The newly-minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have much more than the ghost of King George II to contend with when they move into the royal family's most haunted house, Kensington Palace.
James Clark's description of the royal ghoul to Morton Report readers reminded me of conversations with members of staff when I was researching a book on William and Catherine's new home.
Another ghost is that of Princess Sophia, George III's delicate and near-blind daughter who moved into Kensington Palace in 1820. From time to time the sound of a spinning wheel, her only pleasure in life, is said to come from her former apartments, later occupied by the present Queen's sister, Princess Margaret who once said, rather sceptically,''There is only one Princess who lives in this house and that is me. My house is not haunted.'
Her staff were not convinced. On one occasion her housekeeper the late Jean McIntyre spotted a shrouded figure in the hallway wearing a striped Regency dress of the type favoured by Princess Sophia. Her face was unclear but in an instant she was gone. On another occasion she was dusting figurines in the bedroom. When she had finished something made her turn. To her horror she watched as a figurine swayed back and forth and then crashed to the ground. A gust of wind or the sign of a spiritual presence?
On another occasion two carpenters were working near the same guest room and one carpenter felt the presence of someone standing behind him. He thought it was his mate - until he realised he was working downstairs. He needed a stiff drink after that.
The most chilling experience occurred late one night when Mrs. McIntyre and her colleague had retired to bed. As they were settling down for the night the evening calm was split by a blood-curdling scream. Both servants dragged on their dressing gowns and raced to each other's bedroom wondering what was going on. They met half way down the shared corridor to discover that neither had uttered a sound. There was no one in the house that night.
Seems that Catherine had better get used to things that go bump in the night!