If we say “Royal Library” the first images that pop into your head are probably of Shakespearean Folios and priceless first editions. And no doubt these are what make up the Royal Library and Archives at Windsor Castle. But one of the things many of us admire about the Duchess of Cambridge is her warmth and ease. So we are willing to bet the personal library in Apartment 1A is not a white-glove-only affair. On the contrary, what we know of Catherine’s style and interests suggests that the library at Kensington Palace is a relaxed extension of the Cambridge family’s lifestyle. You, too, can incorporate these elements into your own royal reading space.
Artfully arranged books
The best peek to date into Catherine’s personal design style came during the Obamas’ visit to KP in 2016. The few bookshelves glimpsed during the visit showed titles variously arranged on differently-sized shelves for artistic effect – not just spine-out and lined up like soldiers. Organizing books by color scheme is de rigueur right now; perhaps the Duchess has brought some color into her living space by following suit.
(Want some other ideas on how to organize your bookshelves? This What Should I Read Next? podcast episode provides a great spark of inspiration!)
Because of her position, Catherine can probably get her hands on any title she needs faster than Amazon Prime delivers. This frees up her shelf space for those cherished titles that she would want to have at her fingertips. While we don’t have exact details as to what is on Kate’s shelves, our money is on a lovely edition Anne of Green Gables (a childhood favorite of Kate’s, she shared, during the Cambridges’ visit to Prince Edward Island in 2011), plenty of photography and art books, as well as history titles and sport biographies for William.
(Looking for some Duchess-worthy titles? Check out WWKD’s recommendations for Her Royal Highness!)
Plenty of comfortable seating
The Obama visit highlighted the Duchess’s emphasis on clean lines and comfort in her design style, with plentiful, plush seating and soft cushions. This philosophy would translate perfectly to a reading space, where Kate would want her family to feel cozy curled up with a good book.
The Cambridges are unapologetically family-first, so Catherine has certainly kept little royal hands in mind when organizing her shelves. If there are any first editions, they’re bound to be on a top shelf. On the flip side, Kate would want to encourage George and Charlotte to pick out titles on their own by placing age appropriate picture books on lower shelves.