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All About Anmer Hall, the Historic Country Residence Where Kate Middleton Is Reportedly Recuperating

By all tabloid accounts, it’s the case of the missing princess.

Ever since Kensington Palace announced that Catherine, Princess of Wales, underwent abdominal surgery in January, royal watchers (not to mention conspiracy theorists) have been speculating as to her whereabouts.

Press reports indicate that Princess Kate is recuperating at Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, England, the country residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children.

We’re pushing aside the rumors, however, to do what we do best: talk about houses.

Anmer Hall is in the quaint village of Anmer in Norfolk, a coastal county in northeastern England about a three-hour drive from London. The 10-bedroom Georgian pile, built in 1802, is part of Sandringham Estate, a sprawling 20,000-acre property dotted with churches, parishes, and country houses, that has been connected to the royals since 1862. The estate’s grand residence, Sandringham House, is the country bolthole of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, where royal Christmases are famously hosted. Anmer Hall is just a five-minute drive away.bbc children in need and comic relief 'big night in'

bbc children in need and comic relief ‘big night in’

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children clap on the steps of Anmer Hall in a segment for the charity special Comic Relief in 2020.Comic Relief – Getty Images
While you can book tours of Sandringham House and even

rent properties
on the greater estate, Anmer Hall is a private family residence. The village of Anmer includes a church and quaint cottages, many of which were built in the early 20th century for Edward VII, according to

an architectural guide to Norfolk
by Nikolaus Pevsner and Bill Wilson. The U.K.’s

National Office for Statistics
states that Anmer parish had a population of about 250 in 2017.

What’s the History of Anmer Hall?
Anmer Hall was the seat of the Coldham family until Prince Albert Edward (aka the future Edward VII) purchased it in 1896 to be a part of the Sandringham Estate, Pevsner and Wilson note. The two-story house’s “charming” brick facade, made from red and brown brick, features 13 bays and dormer windows in the attic. The house underwent renovations in the years following Edward VII’s purchase.

Over the next century, the house was leased to numerous members of the British aristocracy, including the Duke and Duchess of Kent from 1972 to 1990, and Hugh van Cutsem, one of King Charles III’s best friends. Following the expiration of van Cutsem’s lease, the property was rented to timber company owner James Everett.

anmer hall, 1973

Anmer Hall, as pictured in the 1970s when it was the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.Leonard Burt – Getty Imagesanmer hall, 1973
In 2013, two years after William and Kate’s marriage, it was rumored that the royal couple would be moving in. The pair had been renting a farmhouse in Anglesey, off the northwest coast of Wales, while Prince William worked as a helicopter pilot and while they were expecting their first child, Prince George. “[Anmer Hall] would seem to be an ideal choice in that it’s close to Grandma—but not too close,” former royal correspondent Michael Cole told the BBC. Later that year, it was confirmed that William and Kate would be moving into their new “baby bunker” with Prince George. But they wouldn’t physically move in until two years later, when Kate was expecting their second child, Princess Charlotte, to allow time for a $2 million refurbishment, which included a new roof, additional trees for privacy, and interior improvements.

anmer hall in norfolk

Anmer Hall undergoing renovations in May 2014. Chris Radburn – PA Images – Getty Imagesanmer hall in norfolk
In 2017—back in the halcyon days of the “fab four”—Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stayed with William and Kate at Anmer Hall, “because the sovereign still won’t permit unwed couples to sleep together under her roof Sandringham,” according to the book Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll.

Today, the Prince and Princess of Wales spend most of their time at their two primary royal residences—one at Kensington Palace and the other at Adelaide Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle—but they use Anmer as a country escape. The family also spent the Covid lockdown at Anmer Hall.

How Are Anmer Hall’s Interiors Designed?
As part of the property’s improvements, the Prince and Princess of Wales tapped architect Charles Morris for the renovation and designer Ben Pentreath—the designer who overhauled Kate and William’s apartment at Kensington Palace, per House & Garden—for the interiors.

Pentreath’s firm describes its approach as one “that draws inspiration in equal measure from the great English practitioners of the 18th and 19th centuries, and from the 1960s and ’70s…but always infused with a fresh, modern sensibility”—and the same aesthetic can be seen in snippets of Anmer Hall that eagle-eyed viewers have spotted in the Prince and Princess of Wales’s social media feeds. The home—with its high ceilings and decorative moldings—is painted in soothing, neutral colors (though the dining room is reportedly a deep green hue) and accessorized with houseplants, antiques, and gilt-framed art.

Kate took some heat from the British press for her overhaul of Anmer Hall’s kitchen while also adding a second one at her Kensington Palace digs, garnering her the epithet “Three Kitchens Kate.”

Additional amenities on the property include a pool and a tennis court; Anmer Hall also hosts its own honeybee colony. And one last bonus: The home is even said to be haunted by its own ghost.