TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Mar 02, 2024

All the King’s houses — from Clarence House to cottages in Transylvania

All the King’s houses — from Clarence House to cottages in Transylvania

It’s not all fairy-tale castles — the King’s property portfolio includes a rustic farmhouse in Wales and cottages in Transylvania

The first-born of Queen Elizabeth II came into the world on November 14, 1948, delivered in a guest room at Buckingham Palace, converted into a make- shift maternity unit.

When he was a month old, an official photograph was taken of mother and child by celebrity photographer Cecil Beaton, who recorded in his diary that the Prince “interrupted a long, contented sleep to do my bidding and open his blue eyes to stare long and wonderingly into the camera lens, the beginning of a lifetime in the glare of public duty”.

Last year, following the death of his mother, the 775-room palace became King Charles’ official London residence.

In the interim he has called everywhere from a bunk house deep in the Australian outback to most of the great royal palaces home. And his property empire ranges from houses in all four nations of the United Kingdom to a quaint rustic farmhouse close to Dracula’s reputed castle.

The King and Queen Consort, seen here at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast where they have use of a home


An austere childhood


The King’s early years were spent at his parents’ official London residence — Clarence House, where he currently lives — but the family moved on in 1952, when Princess Elizabeth became Queen.

His childhood was thereafter split between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, with holidays spent at the family’s country estates at Sandringham in Norfolk, and Balmoral in Scotland.

After prep school in Hampshire — where the future king was reportedly teased for his big ears and sporting ineptitude — Charles was sent on to Gordonstoun, the hardcore Scottish boarding school his father had attended.

At 17, the future king spent two school terms at Timbertop in Victoria, Australia, where he spent time hiking, climbing and fishing


There he slept in an unheated, prefabricated wooden dormitory hut, and endured a regime of early morning cross country runs and ice-cold showers. Even in the north of Scotland HRH could not avoid the press — an early royal scandal involved the 14-year-old Charles ordering a cherry brandy at a pub in Stornoway Harbour.

The King’s next billets were on the other side of the world, and a far happier experience. At 17 he spent two terms at Timbertop, the wilderness branch of the Geelong Church of England Grammar School, in Melbourne, Australia, where he threw himself into a rustic life of hiking, climbing and fishing.

Charles moved on to Cambridge University, where, despite indifferent A-level grades, he attended Trinity College reading archaeology and anthropology, later switching to history.

The King bought Highgrove House, Gloucestershire, for £865,000 in 1980


First-time buy


Although he had apartments in various royal residences during his 20s the King did not actually own a home of his own until 1980. A year before his marriage to Diana Spencer he spent £865,000 on Highgrove House, Gloucestershire — an outstanding investment since the house and its surrounding farmland is today worth an estimated £30 million. The nine-bedroom Georgian property was built in 1798 and during his tenure the King has designed 15 acres of gardens with two fountains fitted with willow ramps, to give any small mammals that fall in a means of escape.

Highgrove House and its surrounding farmland is today worth an estimated £30 million


Highgrove is said to be the King’s favourite home. Unfortunately for him it was bought with funds from the Duchy of Cornwall, which passed to Prince William after the death of the Queen last year. This means that the King will need to start paying rent to his son if he wishes to continue using it.


London homes


When in London Charles and Diana lived in Apartment 8 and 9, Kensington Palace. After the couple separated Diana remained at the palace and the then Prince of Wales moved out, first to St James’s Palace, and then to Clarence House, which has been his London base ever since. Indeed, despite claiming the metaphorical keys to Buckingham Palace last year he and the Queen Consort are expected to remain at Clarence House until at least 2027 while renovations take place. Recent pictures suggest the King and Queen share a maximalist taste in interiors and an aversion to modern design.

Clarence House has been the King’s London home for 20 years


A photo of Camilla, the Queen Consort, in the morning room shows a marble fireplace with two pink cockerel ornaments and crystal lustres on the mantelpiece, a painting of a woman in a pink ballgown by Walter Sickert on the wall, and knick-knacks including a bust of the late Queen, plates with botanical designs in a cabinet, three blue model elephants, and silver desk accessories.

Two pink cockerels are among ornaments on the marble fireplace in the morning room at Clarence House


A grand inheritance


The death of the late Queen expanded the scope of King Charles’s property portfolio considerably.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, which stands at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, became his official Scottish residence, although the monarch usually visits only once a year. The King will probably spend more time at the Balmoral Estate, Aberdeenshire.

The estate was originally a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria; he paid £32,000 for it in 1852 and then commissioned an extravagantly turreted, 50-bedroom baronial-style castle to accommodate the royal household. It has passed from monarch to monarch ever since.

The King and Queen Consort are expected to remain at Clarence House until at least 2027 while renovations take place at Buckingham Palace


Before his mother’s death, Prince Charles would stay at Birkhall, a more modest house on the estate of which he is extremely fond. He and Camilla honeymooned there in 2005 and they may decide to continue staying there rather than the main castle. It has been suggested that the King may even open Balmoral Castle to the public, as a museum dedicated to the late Queen.

In an interview with the BBC, King Charles said Birkhall was particularly special to him because it once belonged to his grandmother, the Queen Mother.

“It’s by this river called the Muick, and it has this wonderful sound of rushing water,” he said. “When you are in the house it’s very calming and peaceful.”

Décor-wise Birkhall has a more laidback country vibe than Clarence House, with plenty of tartan touches. But with photographs propped on every surface, and the King’s desk piled with messy paperwork, it must be a nightmare to dust.

The King also has the use of an apartment at Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland, where British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985.

Back in England, the King inherited the Sandringham Estate, in Norfolk, from his mother. The royal family congregates there at Christmas, as depicted in the 2021 movie Spencer. In the film, Kristen Stewart plays a disintegrating Princess Diana enduring a painful family festive season with the in-laws whose holiday traditions include Christmas Eve present opening, highly competitive games of charade and a pre- and post-Christmas dinner weigh-in.


Duchy to Dracula


On the downside, becoming King means relinquishing the Duchy of Cornwall, which passes to Prince William. The estate is a fantastic money spinner, comprising more that 130,000 acres of farmland, forests, coastline, and residential and commercial properties, and it also includes a large part of the Isles of Scilly. The King has designed a private holiday home on the islands which, presumably, his son will still allow him to visit.

Prince William also inherits his father’s home in Wales. In 2007 the King bought Llwynywermod, a mini-estate in Carmarthenshire. The £1.2 million property includes a modest 18th-century farmhouse, 192 acres, plus two cottages that can be rented for mini-breaks when the royals are not in situ.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, which stands at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, is the monarch’s official Scottish residence


Llwynywermod is probably the most pared-down and rustic of the royal residences. Parts are still pretty regal, however, like the vaulted dining room that would comfortably seat 18.

Most of the King’s properties are, naturally, in the UK. The only exceptions are the boltholes he owns in — weird but true — Romania’s Transylvania region. Both properties are close to Bran Castle, the ancestral home of Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century warlord thought to be the inspiration for Dracula and is said to be a distant relative of the British royals.

The King discovered the delights of central Romania in 1998 and went on to buy and restore a three-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage in the village of Viscri, a World Heritage site.

In 2008 King Charles bought a five-bedroom, five-bathroom home with guest cottage in the village of Zalánpatak, which he visits most summers. The house has been exquisitely restored and its timber ceilings, ornate tiling, and authentic antique furniture and textiles make a nice change of pace from the clutter and clashing patterns in some of the King’s other properties.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×