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Baby Charlotte off to the country

Published 06/05/2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge show off newborn daughter Princess Charlotte
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge show off newborn daughter Princess Charlotte

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left Kensington Palace with their four-day-old daughter Princess Charlotte as they retreat to their country home Anmer Hall.

William and Kate headed out of London with their new baby and her elder brother Prince George as they made their way to their bolthole in Norfolk.

They will spend the first few weeks of the princess's life in their refurbished Georgian mansion on the Queen's private Sandringham estate as they get to grips with looking after both a newborn and a toddler.

Kensington Palace confirmed the family had set off for Anmer Hall.

Princess Charlotte has had a busy first few days since she arrived on Saturday and made her debut on the steps of the Lindo Wing, sleeping soundly through her first photocall.

Royal relatives including great-grandmother the Queen and grandfather the Prince of Wales travelled to Kensington Palace to meet the fourth-in-line-to-the-throne princess, as have Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and sister Pippa Middleton.

William is on two weeks paternity leave from his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot and is expected to start the final phase of his training at the beginning of June.

The couple's Range Rover, being driven by William with Kate in the front passenger seat, was seen leaving Kensington Palace on what was Princess Charlotte's first outing since leaving hospital.

Rosa Monckton, a friend of William's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, has tweeted her approval at their choice of names for the princess, saying: "Diana's spirit lives on in her sons, and now her name lives on in her granddaughter. #CharlotteElizabethDiana".

The Princess's name also includes a tribute to the Queen, who met her fifth great-grandchild for the first time yesterday, shortly after William and Kate formally registered the birth of their daughter.

The Queen, who was in North Yorkshire attending a military event when Charlotte was born, arrived at Kensington Palace in a chauffeur-driven car and spent around 30 minutes with her grandson, his wife and Princess Charlotte.

The historic meeting was the first time a serving sovereign had met a great-granddaughter born in direct succession on the male line since Queen Victoria met George VI's sister Princess Mary, who was born 118 years ago in 1897.

Anmer Hall - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's 10-bedroom country retreat - was a gift to the couple from the Queen following their wedding.

The secluded red brick Georgian mansion sits on the monarch's vast, private Sandringham estate in Norfolk. It is a short drive from Sandringham House and recently underwent a £1.5 million refurbishment overseen by William and Kate.

Kate could be seen wearing a blue and white printed scarf and pearl drop earrings, but there was no glimpse of baby Charlotte or Prince George thanks to the blacked-out rear windows.

The Duke and Duchess's full-time live-in nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, will be on hand to help as they adjust to life at Anmer Hall and Kate's mother, Carole Middleton, is also expected to offer her support.

Kate's focus will be on her young family over the summer as she enjoys her maternity leave as a mother of two.

The Duchess spent much of her pregnancy overseeing major renovations on their Norfolk home, including the conversion of wood stores into accommodation for the nanny and the creation of a garden room.

The mansion, which already had a swimming pool and a tennis court, has a £500,000 new roof, as well as a new kitchen, garden room, re-landscaped front driveway and new nursery for George and Charlotte. The ren ovations were paid for mostly from the Royal Family's private funds.

When William finishes his paternity leave he will be on unpaid leave until he restarts work on June 1, when he will begin a final three-week phase of training before beginning to fly rescue missions with the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity.

At some stage the Cambridges can expect a visit from Prince Harry. Charlotte's uncle is in Australia and about to embark on an official tour of New Zealand so will not be able to meet the new Princess until at least mid-May.

Harry, who moved down to fifth in line to the throne following the baby's arrival, has already described his brother's daughter as "absolutely beautiful" and said he cannot wait to meet her.

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