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Kate to make first official solo trip abroad

The Duchess of Cambridge is set for her first official solo trip without Prince William.

The Duchess of Cambridge is set for her first official trip without her husband, Prince William. Credit: Asadour Guzelian/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Kate will travel to Malta on September 20th and 21st to represent the Queen as the island celebrates 50 years since becoming an independent state.

Kensington Palace said more details about the trip would be announced in due course.

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Royals defend Kensington palace apartment spending

The Royal Family have defended spending a seven-figure sum refurbishing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Kensington Palace apartment.

The Cupola room at Kensington Palace Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

A royal spokesman said repairs and refurbishments - reported to cost around £4 million, though this figure was not confirmed by the royal household - included "significant amount of internal building" to "return the residence to function as a living space".

The King's Staircase at Kensington Palace in London. Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

William and Kate's Kensington Palace apartment was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and was the home of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. Margaret remained there after their divorce and lived there until her death in 2002.

The living space was last refurbished in 1963.

A royal spokesman said: "This is the Duke and Duchess's one and only official residence. It is here that they plan to stay for many, many years to come."

The Presence Chamber, part of the King's State appartments at Kensington Palace. Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

He said William and Kate "paid privately" for all the internal furnishings, including carpets and curtains.

Kate and William's home renovation 'to cost £4 million'

The cost of renovating the new Kensington Palace home of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is to reach £4 million pounds, according to reports.

The taxpayer will foot the bill for extensive work on the property, including installing a new roof, overhauling the electrics and carrying out significant plumbing works.

Kensington Palace renovation works are paid for by the taxpayer. Credit: John Stillwell/PA

A royal spokesman said repairs and refurbishments - reported to cost in the region of £4 million, though this figure was not confirmed by the royal household - would also see a "significant amount of internal building" to "return the residence to function as a living space".

He said William and Kate "paid privately" for all the internal furnishings, including carpets and curtains. They were also at pains to ensure that the specification is not extravagant.

'I was pleased I could tell Kate about her granny'

The Duchess of Cambridge "has her grandmother's eyes" said 90-year-old Lady Marion Body, who worked alongside Kate's granny at Bletchley Park, World War II's famous "spy school".

She told ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot about the family resemblance:

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Duchess meets Lady who worked with grandmother

The Duchess of Cambridge has met a code-breaker who worked alongside her grandmother at Bletchley Park during World War Two.

Kate shook hands with Lady Marion Body and talked about her grandmother Valerie Glassborow, who worked as a civilian member of staff, probably as a duty officer.

Kate meets Lady Marion Body who worked at Bletchley park with Kate's grandmother. Credit: ITV News

Duchess tries out being a 'spy' at Bletchley Park

The Duchess of Cambridge was sent signals similar to those sent out by the enemy and interpreted at 'spy school' Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

The Duchess of Cambridge tries her hand at being a spy at Bletchley Park. Credit: ITV News

Her grandmother Valerie Glassborow worked at the famous site as a civilian member of staff, probably a duty officer, with her twin sister Mary.

The Duchess is sent a signal and attempts to decode radio messages sent from the enemy as she tours the Park. Credit: ITV News

Kate's visit marked a year-long restoration project at the Buckinghamshire site.

Duchess' grandmother worked alongside codebreakers

The Duchess of Cambridge's grandmother worked as a civilian member of staff at Bletchley Park, where code-breakers were credited with shortening the Second World War by at least two years.

Documents from October 1944 show she worked, alongside her twin sister Mary, probably as a duty officer.

The Duchess of Cambridge's grandparents, Peter Middleton and Valerie Glassborow, on their wedding day in 1946. Credit: SWNS

Miss Glassborow married Second World War Mosquito pilot Peter Middleton in 1946 and went on to give birth to Michael, Kate's father.

Kate's paternal family tree can be traced back to Henry VIII through Elizabeth Knollys, who was not only the great-niece of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, but also almost certainly the illegitimate granddaughter of Henry himself.

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