specialises in making sure tiny ones can stay true to their Scottish heritage, or simply emulate the adorable triplets seen on last year’s Oscar-winning animation Brave. As well as kilts, the company makes utterly adorable pinafore dresses, and it’s the done thing to kit your child out in your family tartan.

Exploring country and coast
The Queen and Royal Family usually spend their Christmas celebrations in Norfolk, at Sandringham, a beautiful estate that is open to the public to visit; it’s fully buggy-accessible and has picnic tables dotted about ( The Duke, Duchess and little Prince will also enjoy a country home in Norfolk, which is one of England’s prettiest counties, and a lovely place for families to holiday in Britain. After Sandringham, spend a sunny afternoon on the nearby north Norfolk coast, which is famed for some of Britain’s prettiest beaches. Holkham Beach is one of the loveliest, which anyone who saw Shakespeare in Love might remember from the final, dreamy scene with Gwyneth Paltrow walking off into the sunset. Further south you’ll find the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, the ideal place for a family mini-break; Britain’s largest protected wetland is a haven for a lazy boat trip, so pack a picnic and enjoy some quality family

Anglesey in north Wales has been the Duke and Duchess’s main home since they got married and is where the Duke of Cambridge has been stationed for work. A beautiful and untouched part of Britain, it’s an ideal getaway for young families, where you can play on the beach, eat delicious food (try the Pilot Boat Inn towards the north of the island at Dulas, which has great food and is super family-friendly) and buy some fun new outfits for baby at Tinkers and Belles in Beaumaris (a seaside town on Anglesey).

Royal connections
Through the summer it is possible to visit Buckingham Palace, where the Duke of Cambridge was christened and home, of course, to the new royal arrival’s great-grandmother The Queen. This year there’s a special exhibition to accompany the summer opening that celebrates the Queen’s Coronation 60 years ago; see the robes worn, the Diamond Diadem and even the personal invitation sent to a then 4 year old Prince Charles to the occasion. The Palace has a drop-in learning room where older kids can design their own carriage to go home in. Open 27 July – 29 September.

The Duke of Cambridge took his first steps in public in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where the new royal baby boy will spend his early years. A stone’s throw away is the Diana Memorial Playground, a popular place for both locals and visitors to London to take their kids to play; it was inspired by J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan stories, and features an enormous pirate ship!
There are hundreds more places to go and play in Britain for older kids; Windsor is a great place to head to, and only an hour by car or train from London. Not only is it home to The Queen’s residence Windsor Castle, which you can visit (there are fab kids’ activities too), but it’s there that you’ll find the children’s magnet that is Legoland Windsor ( Up in Edinburgh in Scotland, Holyroodhouse Palace is a fantastic place to explore royal history and dress up like a king or queen! There are loads of children’s events, and beautiful gardens to explore – look out for the mysterious golden rabbit and hear about when a lion lived there! (
For more inspiring ideas for family activities, go to
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