Now that great-granny has met Princess Charlotte, it's time for the family of four to retreat to their country home of Anmer Hall

By Erin Hill
May 06, 2015 08:55 AM
Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle/GC

Prince William and Princess Kate are ready to begin life as a family of four.

The proud parents, Princess Charlotte and big brother Prince George left Kensington Palace Wednesday for their country home, Anmer Hall, about 110 miles north, where they will spend much of the summer.

With William at the wheel, Kate in the passenger seat and both kids buckled in the back seat, it’s a typical family sight – but they’re not your average family!

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Renovations to their 10-bedroom country residence, which is a gift from Queen Elizabeth, were completed last year.

The vast Georgian mansion has an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court, and is surrounded by acres of parkland of the Queen’s Sandringham estate – just perfect for raising children away from the hubbub of William and Kate’s Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace.

“It’s like a fancy farmhouse,” someone familiar with the house tells PEOPLE. “It isn’t grandiose. But it’s a great, friendly family environment.”

Everyone in the small Norfolk village, which has a population of less than 100 people, is excited for the young family’s arrival.

“We are all pleased to know that they are coming to Anmer, but we aren’t going to be too forward about it,” a local source tells PEOPLE. “There won’t be a huge street party or anything like that. We hope they will be happy here, which I am sure they will. And we hope to eventually see them out and about with Princess Charlotte.”

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And as the family drives in, they might notice a few subtle efforts made by the people of Anmer to welcome the Cambridges to town.

“Today, some cattle was put on the fields around the Hall, and I think that was so the children could see them when they arrive,” the source adds. “It is a very country thing for country folk and completely different to their life in London. The children will be among the wildlife from day one, so it will be ideal.”

Will is set to have two weeks’ paternity leave from his new job as an air ambulance pilot, for which he re-starts training on June 1.

Kate will take more time off from official duties than she did last time and she is not planning on adding any extra help.

“With two very young children, the focus will be on the family this summer,” a royal source says.

For much more on Princess Charlotte’s first days at home with William, Kate and big brother George, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Reporting by PHILIP BOUCHER and SIMON PERRY

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