As revealed by Sebastian Shakespeare in Saturday’s Daily Mail, the proposed enormous two-storey underground extension will be dug next to the 18th century Orangery to ‘free up the palace suites for the Royal Family’.
The local council, Kensington and Chelsea, has restricted residential two-storey basements because of the disruption they create but officials will probably ‘make an exception’ for the royal development, documents show.
The 165ft-long mega-basement will make room at the palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to move full-time with their children this autumn after William ends his two-year pilot’s job with East Anglian Air Ambulance and takes on full-time royal duties.
The grade I-listed Orangery – described in the plans as an ‘elaborate greenhouse in the style of an elegant palace’ – was built in 1704 on the orders of Queen Anne who wanted to protect her citrus trees in winter. It is currently used as a restaurant for visitors to the palace grounds.