Where Prince William and Princess Kate Will Escape to When Their New Baby Is Born
The royal family is expected to head straight to their country home after spending a few post-birth days in London
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The plan is, once the baby has been introduced to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital, the family will immediately retire to Kensington Palace in London for a “couple of days,” a palace aide says.
Then, likely after the leading members of both families have met the newborn, they will head 150 miles north east to Norfolk and 10-bedroom Anmer Hall.
Friends tell PEOPLE that the couple are loving the peace and space that it gives them to raise their young children. It is one of the major reasons William, 32, chose his new job as an air ambulance pilot with the local East Anglian service.
And locals, who are fiercely royalist and proud to have the family living close by, couldn’t agree more about the peace of the countryside – and they will give the Cambridges the distance to thrive and grow.
“It’s a lovely place to live, with the parkland around it. There are very few places nowadays where they will be able to live a ‘normal’ life,” one local tells PEOPLE. “That’s why they have come to the country. The children will be able to see the cattle on the park and play in the open.”
In the last year, Kate has been leading the renovations of the home – which was a gift from Queen Elizabeth II – as she prepares for it to become the family’s main residence. And the couple spent Christmas there, hosting the Middletons.
“They have been up here quite a bit,” the local adds. “But we are expecting to see them more now the prince is set to start his job with the air ambulance.”
After the initial post-birth weeks, William will head to work at the East Anglian Air Ambulance on June 1. And, as Kate will have two young children, she is not expected to return to her official duties for sometime, giving her the summer to concentrate on the family.
The local says that the residents are anticipating the royals’ arrival back in Norfolk with some typically British understated appreciation. “I don’t think there is any euphoria or anything like that! We realize they are coming and they will be very welcome.”
Someone who has already given the country life the thumbs up is little Prince George, 21 months. “He is really enjoying the new environment,” a friend has told PEOPLE.
Keep reading PEOPLE.com for more on the royal birth.