The move brings big changes for the royal family
Britain's Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive to attend the morning Christmas Day service at St Mark's Church in Englefield, England, Sunday Dec. 25, 2016. A heavy cold is keeping Queen Elizabeth II from attending the traditional Christmas morning church service near her Sandringham estate in rural Norfolk, England. (Andrew Matthews/Pool via AP)
Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

The Cambridges are on the move.

In a palace briefing on Friday, Prince William and Princess Kate confirmed reports that they will be shifting their home base to London this fall. The move means spending less time in their Norfolk country home, Anmer Hall, so they may settle in for the long term at Kensington Palace. The couple have used their palace residence, Apartment 1A, as their official home when carrying out royal duties since 2014, and it underwent a more than $6.5 million renovation in preparation for their arrival. (The home formerly belonged to the Queen‘s younger sister, Princess Margaret.)

“Their Royal Highnesses love their time in Norfolk and it will continue to be their home,” the couple explain in a new statement from their office. “From this autumn, however, the Duke and Duchess will increasingly base their family at Kensington Palace. As they have in recent years, their royal Highnesses are keen to continue to increase their official work on behalf of the Queen and for the charities and causes they support, which will require greater time spent in London.”

The statement also explains that the couple’s children, 3 1/2-year-old Prince George and 20-month-old Princess Charlotte, will attend school in London. George is currently enrolled at Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk.

Prince George will begin school in London in September, and Princess Charlotte will also go to nursery and eventually school in London as well,” the statement says. Royal officials would not comment on when Charlotte would start school or where George will attend, but Wetherby Pre-Preparatory School in London (where William and Prince Harry were both enrolled) has been widely tipped.

Those aren’t the only changes for the family. William also announced that he will wrap his role as a pilot with the East Anglia Air Ambulance this summer, following a two-year commitment.

“It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglia Air Ambulance,” he said in the statement. “Following on from my time in the military, I have had experiences in this job I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that will add a valuable perspective to my royal work for decades to come.”

Today’s announcement means William and Kate are likely to up their public duties, says a royal source: “They will be here in London and out and about doing more things.”

Kate’s “primary role is as a mother and, as any family with children starting school will know, this year will be a significant one,” adds the source, noting that they will spend a “significant amount of time” in the U.K. capital.