Author Topic: Grace and Favour residences  (Read 35277 times)

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Offline CHRISinUSA

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #45 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.

Offline Norbert

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #46 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.

Offline CHRISinUSA

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #47 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?

Offline TampaBay

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #48 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.

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Offline TampaBay

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2010, 02:31:45 PM »
Does anyone know who ended up buying Sunninghill Park?

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #50 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.
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Offline CHRISinUSA

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #51 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.

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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.

Offline CHRISinUSA

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Re: Grace and Favour residences
« Reply #52 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).