Theres a renewed energy for the Cambridges moving to Windsor suddenly
Last summer, there were a series of fascinating stories in the Mail and Vanity Fair about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s living arrangements. No, there wasn’t any confirmation that William and Kate are living apart, although I do believe they are. But starting last June, there were some curious stories about how Kate and William were house-hunting in Berkshire, to be closer to Kate’s parents. Then there was a story about how William has his eye on Royal Lodge, and he wants Prince Andrew kicked out so that William can move his family in. Then a month later, there was basically a confirmation that William and Kate are unhappy with their London base at Kensington Palace, and they were definitely looking at a permanent move to Windsor all of a sudden.
Katie Nicholl’s Vanity Fair piece on all of this keen real estate was fascinating too, it was basically a confirmation from the Middleton side of things, with sources saying that William and Kate want to move “closer to the Queen” and they “feel overlooked” at KP, although if they move to Windsor, they’ll still keep their huge KP “apartment.” Since September, we’ve heard precious little about any real estate changes for the Cambridges though, and I have been wondering if they’re still hellbent on moving. Over the past week, suddenly several stories popped up about how Fort Belvedere would be perfect for the Keens. Hm.
It is now reported by Marie Claire that the Cambridges will be adding a further property to their list of family homes, as the couple consider Fort Belvedere, otherwise known as ‘the Queen’s forgotten castle’ or ‘The Fort’ within the fold, as their permanent address. Situated in the Surrey hills, the impressive 18th century castle in Windsor Great Park poses a suitable choice for the family as its distance from London and Windsor means that the couple can remain close to their duties in the capital and to the Queen at her Berkshire castle. It is rumoured that the property is so close to London that you can see the silhouette of St Paul’s Cathedral through ‘a spy-glass’ from the Fort’s windows.
The gothic-revival style country house is the previous home of King Edward VIII, which the former Prince of Wales confessed witnessed ‘some of the happiest days of my life’. It is reportedly the place where the Queen’s late uncle signed his abdication papers in 1936. Following the decision to resign from his Royal position, Edward’s home remained unoccupied for 20 years until it was leased to Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood and Mary, Princess Royal, the daughter of King George V until 1976.
Canadian billionaire retail magnate Galen Weston and his wife, Hilary, are currently living at the property. Close friends of the Royal Family, the businessman is known to play polo with Prince Charles and the Queen, and the late Prince Philip attended a ball at The Fort, celebrating Hilary’s 60th birthday in June 2014.
Fort Belvedere was one of the potential properties mentioned in last summer’s reporting, but again, “sources” made it sound like William was much more interested in Royal Lodge. I think Royal Lodge is closer to Windsor Castle, and perhaps the accommodations are more modern. While Fort Belvedere is a huge, impressive piece of real estate, it’s still basically styled like a g–damn medieval fort. The architecture is apparently “Gothic Revival” technically – you can see some aerial photos here at Architectural Digest. I imagine it’s drafty as hell and maybe not the best place for small children? Who knows though, I would totally live there, except I would scare myself to pieces. It definitely looks like the kind of place with at least five ghosts. Why the renewed energy for Fort Belvedere? Is the Queen about to kick out a Canadian billionaire and install the Keens in a fancy fort?
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instar.
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