Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Windsors => Topic started by: Cunarder on April 05, 2006, 12:18:44 AM

Title: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Cunarder on April 05, 2006, 12:18:44 AM
I was enjoying the Royal Interiors thread (newbie that I am, trying to catch up to the rest of you!) when a question came to mind.  I am curious about the Grace and Favour system, specifically for servants of the Crown, and other non-royals. I'm assuming the honor provides for rent, but anything else?  Utilities?   Also, is this system on the wane?  I toured several vacant G&F flats in Hampton Court last May, and was told by a guide that now after a tenant vacated an apartment, that these were no longer being occupied.   Is this specific only to Hampton Court?   Or to all such properties?

What a treat it was to visit Princess Margaret's apartment at Kensington last year.  It seemed that these rooms had only been on public display since 2004 or so.   There was a bit of remodelling being done at the time, and I'm wondering if anyone has visited her rooms since then and what has been done?   Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on April 05, 2006, 03:19:06 PM
As you rightly indicated, there has long been a system of providing accomodation to royal retainers and others at the "grace and favour" of the sovereign.  These homes are traditionally in one of the occupied or unoccupied royal palaces.   Kensington and Hampton Court Palaces have been the largest locations for such residences in recent centuries - although Windsor Castle & Parks, St. James Palace, the Tower of London, Marlborough House Mews, are also used.

Residents are varied, and included current and retired courtiers and royal staff, royal relatives and even foreign royalty, current and former government officials and diplomats, retired military leaders, and even regular old people.  This system made sense, since royal and civil staff were frequently ill-paid or even not paid at all, and accomodation was a natural substitute for salaries.

The terms of the tenancy varied, but generally these residents lived rent-free, but were responsible for interior maintenance and decor.  The page I mentioned above says that HCP residents often had to haggle with the Lord Chamberlain over who paid to install or fix bathrooms, lifts, or kitchens...

The practice of granting grace-and-favour accomodation has definitely declined in recent decades as the overall cost of the monarchy has come under scruitiny.  HCP is slowly being abadoned for such purposes and it would seem that so is Kensington Palace.  (Side note:  check out the HCP section of the HRP website - they have a very detailed history of who lived where over the centuries!)

According to Parliamentary records, there were 244 self-contained residences on the Royal Estate (the property directly occupied by the Crown) as of 2001.  They house a mix of residents - from current royal household employees (private secretaries and royal chauffeurs all the way down to people who maintain the palaces and grounds), to retirees and widows/widowers.  Parliiament has complained about the costs of maintaining these properties, and even more so of refurbishing them.  One apartment was recently refurbished at the cost of 250,000 pounds for the Queen's Private Secretary!!!!

It should be noted that it isn't just the Royal Household who enjoy grace and favour residences.  There are official residences at Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster, Admirality House, and other locations where government officials have such accomodation!
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: grandduchessella on April 05, 2006, 04:55:52 PM
There were some good tidbits on the HRP website:

One long-term resident was Miss Millicent Gordon who holds the record for being the only grace-and-favour resident to have lived in the palace for over one hundred years. During Miss Gordon's residency the apartment was neither modernised nor updated and, notably, had no bathroom. In 1941 the Housekeeper wrote on Millicent's behalf to request the installation of a bath. Her application, nevertheless, was turned down by senior officialdom. Miss Gordon's longevity was not taken into consideration and she had to manage without a bathroom for a further eight years until her death in October 1949, aged almost 105 years.

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh (1876-1948) lived in Faraday House, opposite Hampton Court Green, as a Grace and Favour resident. She was the daughter of Duleep Singh, Maharajah of the Punjab until 1849 when he surrendered the region to the British Empire along with the famous Koh-i-noor diamond. Princess Sophia lived there with two of her sisters, Bamba and Catherine. The princesses raised funds during both world wars for Indian soldiers, and to a greater or lesser extent, were active in the Suffragette Movement at both local and national levels. Sophia has been described as a 'suffragette fanatic' and as a member of the Tax Resistance League, was fined several times and had jewellery confiscated for non-payment of taxes. The 1934 edition of Women's Whose Who listed 'the Advancement of Women' as her only interest. The Suffragette movement had a deep impact on the palace. Some of its residents were militant supporters and in February 1913 the palace was closed to the public for seven months "owing to the fear of damage by women suffragists". There were also extra policemen employed to guard the palace during the height of the potential threat.

Grand Duchess Xenia lived in Wilderness House next to the maze. Xenia was the highest-ranking member of the White Russian aristocracy in London and as a result Hampton Court became an important place of pilgrimage for Russia's exiled society. Visitors were astonished at the simple life that she led during her twenty-three years tenure at the palace. Her simple reply was: 'The Russian Revolution took almost everything from me, but the Bolsheviks left with me with one privilege - to be a private person'.

The famous Antarctic explorer, Sir Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) was married in the palace's Chapel Royal on 2 September 1908. He was 40, and his bride, Kathleen Bruce, a famous sculptor in her own right, was 28. Kathleen was living in a grace-and-favour apartment in the palace with her aunt, Mrs Zoe Thomson. In 1915 a grace-and-favour warrant was granted to Scott's mother, Hannah, who lived in Apartment 44 (currently part of the offices of the Palace Director), until her death in 1924. Curiously, some years later it was allocated to Ernest Shackleton's widow, Lady Emily, who lived there from 1930 until her death in 1936. Shackleton (1874-1922), a fellow famous Antarctic explorer, served in 1901 as a junior officer under Captain Scott in Discovery.

A celebrated and much-loved 20th century figure, Lady Baden-Powell, moved into her palace apartment in 1942. She was heavily involved in the Scouting Movement that her husband had founded. She described how, during the war, she survived a bomb, which exploded causing her ceiling to collapse in 1944.  "I was astounded; I had never dreamed of such a privilege being accorded me'. The apartment was 'a bit dilapidated' because of the war but most importantly would be 'home'". Lady Baden-Powell's response following the offer of a palace apartment in 1942.

 Hampton Court had very successful football and cricket teams, which consisted of palace residents & employees. In the early 1920's they won numerous awards, with the football team Champions of Division I in the Kingston League for three successive years. The trophies were presented to the teams by the palace grace and favour ladies - which the palace still holds.

The palace founded its own Infant's School 1877. It closed its doors in the early 1950s and has since become home for the security team of the palace. Alongside the children of palace staff and local people, palace residents the young Russian Romanov princes and princesses, who lived at Wilderness House next to the maze, also attended the school.

 
 





Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: grandduchessella on April 05, 2006, 04:58:58 PM
about one of the non-royal Grace & Favours

Prescott 'has £46,000 income tax liability on his Whitehall flat'
By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 14/01/2006)

John Prescott should be paying more than a third of his ministerial salary in tax for the benefit-in-kind that he receives from living in his Government-owned flat in Whitehall, a senior tax accountant said yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister admitted on Thursday that he had not paid a penny in council tax on the £2.3 million flat in Admiralty House in more than eight years owing to a misunderstanding between himself and his department.

The man responsible for overseeing repeated council tax rises will now pay about £6,000 to remedy the situation. But Michael Warburton, the senior tax partner at Grant Thornton, said that Mr Prescott's council tax woes were as nothing compared with what his income tax liabilities should be.

Mr Prescott disclosed in a written answer to the Commons apologising for the council tax mistake that he paid 10 per cent of his £134,000 salary for "utilities and services" associated with the occupancy of his official residence.

But, according to Mr Warburton, that is a tiny amount compared to what he should be paying for the benefit-in-kind represented by the flat.

The three flats in Admiralty House, all occupied by Labour Cabinet ministers, are together worth about £7 million. Under current rules the tax liability on such a benefit is calculated by finding five per cent of the property's value and taxing it at 40 per cent.

The annual bill for the £2.3 million grace-and-favour residence is thus £46,000, a hefty slice of Mr Prescott's income. Added to that are expenses of running the property, such as heating and council tax if paid by the landlord.

The same tax liability should apply to the other ministerial tenants, Geoff Hoon, the Leader of the House of Commons, and Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary. The three escape full income tax liability on the grounds that they inhabit "official residences", but why exactly that should be so is a mystery.

According to an answer given by the Prime Minister in February 2002, the three flats in Admiralty House are by tradition assigned to senior ministers, but on what grounds is unclear. The Defence Secretary was usually one of the residents, but Mr Hoon stayed in his flat despite losing his job. Mr Warburton explained: "Unlike the Prime Minister, who is obliged to live in Downing Street, and the Foreign Secretary, who should do the same at 1 Carlton Gardens, there is no particular reason why those three ministers should inhabit Admiralty House. You only escape liability if you must live in a residence on security grounds.

"Why do these three ministers require more security than, say, the current Defence Secretary? Rules on benefits in kind are clear and there is really no reason why Mr Prescott should get away with enjoying such a huge benefit-in-kind for £13,400 in income tax when he should be paying more than £46,000." The Deputy Prime Minister was hoping to a draw a line under the council tax affair yesterday, but questions remain.

In his statement, Mr Prescott said he had "no legal obligation" to pay council tax on the flat, but Mr Warburton said that was "nonsense".

"Why doesn't he? Someone - either himself or his department - have to pay. And if the department does, then he should register that on his tax form as a benefit-in-kind".

Yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Prescott said the Deputy Prime Minister did not know of the mix-up because it was "never raised". When asked why it not been, given repeated queries from the Tories, he replied: "I don't know."

Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: grandduchessella on April 05, 2006, 05:00:47 PM
Friday, October 28, 2005

Daily Mail: Grace and favour fury

By Tim Shipman
TONY BLAIR and his senior ministers pocketed nearly £130,000 of taxpayers' money in housing allowances last year despite being given the run of lavish grace-and-favour homes paid for by voters.

David Blunkett, who enjoyed the use of a free apartment in Belgravia even when he was not in government, claimed more than £20,000 last year to cover his housing costs back in Sheffield.

Mr Blair claimed £16,417 for the upkeep of his home in his Sedgefield constituency on top of 10 Downing Street and the Chequers country residence of which he has sole use completely free of charge.

Anti-sleaze campaigners last night said the ministers were being subsidised twice by the taxpayer and effectively having their mortgages paid from the public purse.

MPs claimed a total of £81million in expenses last year, a rise of £3million over 2004, according to figures released yesterday under freedom of information laws. Each MP claimed an average of £122,000, some £4,000 more than the year before. That means they are pocketing in expenses more than double their £59,000 salary.

The most expensive MP was Labour's Geraint Davies, who lost his Croydon Central seat at the General Election. He claimed an astonishing £176,026 in housing, travel, postage and staff costs. The worst sitting MP was Margaret Moran from Luton South, who racked up £168,569.

Eight of the top ten were Labour MPs, including former minister Alan Milburn who has twice received lucrative payoffs for leaving the Cabinet. But Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner gave best value to his constituents, claiming just £75,487. The seven ministers, including Mr Blair, who are given grace-andfavour homes for free claimed a total of £129,246 in Additional Costs Allowance - helping them to pay their council tax and utility bills at their second and third homes.

The money is paid to MPs for costs incurred when staying overnight away from their main home. The payments are tax-free and senior ministers also profit by renting out the London homes they occupied before they moved into their grace-and-favour homes.

Most surprising was Mr Blunkett's claim of £20,608. In addition to the Belgravia apartment gifted by the state, he gets a rental income from a house in Southfields in South-West London and has the use of a property on the Chatsworth estate owned by the Duchess of Devonshire.

Downing Street excused the payments to Mr Blair on the grounds that his Sedgefield home is used as an office. But he and wife Cherie are also claiming rental income from the two flats they own in Bristol and their £3million townhouse in London.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw claimed £17,780 despite enjoying two grace and favour homes.

Gordon Brown, who rents a separate flat in Central London and only uses his Downing Street residence for official receptions, claimed £20,285 in Additional Costs Allowance. He also has the run of the 214-acre Dorneywood estate in Buckinghamshire, which he shares with John Prescott.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who claimed £14,166 in housing allowance, also has a flat in Admiralty House, along with Geoff Hoon, who claimed £20,902 and Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett, who claimed £19,088 for her home in Derbyshire which she already owns outright.

Both Mr Hoon and Mrs Beckett supplement their income by renting out their old London flats. Mrs Beckett also pocketed £91,136 in staff costs, which include money paid to her husband Leo who runs her parliamentary constituency office.

All the payments are within the rules, but Lib Dem MP Norman Baker said: 'It looks like ministers are ripping off the system. We have come a long way from homes fit for heroes from the socialist government after the war to third homes fit for Cabinet ministers from this Labour Government.'

Martin Bell, the former independent MP and anti-sleaze campaigner, said: 'It is reasonable for MPs to have a home in London and a home in the constituency but if you're a government minister and you've got a grace-and-favour home there's no justification for making any further claim.

'I think MPs do damage to themselves by the way some of them abuse their positions.'

Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'It's ridiculous that Ministers get both a housing allowance and a free house. People who receive such a package in the private sector normally pay tax on the perk. It's outrageous to have one rule for taxpayers and another rule for MPs. Some MPs are abusing the generosity of taxpayers.'

A spokesman for Mr Blunkett said: 'There are published rules which Cabinet ministers follow exactly. They do not receive an allowance for a London home but can claim the Additional Costs Allowance for a constituency home if it is outside London. This is agreed by Parliament.'

It is not only senior ministers who are cashing in on the second homes allowance. Husband and wife Labour MPs Alan and Ann Keen whose constituencies are side by side in West London came under fire a year ago for claiming for a Central London flat even though they live only nine miles from Westminster.

Unrepentant, they claimed £31,583 last year in Additional Costs Allowance.

One MP has been shamed into partly changing her ways. Claire Curtis-Thomas, Labour MP for Crosby, topped the expenses league of shame last year, spending nearly £169,000. This year she was only the 16th most profli
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Cunarder on April 06, 2006, 09:58:09 AM
I was stunned  :o by the wealth of information in your replies!   Thank you CHRISinUSA and grandduchessella!  :)
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Caleb on April 06, 2006, 08:13:26 PM
Am I just making up things, or was John Brown given a house by Queen Victoria?
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Leuchtenberg on November 27, 2006, 05:58:58 PM
There is an extremely interesting online book called "Grace & Favour:  A handbook of who lived where in Hampton Court Palace 1750 - 1950."   There are floor plans showing the rooms and divisions of each apartment.  It's kept me occupied on a very snowy day.


http://www.historicroyalpalaces.org/Downloads/989B4A_7112_4a%20WEBHampton%20Court.pdf
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Duke of New Jersey on June 01, 2007, 03:50:27 PM
Does anybody have floor plans of Hampton Court?  The link that on the HRP website does not work anymore, and has not been working for some time.

This is the only thing I have on Hampton Court:

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/th_HamptonCourtPlan.jpg) (http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/HamptonCourtPlan.jpg)

Some exterior pics:

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/th_HamptonCourtAerial.jpg) (http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/HamptonCourtAerial.jpg)

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/th_HamptonCourtGarden.jpg) (http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/HamptonCourtGarden.jpg)

I have always found Hampton Court one of the most interesting palaces and it is really a shame that nothing is being done with it. 

-Duke of NJ
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Leuchtenberg on June 01, 2007, 10:36:18 PM
Does anybody have floor plans of Hampton Court?  The link that on the HRP website does not work anymore, and has not been working for some time.

This is the only thing I have on Hampton Court:

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/th_HamptonCourtPlan.jpg) (http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/HamptonCourtPlan.jpg)

Some exterior pics:

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/th_HamptonCourtAerial.jpg) (http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/HamptonCourtAerial.jpg)

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/th_HamptonCourtGarden.jpg) (http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa20/DukeofNewJersey/English%20Exteriors/HamptonCourtGarden.jpg)

I have always found Hampton Court one of the most interesting palaces and it is really a shame that nothing is being done with it. 

-Duke of NJ


This should give you what you are seeking.


http://www.savefile.com/files/773115
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Duke of New Jersey on June 03, 2007, 05:46:54 PM
Many thanks Leuchtenberg!!  That was great, it kept me busy.   ;D

Does anybody have labeled plans of Wren's Hampton Court as they were at the time of William, Mary, Anne or George?  I looked in a few books but they seem to concentrate on Wosely's old palace. 

Also, why did William and Mary decide to build their palace attached to Henry's palace.  Was it because of the garden and location of Hampton Court? I think it the facade of Henry's palace looks nice but it would look better if Wren's facade was the principal facade. 

-Duke of NJ
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 09, 2007, 03:45:10 PM
I have just been in London and took the opportunity to visit Hampton Court, somewhere that I have always wanted to visit.

Hampton Court is simply stunning.  Such an eclectic mix of styles and periods that really create a unique atmosphere, from the intricately painted and panelled (but tiny) Wolsey Closet to the sumptuous yet restrained State rooms of William and Mary, it really is worth a visit.

I took the trouble to look at the exhibition that dealt with the grace and favour residences at the Palace and it really was fascinating.  I believe that there are still some residents who occupy these properties but I think that the ultimate aim is for them all to be vacated.

One reason for this may be due to the fact that there was a terrible fire in one of the apartments in the 1980's (indeed not the first fire either), but the problem with this incident was that it was located in an apartment that was directly over the State Rooms.  Although the fire was contained, much damage was done to several rooms in the area of the palace created by William and Mary and it was costly in terms of time, money and expertise to restore these historically important rooms.  Also, sadly, the occupant of the apartment died in the fire...........
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 09, 2007, 03:58:49 PM

What a treat it was to visit Princess Margaret's apartment at Kensington last year.  It seemed that these rooms had only been on public display since 2004 or so.   There was a bit of remodelling being done at the time, and I'm wondering if anyone has visited her rooms since then and what has been done?   Thanks!  :)

I've just been to visit this Apartment as well.  I was amazed at the size of the flat, although only a selection of its rooms are open to the public.  I was particularly enervated at not being able to enter Pcss Margaret's drawing room (such a horrible shade of blue), but visitors are on;ly allowed to peer through a small hatch, formerly used for a projector, into the room.  At the far end was displayed an evening dress in a glass case but it was so far away, in the room beyond, that it was impossible to see!

I was more interested in the fact that Pcss Louise had lived in this apartment and there were some great photos of how it looked when she lived there (Louise had far better taste in decor than Margaret!).  There was also displayed the most beautiful head and shoulders portrait of Louise in her wedding dress but the name of the painter escapes me....I had a look for the window that Louise allegedly bricked up to prevent Lorne from roaming in the gardens at night when his mind was starting to be affected.

It was quite fascinating to see the rooms where these two royal princesses had lived, but how I wish that we could instead see the late Princess of Wales's apartment..........
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on June 10, 2007, 11:02:20 AM

I've just been to visit this Apartment as well.  I was amazed at the size of the flat, although only a selection of its rooms are open to the public.  I was particularly enervated at not being able to enter Pcss Margaret's drawing room (such a horrible shade of blue),

If I am not mistaken, what little professional decorating help Margaret had came from David Hicks.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Leuchtenberg on June 10, 2007, 01:16:37 PM

What a treat it was to visit Princess Margaret's apartment at Kensington last year.  It seemed that these rooms had only been on public display since 2004 or so.   There was a bit of remodelling being done at the time, and I'm wondering if anyone has visited her rooms since then and what has been done?   Thanks!  :)

I've just been to visit this Apartment as well.  I was amazed at the size of the flat, although only a selection of its rooms are open to the public.  I was particularly enervated at not being able to enter Pcss Margaret's drawing room (such a horrible shade of blue), but visitors are on;ly allowed to peer through a small hatch, formerly used for a projector, into the room.  At the far end was displayed an evening dress in a glass case but it was so far away, in the room beyond, that it was impossible to see!

I was more interested in the fact that Pcss Louise had lived in this apartment and there were some great photos of how it looked when she lived there (Louise had far better taste in decor than Margaret!).  There was also displayed the most beautiful head and shoulders portrait of Louise in her wedding dress but the name of the painter escapes me....I had a look for the window that Louise allegedly bricked up to prevent Lorne from roaming in the gardens at night when his mind was starting to be affected.

It was quite fascinating to see the rooms where these two royal princesses had lived, but how I wish that we could instead see the late Princess of Wales's apartment..........

Which of Margaret's rooms are open to the public?  Are they confined to the ground floor?

 The hatch you described for use by a projector is between the Library and the Drawing Room.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 11, 2007, 09:01:07 AM

I've just been to visit this Apartment as well.  I was amazed at the size of the flat, although only a selection of its rooms are open to the public.  I was particularly enervated at not being able to enter Pcss Margaret's drawing room (such a horrible shade of blue),

If I am not mistaken, what little professional decorating help Margaret had came from David Hicks.

TampaBay

Enough said.  ;)
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 11, 2007, 09:06:33 AM

What a treat it was to visit Princess Margaret's apartment at Kensington last year.  It seemed that these rooms had only been on public display since 2004 or so.   There was a bit of remodelling being done at the time, and I'm wondering if anyone has visited her rooms since then and what has been done?   Thanks!  :)

I've just been to visit this Apartment as well.  I was amazed at the size of the flat, although only a selection of its rooms are open to the public.  I was particularly enervated at not being able to enter Pcss Margaret's drawing room (such a horrible shade of blue), but visitors are on;ly allowed to peer through a small hatch, formerly used for a projector, into the room.  At the far end was displayed an evening dress in a glass case but it was so far away, in the room beyond, that it was impossible to see!

I was more interested in the fact that Pcss Louise had lived in this apartment and there were some great photos of how it looked when she lived there (Louise had far better taste in decor than Margaret!).  There was also displayed the most beautiful head and shoulders portrait of Louise in her wedding dress but the name of the painter escapes me....I had a look for the window that Louise allegedly bricked up to prevent Lorne from roaming in the gardens at night when his mind was starting to be affected.

It was quite fascinating to see the rooms where these two royal princesses had lived, but how I wish that we could instead see the late Princess of Wales's apartment..........

Which of Margaret's rooms are open to the public?  Are they confined to the ground floor?

 The hatch you described for use by a projector is between the Library and the Drawing Room.

As I recall, we came in through a guest bedroom.  There was another small room with a fashion display in it.  The hall, then we went into the library/study with the hatch which gave us a tanatalising view of the drawing room and the dining rom beyond (through the hatch).  Finally the garden room, where some of the Duke of Sussex's wondeful bookcases had been re-used and where Margaret kept her shell collection (she had so many holidays, it must have been enormous!).  That was it, but interesting enough.....
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Leuchtenberg on June 11, 2007, 02:39:28 PM
It's too bad that more of Margaret's home isn't more visible. I find it odd that visitors aren't allowed to enter the Drawing Room, Dining Room, or even the supposed "show piece" kitchen.  Perhaps those western rooms are considered too close to the Gloucester apartment and that is why the restriction.

Thanks for sharing the information with us Martyn. 
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 12, 2007, 05:58:52 AM
It's too bad that more of Margaret's home isn't more visible. I find it odd that visitors aren't allowed to enter the Drawing Room, Dining Room, or even the supposed "show piece" kitchen.  Perhaps those western rooms are considered too close to the Gloucester apartment and that is why the restriction.

Thanks for sharing the information with us Martyn. 

You are most welcome.

The exhibition is quite interesting, if a bit limited - perhaps only of interest to serioius royal fans like us?  Worth a visit though and KP is lovely - has a great feel to it, with some great examples of court dress on display.

If I had had any sense about me, i would have made some notes......... :(
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Eddie_uk on June 12, 2007, 07:05:44 AM
I had a look for the window that Louise allegedly bricked up to prevent Lorne from roaming in the gardens at night when his mind was starting to be affected.


Or apparently to meet men (!!) late at night, as the story goes.

What are Dianas old rooms used for?:)

Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 12, 2007, 07:31:37 AM
I had a look for the window that Louise allegedly bricked up to prevent Lorne from roaming in the gardens at night when his mind was starting to be affected.


Or apparently to meet men (!!) late at night, as the story goes.

What are Dianas old rooms used for?:)



Well, that's one theory!  After all, KP gardens were open to the public in the 19th century........ ;)

I don't know what Diana's apartment is used for.  It would be so marvellous if we could see it, but perhaps it's still too personal a place for her sons?

I have heard though that the rooms were emptied after her death..........
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Marlene on June 12, 2007, 09:46:21 AM
I had a tour of Margaret's rooms last year during a visit to London ..  the former residence of the Prince and later Diana, Princess of Wales, is now used for offices and storage.

I had a look for the window that Louise allegedly bricked up to prevent Lorne from roaming in the gardens at night when his mind was starting to be affected.


Or apparently to meet men (!!) late at night, as the story goes.

What are Dianas old rooms used for?:)


Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Arleen on June 12, 2007, 02:39:26 PM
Marlene, that is the saddest thing.....Diana's rooms as storage and offices!!!  Sounds like spite on someones part to me not to keep them as they were.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: ChristineM on June 12, 2007, 04:03:35 PM
I don't think it was 'spite', Arleen.   It seems to me they did not know how to handle the situation... still don't for that matter.

For us, and for history, it is a great pity and I hope that, in time, something more imaginative and thoughtful, worthy and appropriate might be done with those rooms.    But think about Princes William and Harry.   It was their home.   Without their mother, it is an empty apartment in a palace.   Perhaps they find it easier to live with the knowledge that it is now office space and store rooms.   I'm sure they father and stepmother do.

tsaria
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Arleen on June 12, 2007, 04:07:54 PM
Tsaria, those rooms give me the chills....I can imagine William and Harry roaming around them in the dark one night.....remembering!

Has anyone thought of a museum for Diana?  Besides her Brother to enrich himself that is.....

Arleen
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on June 13, 2007, 04:13:59 PM
Diana's apartments were actually two separate adjoining apartments merged into one.  From what I read as late as the latter part of 2006, the "main" rooms in the larger section of the apartments: the Drawing Room, the Dining Room, Diana's Sitting Room, and Charles (and later the boys') Study / Sitting Room were still empty.

The smaller apartment section (the Bedroom, Dressing Room, Wardrobe / Bath and ancillary rooms) have been remodelled into offices.

And the Princes' Nursury rooms (on the attic floor above the main apartment) are used for storage.

At present it wouldn't be possible to have these apartments turned into a Diana Museum, since they are squarely in the middle of the private residential apartments of the palace - next door to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

The future of those apartments - and in fact the entire private residential area of the palace - remains unknown.  Given the howling of Parliament a few years back over the palace's maintenance costs, it appears doubtful that any future royals will live there, but I wonder if new courtires / staff are still being given quarters there even today.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Martyn on June 17, 2007, 01:06:39 PM
I don't think it was 'spite', Arleen.   It seems to me they did not know how to handle the situation... still don't for that matter.

For us, and for history, it is a great pity and I hope that, in time, something more imaginative and thoughtful, worthy and appropriate might be done with those rooms.    But think about Princes William and Harry.   It was their home.   Without their mother, it is an empty apartment in a palace.   Perhaps they find it easier to live with the knowledge that it is now office space and store rooms.   I'm sure they father and stepmother do.

tsaria

I agree with that Tsaria, but must qualify it somewhat.

I have just been to KP and it does seem to me that it is quite geared up to deal with the Princess and remembering her.  There is plenty on sale that reflects the interest in her.  I think that is quite important for a lot of people who still have an interest in the Princess's life and work.

It would perhaps be tasteless to turn those rooms in to a public space; as Chris suggests it is not practical either.  I am sure that they are being put to good use.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 15, 2008, 10:33:56 AM
Well, it would seem two current royal grace-and-favour residents at Kensington will no longer occupy their home by "grace and favor". 

As the press is now reporting, the Queen will - after this coming year - end her quite generous practice of paying for the Kensington Palace apartment of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  Her Majesty been paying 120,000 pounds a year rent (from her own funds) for the Kent apartment for the past 6 years, an arraingement that will end after 2009.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 20, 2008, 07:38:11 AM
iT is my understanding the Queen "gave" the Kents their current KP Apartment as a weddding gift.


TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 20, 2008, 09:24:25 AM
Correct - that gift was made in a time when it was still deemed "at the Queen's pleasure" to grant apartments within the Royal Estate to whomever she wished, and under whatever terms she deemed appropriate. 

Then six years back, Parliament decided it was no longer supportive of this perrogative, and the Queen was forced into the very unpleasant position of retracting a wedding gift.  Her Majesty compensated by paying market rent for the Michael-Kent apartment out of her own pockets for a set number of years.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 21, 2008, 07:49:55 AM
Was Diana's apartment "Grace & Favour" or did the queen pay rent for that too?


TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 21, 2008, 10:21:38 AM
The answer ot that is "yes" and "no". 

Senior royals who are on "the royal circuit" of official duties are always given an "Official London Residence" on the Royal Estate (ie - in one of the Occupied Royal Palaces).  The cost of maintaining these buildings is paid by the Government by way of the Property Services Grant in Aid (in exchange for the Queen's hereditary revenues from the Crown Estate). 

All other internal costs (domestic and office staff, catering etc.) used to be paid by the Government from the Civil List, but today the Queen pays that herself from her Duchy of Lancaster income.  This extends to the Queen's four children, as well as three of her four paternal first cousins (the Dukes of Glouchsters and Kent, and to Princess Alexandria).  Charles does receive an Official Residence, but no Civil List (his household is funded by his Duchy of Cornwall income).

So in summary - when Diana was married to Charles, their apartment was an "Official Residence".  The physical structure was paid for by the Government through Property Services, while the household costs were funded by the Duchy of Cornwall.  At the divorce, Diana was granted the apartment herself by the "grace and favour" of the Queen.  The Government still maintained the building itself, but Diana's household costs were funded by the 600,000 pounds annual household allowance that was part of her divorce settlement.  I don't know who paid that allowance (The Queen herself or Charles, but either way it was a private - not taxpayer - expense).

Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 21, 2008, 10:47:00 AM
The Michael-Kent apartment, in contrast, has always been grace and favour, because neither Prince nor Princess Michael have ever officially been on "the royal circuit" - and so are not entitled to an "official residence".  This is where things got dicey with Parliament.  Obviously when the Queen decided to give the couple the apartment as a wedding gift, she did so because Prince Michael is a Royal Highness and a male line grandson of a monarch.  In times past, that's all it took for someone to warrant rent-free accomomdation on the Royal Estate. 

Clearly Parliament no longer agrees with that idea - they decided that if you aren't working for the Crown full-time, the Crown shouldn't fund your home no matter who your grandfather was.  Which is why I assume that the York princesses or the Wessex children probably won't end up living on the Royal Estate as adults; although 50 years ago it would have been unthinkable for them to NOT have housing at Kensington or St. James.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 22, 2008, 01:38:40 PM
I believe that all HRH's should be furnished London accommodations in a Royal Palaces.  If QEII or the "government" is giving them something then "they" would have a say and right to comment on their behavior and deportment.

I think one of the problems with the British Royal Family is that  QEII seems to have lost control or is not using her control. I do not see her exercising her right as head of the House of Windsor/Montbatten/Glucksburg as did say QV, GIV and Diamond/Emerald Drawers, GV and Cookie or Edward VI.

Every good Firm needs a strong and wise CEO.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: jehan on October 22, 2008, 05:10:46 PM
Royal Palaces.  If QEII or the "government" is giving them something then "they" would have a say and right to comment on their behavior and deportment.

I think one of the problems with the British Royal Family is that  QEII seems to have lost control or is not using her control. I do not see her exercising her right as head of the House of Windsor/Montbatten/Glucksburg as did say QV, GIV and Diamond/Emerald Drawers, GV and Cookie or Edward VI.

Every good Firm needs a strong and wise CEO.

TampaBay

But just when in history has the monarch really had control over the behaviour of the adult offspring of the dynasty?

George lll?  Victoria?  George V?

All of them had sons whose behaviour was no better or worse than what we see today.  Probably worse, in fact.  I think you are asking way to much of ERll- what you ask of her has never been achieved by any other monarch ( at least those who had children who did not want to "live the quiet life").  It's just that the modern paparazzi is only too ready to put any misdemeanors out there for all to see.  Doesn't mean the behaviour itself is anything new.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 23, 2008, 06:51:14 AM
jehan,

I see your point.

However, I cannot believe how some Windsor Royals act.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 23, 2008, 10:03:43 AM
I believe that all HRH's should be furnished London accommodations in a Royal Palaces. 

I agree that the senior royals (other than the Monarch and Consort) need London homes, as a base for their official engagements, and to accomodate the staff who support them.  And those homes require security cordons around them.  Right now there are 7 such "apartments" scattered across four locations:  2 in Buckingham Palace (Andrew and Edward), 1 in Clarence House (Charles and Camilla, William and Harry), 2 in St. James (Anne and Alexandria), and 2 in Kensington (the Kents and the Glouchesters).  In a couple years, William and Harry will wed and need their own (bringing the total need to 9).

That's why I've never understood why Kensington Palace seems to be being phased out.  BP doesn't have room for 9 separate royal residences and their supporting offices.  Neither does St. James presently (most of it is offices).  But Kensington Palace is properly configured to comfortably accomodate all 9 royals - and their households - within one security cordon.  Why not use all of St. James for court offices (eliminating the need for a security cordon), and use all of Kensington to house the royals' London homes? 
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 23, 2008, 10:12:39 AM
Does the Duke of Kent have a "grace and favor" London Residence?  If so where is it?


Thanks!

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 23, 2008, 10:32:56 AM

The future of those apartments - and in fact the entire private residential area of the palace - remains unknown.  Given the howling of Parliament a few years back over the palace's maintenance costs, it appears doubtful that any future royals will live there, but I wonder if new courtires / staff are still being given quarters there even today.


The apartments at KP will still required maintenance, someone to wash the windows, cut the grass...etc...etc... no matter if someone is living in them or not.  Chris, I agree with you that the abandonment of KP makes no sense.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 23, 2008, 10:55:46 AM
The vacated apartments will most likely be turned over to the museum. They need the space and it would be more productive.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 23, 2008, 10:59:42 AM
The vacated apartments will most likely be turned over to the museum. They need the space and it would be more productive.

Sir Robert,

So nice to have you back.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 23, 2008, 11:04:22 AM

And those homes require security cordons around them.  Right now there are 7 such "apartments" scattered across four locations:  2 in Buckingham Palace (Andrew and Edward), 1 in Clarence House (Charles and Camilla, William and Harry), 2 in St. James (Anne and Alexandria), and 2 in Kensington (the Kents and the Glouchesters). 


I think I read somewhere that Andrew spends very little time at BP when in London and prefers to stay elsewhere with friends or Sarah.  Does anyone have more info?

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 23, 2008, 12:12:23 PM
Thanks, TBTW, but I am not back for long- I return to Europe for 3  months on election day.
  I do not think any of the RF care much for BP, it is more of an "office building" than a real residence. And, as palaces go, I think it unimpressive.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Norbert on October 26, 2008, 02:56:55 PM
I was rather surprised at those who went to the " debutants" expo at KP and say they didn't see Pss Margarets apartments. You would have passed right through most of it  and up the stairs past her bathroom ( you can see the blue 60's wallpaper via the fan light) and back into the 17c state apartments. The projector room was the only part of her drawing room you could not see! But you can certainly stare into her negected patio garden. Her children stripped the place like a plague of locusts and the only memorable fitting left is a Meissen style chandelier and the blue colour of the drawing room. It was sad to loose it as a modern interior by Hicks but now only empty rooms.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 27, 2008, 12:05:48 PM
Balmoral and Sandringham:

Are any of the subsidiary residences on these properties currently leased?

Also, is Highgrove Estate owned by Charles the POW or is in owned by the Duchy of Cornwall?  If it is owned by the Duchy will the Highgrove Estate automatically pass to William (as the next POW) when Charles ascends the throne?
 

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 27, 2008, 08:42:39 PM
There are approximately 150 residential, commercial and agricultural properties on the Sandringham Estate, and more than 200 people are employed there.  Some of the more well-known major residential houses on the estate include York Cottage (once home to the future George V and Queen Mary and now used as the Estate Office), Park House (childhood home of Diana, Princess of Wales and now used as a retreat for disabled people), and Amner Hall (leased by the Duke and Duchess of Kent from 1972 until 1990, don't know who occupies it presently).

Balmoral employs 50 people full time, and between 50-100 part-time, plus many other self-employed contractors.  There are 45 houses provided to estate staff, plus 22 houses occupied by tenants.  In addition there are a half-dozen holiday cottages let on a weekly basis (when they are not in use by Royal Household members during the Royal season in the summer).

As far as Highgrove Estate, yes, it is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, who purchased it on behalf of the Prince of Wales.  When he becomes Duke of Cornwall upon his father's succession to the throne, William certainly could occupy the estate, or, if he prefers, lease it out and choose another property.  Hard to tell what he might choose.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Norbert on October 28, 2008, 06:29:04 AM
it is owned by Duchy of Cornwall ....he refused Chevening ....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevening.   Like all these houses it is up to the taste of the family member...D of Windsor preferred Fort Belvedere ( now leased by a Canadian millionaire),his brother took on Royal Lodge etc. The future William Pr of Wales and family may prefer somewhere else...or his father may keep Highgrove as his country home.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on October 28, 2008, 08:53:55 AM
I'm sure Charles would like that - given his affection for the place.  But I can't image he'll continue to occupy Highgrove as king.  At that time, he will inherit Balmoral and Sandringham - as well has have BP, Windsor and Hollyroodhouse.  He'll probably still also take his summer trip to the Castle of Mey in memory of his grandmother.  How many homes will he need - and have time for?

Balmoral and Sandringham aside, most royals seem to shuffle country homes every generation, so normally I would guess William would choose his own place.  BUT - if I'm not mistaken, Highgrove is the first estate purposefully purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall to serve as the seat of the Duke.  Is that right?  I mean, looking the most recent previous Dukes...

Edward VII had Fort Belvedere (owned by the Crown Estate, not the Duchy)
George V had York Cottage on Sandringham (owned privately by the Sovereign)
Edward VI had Sandringham (purchased for him privately by Queen Victoria)
George IV had Carlton House and Brighton (both owned by the Crown)

So - maybe the intent is that Highgrove be the private seat of all future Dukes, the way Sandringham and Balmoral is the seat of the Monarch?
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on October 28, 2008, 10:59:15 AM
Makes total sense about Highgrove.

However, I still do not understand why Andrew sold "South York" aka Sunninghill Park which was purchased privately for him by QEII.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: TampaBay on January 03, 2010, 02:31:45 PM
Does anyone know who ended up buying Sunninghill Park?

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 03, 2010, 02:57:16 PM
TB,  Sunninghill Park is a huge waste of money.  The  story so far is that it was "bought"  with connections to the Kajack president but has not been occupied and is now falling into a state of dereliction. Just Goggle it and the details  are available and current pictures from the Guardian show the state it is in.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on January 04, 2010, 10:53:35 AM
Makes total sense about Highgrove.

However, I still do not understand why Andrew sold "South York" aka Sunninghill Park which was purchased privately for him by QEII.

TampaBay

According to an article in The Sunday Times, July 5, 2009, by Jon Ungoed-Thomas........the financial end of that decision was clearly attractive to Andrew - and to his daughters......

Prince Andrew was handed a “sweetheart” property deal with the Crown Estate which have made him millions of pounds and secured a rent-free royal residence for his two daughters.

A Sunday Times investigation found the Crown Estate has been privately offering the royals bargain deals at taxpayers’ expense. The statutory body manages land and property owned by the crown but has an obligation to protect the interests of taxpayers.

The bargains on the royal portfolio include: The sale of the Crown Estate freehold of Andrew’s former marital home, Sunninghill Park, for £12,265 in August 2003. The property was subsequently sold by Andrew for £15m and now lies abandoned. A 75-year lease on Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother’s former home in Windsor Great Park, for £1m. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie can inherit the lease on the 30-room mansion and live there rent-free until 2078. A 150-year lease for Prince Edward on Bagshot Park for £5m. Property agents say the imposing mansion would have fetched up to £30m on the open market.

The Crown Estate says it took independent advice for the valuations, but special circumstances – such as security issues – mean such properties cannot always get the “highest market value”.

MPs warned this weekend that preferential deals risked undermining the royal family.

“Junior members of the royal family are apparently obtaining substantial financial benefits from sweetheart property transactions with the Crown Estate,” said Ian David-son, a Labour MP and member of the House of Commons public accounts committee.

“All the terms of these deals should now be disclosed.”

The Crown Estate is charged with the environmental stewardship of its land. However, Sunninghill Park, near Ascot in Berkshire, now lies derelict after Andrew obtained the freehold from the Crown Estate and sold it to a Kazakh buyer. “It has been left to rot,” a neighbour said last week.

Bracknell Forest council said it was investigating the property and trying to find out whether there was any requirement to use the Housing Act, under which abandoned homes can be seized by local authorities.

The Crown Estate manages a £7.3 billion land and property portfolio. Although the land and property are owned by the Queen in name, the body is accountable to parliament and returns revenues to the Treasury.

Buckingham Palace said the lease extension for Bagshot Park was at “an agreed market price”. It said the terms of any future lease arrangement for Royal Lodge was confidential.

The Crown Estate confirmed that the Royal Lodge deal meant the lease could not be sold, but could in future years be “assigned to Prince Andrew’s daughters”, Beatrice and Eugenie.

It said there had been “selective” marketing when Edward was offered Bagshot Park and the deal had been checked for value for money. The freehold of Sunninghill Park was sold under normal valuation procedures and there had been “no reason” to keep it.
Title: Re: Grace and Favour residences
Post by: CHRISinUSA on January 05, 2010, 10:55:30 AM
So if I do the math, the Queen paid a little over 12,000 pounds to the Crown Estate for the 5 acre walled garden area of Sunninghill Park, and according to reports at the time, spent a total of roughly 5 million pounds on the property, which was then a wedding gift to the Duke and Duchess of York.

Andrew sold it for 15 million pounds (which the Queen agreed to let him keep).  He bought the lease on Royal Lodge for 75 years, paying 1 million for the lease plus another 7.5 million on refurbishing the property.  So, the transaction left Andrew with a net profit of 6.5 million pounds and he and his daughters get to live there free for the rest of their lives (well, 75 years).

Granted, he owned Sunninghill Park outright so would not be paying rent there either - BUT - had Andrew kept Sunninghill, at his death his daughters would have had to pay inheritance tax on the property.  This doesn't apply to Royal Lodge, the lease will simply pass to them at no cost until the 75 years runs out.

And comparing the two properties:  Sunninghill Park has 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms and sits on 5 acres of grounds.  Royal Lodge has 30 rooms (7 principal bedrooms) and sits on 90 acres. which includes a chapel, 2 gate lodges, 6 staff cottages.  But while Sunninghill Park was a private home in every sense of the word, Royal Lodge is within Windsor Great Park and is considered an official royal home, which no doubt carries with it some perks  (example, the grounds are chiefly the responsibility of the Crown Estate Commissioners).