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London 2012: Royals plan to rent field to Russia for Olympics

Kensington Palace
Image caption The Royal Household wants to rent out a field next to Kensington Palace

The grounds of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's London home could be used by Russia to celebrate its Olympic sports stars.

Plans show the Royal Household wants to rent out a field near Kensington Palace for London 2012 so a temporary pavilion for Russian athletes can be built.

The scheme is part of wider plans to generate extra income for the Queen's official expenditure after it was cut.

Another proposal is to hire out the state rooms of St James' Palace.

Both plans need approval from the local authority, Kensington and Chelsea council.

The planned pavilion would be a cultural space for the Russian Olympic Committee to celebrate its athletes' participation in the global sporting event.

'Aiding Sovereign Grant'

William and his wife Kate live in a property close to the proposed site - Perks Field - when in London, and have already attended a charity fundraising dinner held there in June.

Image caption The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a charity event at Kensington Palace in June

The open space is also used by local schools and is the site of a royal helicopter landing pad and the Royal Household football pitch.

A decision on the application will be taken by planning officers in the new year.

Royal finances are in the process of being overhauled by the government which has created a Sovereign Grant to replace current funding avenues.

Under the Grant, which will be in place from 2013-14, the amount of money to fund the Royal Household in its public duties could be 9% lower in real terms by 2015.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman would not go into details about the plans, but said: "It's a way of helping or adding to the Sovereign Grant for the next three years."

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