The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their son Prince George at his christening.

July 2013: An heir is born

The world's media crowded the front door of St Mary's hospital in London this July as the third in line to the throne was born.

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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.
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.

Read: First birthday photograph of Prince George released

Charles 'helped' with Kensington Palace renovation

Charles and Camilla may have provided assistance with the costs.
Charles and Camilla "may have" provided assistance with the costs. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

A senior aide to Charles and Camilla has hinted that the pair helped with the private costs of renovating their Kensington Palace apartment.

William Nye, principal private secretary to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, said: "Young couples setting up home receive some help from their parents or grandparents. Some assistance may have been provided."

Read: Cost of keeping Royal palaces up 45% in a year

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William and Kate's apartment 'required complete refit'

Royal sources have defended the amount of public money spent on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's family residence at Kensington Palace, claiming it is "not opulent".

Despite more than £4 million of taxpayer cash being used to "completely reservice" the property, the source said William and Kate were "at pains" to "bear down" the cost to the public purse.

The Cambridges have been extremely sensitive to the fact that public funds were paying for a lot of this work [...]

"It is done to a very comfortable but ordinary level."

– Royal aide

Royal household sources said the apartment had required a "complete refit" and had problems such as no running water but the spending on it was now complete.

Furniture and fittings in the home, which is understood to have around 20 rooms, were met privately by the couple.

Charles earnings top £21m as state income doubles

The Prince of Wales received a record total of £21.7 million from his private estate and taxpayer funding in the last tax year, official figures have revealed.

Charles and Camilla during an eleven-day visit to India last year.
Charles and Camilla during an eleven-day visit to India last year. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Archive

The vast majority of the earnings came from the Duchy of Cornwall, which brought in £19.5 million after a rise of 2.4% or around half a million pounds compared with 2012/13.

The amount of money drawn from the state funded sovereign grant and government departments for official activities of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall nearly doubled compared with the previous year to almost £2.2 million.

Charles Principle Private Secretary, William Nye, said the rise in the use of public funds was mainly down to the fact that the travel costs of Charles's official engagements had returned to a "more normal" level after being "artificially low" the year before.

Many trips of the conducted last year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee were funded by other countries in the Commonwealth realm, they said.

Read: Cost of keeping Royal palaces up 45% in a year

Will and Kate flat refurb costs public more than £4m

Kensington Palace shown surrounded by scaffolding last year.
Kensington Palace shown surrounded by scaffolding last year. Credit: Friso Gentsch/DPA

The taxpayer cost of refurbishing William and Kate's family home was £3.4 million last year, official figures show.

The 20-plus roomed apartment at 1A Kensington Palace was "completely reserviced" from April last year following the removal of asbestos that had made the property uninhabitable.

Around £1.1 million was spent on the property the previous year, taking the total to prepare it for the couple and their son Prince George to move in to more than £4m excluding the work to remove asbestos.

Royal household sources said the apartment had required a "complete refit" and had problems such as no running water but the spending on it was now complete.

Furniture and fittings in the home, which is understood to have around 20 rooms, were met privately by the couple as well as a kitchen and they were said to be "at pains" to "bear down" on public costs.

Royal family cost taxpayers 56p each in a year

More than a third of the spending was on palace maintenance.
More than a third of the spending was on palace maintenance. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

The monarchy cost the taxpayer £35.7 million in the last tax year - or 56p for each person in the country, Buckingham Palace accounts have revealed.

The Queen's official expenditure increased in actual terms by £2.4 million from the previous year, while the real terms rise was £1.9 million or 5.7%.

More than a third of the sovereign grant - the system of finance given from the public purse to support the official duties of the monarchy - was spent on maintaining palaces.

The accounts show spending on property maintenance increased by £4.2 million to £13.3 million - a real terms rise of 45% as the Royal Family attempted to tackle a "backlog" of restoration work.

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'We are grateful to the Duke for his understanding'

The Metropolitan Police has said the force is grateful to the Duke of York for his understanding after he was challenged by officers in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Andrew was asked to confirm his identity after a break-in at the Palace 48 hours earlier.

In light of media reports we can confirm that the man spoken to by officers was the Duke of York. We are making this public with HRH's permission.

We are grateful to the Duke for his understanding and have apologised for any inconvenience caused.

– Metropolitan Police statement

An earlier statement had only confirmed a man was ordered to verify his identity by two officers in the palace's gardens at around 6pm on Wednesday.

Read: Duke of York 'grateful' for police apology

Duke of York 'grateful' for police apology

Prince Andrew looks forward to a "safe walk" in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Credit: Alastair Grant/PA Wire

The Duke of York has said he is "grateful" for an apology from police after officers challenged him in the gardens of Buckingham Palace less than 48 hours after a break-in at the Queen's home.

The Met Police confirmed that a man was ordered to verify his identity by two officers at around 6pm on Wednesday.

Prince Andrew said in a statement today: "The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong."I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."

Police deny Prince Andrew held at gunpoint at Palace

The Metropolitan Police have denied a report that claimed Prince Andrew was held at gunpoint by armed police while being challenged by officers at Buckingham Palace.

The Sunday Express has reported the 53-year-old was ordered "put your hands up and get on the ground" during a brief stand-off.

But a statement from the Met fails to corroborate the account, instead saying:

On Wednesday, 4 September at approximately 1800hrs two uniformed officers approached a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity.

The man was satisfactorily identified. No weapons were drawn and no force was used.

– Spokesman for the Metropolitan Police

Read: Previous scares involving the Royal Family

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