Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Childhood homes of royal brides

The lead up to the Royal Wedding on Friday has been highly entertaining for an Anglophile like me.  My favorite online source for royal information, www.dailymail.co.uk, has hour by hour updates on all things related to the wedding (and a page devoted to all wedding related news - www.dailymail.co.uk/home/royalwedding/index.html), and the on demand section of my cable system is packed full of royalty related shows from the past decade. 

Yesterday I watched a biography of Sarah, Duchess of York, and saw a picture of her childhood home, Dummer Down Farm.  What a beautiful house – it is classic, yet also has its own unique flair.  I am drawn to the symmetry of the design, and the attractive garden in the front.  I would be interested in seeing this house in its larger context, because the large front lawn with no apparent driveway is a bit confusing out of context. A quick search revealed that it available for rent.

Seeing Sarah's childhood home got me curious about some of the other childhood homes of royal brides.  I could not find anything on Sophie Wessex's childhood home, but there was some good information on Diana, Princess of Wales' childhood home. I had always assumed Diana was raised at Althorp, but it turns out that she was born at Park House, and spent her childhood here (seen above). Park House is on the Queen’s Sandringham estate (the Spencer family leased the house). When Diana's father became the 8th Earl Spencer in 1975, he inherited Althorp, but by that time Diana was in boarding school.

It was interesting to learn that in recent years, the Queen has allowed a charity to use the house as a hotel for people with disabilities. http://www.parkhousehotel.org.uk/

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Kate Middleton’s family home in Bucklebury has been in the news of late, and it is a beautiful five bedroom house that appears to be set in a bucolic meadow.  According to my research, Kate’s family moved into this house when she was 13 years old.   I am intrigued by the many windows in the back of the house, and it seems as if there is a great connection between the house and its landscape.

This house, called 'West View' and described as a modest four bedroom Victorian house, is where Kate lived from birth until age 13.  According to news reports, it is going to be auctioned on June 3 (source).

Architecture, houses, and royalty – it’s always great to pull together some of my favorite things in one blog post!  Do you have a favorite out of these homes?  I must admit to being  captivated by the exterior of Sarah Ferguson's childhood home. In the meantime, I am counting down until the Royal Wedding, and plan on starting my day at 4 am when BBC’s coverage begins.  Are you planning on watching the wedding on Friday? 

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  1. Good morning, Holly!

    What an interesting post! I must say that I'm getting a bit excited about this wedding.. It's odd, because I never really cared about things like that but I guess this girl is living a real life dream and it's fun to see and be happy for this young couple.

    I loved seeing these houses. They're full of beauty and charm. Thank you for sharing this.

    I hope you have a tremendously fun day! :-)


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  2. I think the first home is my favorite. It is so beautiful!


  3. I like the first house the best! So pretty and English.

  4. Such beautiful homes. Adore the charm and character of The Duchess of York's childhood home...gorgeous!!

  5. Thank you for this lovely post- looking forward to the wedding-my best friend, my 8yr old daughter and myself shall be wearing vintage crowns, sipping bubbly(juice for the little one) and follow it all on the telly.I want her to have fun memories of this event.I still remember 30 years ago when we all followed Diana and Charles's wedding..and then Sarah's..so will create some memories for Dd..
    hugs Colx ~ Afrique du Sud

  6. My favorite is Drummer Down Farm---don't you just love that name?! I would love to see pictures of Will and Kate's house, which I believe is a rental?

  7. Fergie's house reminds me of so many you feature from Atlanta, and of course, because of you, I am especially intrigued by the chimneys! I have a 6am flight to TX on Friday-- really hoping American has live TV!

  8. Love seeing all the homes!! I think Sarah Ferguson's was my favorite as well- so charming. If you have a chance, do stop by - have been doing royal wedding inspired posts all last week and this!!

  9. I LOVE the Middletons' home in Bucklebury (gotta love that name). Look at all those windows and bays and what looks like skylights over one wing. Would that be a conservatory, perhaps, or an indoor pool? Love the bucolic setting, too. I'm setting my alarm for 4 a.m. Friday. I watched Charles and Diana wed, too. Of course it helped then that I had a new baby and was up nursing anyway. . . And now he's nearly 30. Where does the time go?

  10. Yes I am, getting together with my sister and mom to watch it! What a great idea for a post Holly :) Fascinating!

    ps. I like Sarah's house too!

  11. Definitely the first home. So beautiful! Love the gardens in front, too. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Fabulous post and a thrill to see the homes of Diana, Kate and Sarah. I will be watching on Friday, up @ 3 a.m. Wouldn't be the same to tape it and watch later would it? My husband who is from the U.K. thinks I'm nuts.

    Here's to William and Catherine!

    Cheers ~ Deb

  13. dear fellow anglophile (holly)
    this is so much fun and cannot wait for the wedding. having recently returned from england i long to be there this week but will manage at home.

    if interested holly, i am taking a group in september for gardens; antiques and architecture; is there anything better?

  14. Love the post! Can't wait to watch the wedding- I'll be up too!

  15. Holly - a fun post! I am a bit of an Anglophile too, yet also gradually less of a monarchist, so I have had mixed views all week! But everyone loves a wedding! Lots of programmes here, Canada being one of the loyal colonies. haha.

    I would love to watch the wedding but (a) it is on at 2am here and (b) I have to work the next day. I will be glued to the set when I get home at 6pm for the re-runs. Maybe I should just take the day off? Oh, I am so busy at work though.

    I do remember being 11 (was it?) and getting up at 6am (east coast time) to watch Charles and Di. I thought she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I was mesmerized.

    xo Terri

  16. While these are all so quaint, I am partial to Princess Diana's home. And I love the historical look of Miss Kate's birth-13 hamlet. I will set my alarm tor 1:00 am PST (California, USA), and I will also record the wedding, as I did Charles and Diana's. The Americans are very excited!

  17. i think that will and kate are living in a farm house in the north of wales - in anglesey. it's a beautiful part of the country!

  18. I had to come back to go check out your wedding links that are hourly play by plays!

  19. These are my dream homes!!! What a fun post, Thanks.

    Homeowner Insurance

  20. I just love this post, Holly. What a great home tour! I think my favorite is the Duchess of York's house. Actually, they all are pretty amazing!

  21. What beautiful homes! I love brick houses. So pretty!


  22. I'll definitely be watching tomorrow - in just a few hours!!!

    I am smitten by the Middleton's current home. I love that it is surrounded by meadows and seems lovely, yet accessible.

    I'm sure it will be the site of many, many more special occasions!
    Here's to the bride and groom!!
    xo Elizabeth

  23. Holly...they are all so exquisite, like little jewels but for me personally Dummer Down Farm, is the crown jewel..wow just perfection! Love it.....great post. Enjoyed this bevy of English beauties! Hope you are well.....

  24. Regardless of where Kate grew up, she needs her privacy. What is the best give we two billion views can offer this beautiful bride -- the future Queen of England? Her privacy. How? We can stop purchasing newsstand tabloids who continue to support the paparazzi photographers. When we see the newlywed pictures on the cover, don't spend your money.

  25. Great job in putting together these childhood homes of royal ladies, they all look homey and warm, right for breeding grande dammes!

  26. What an interesting post! I loved seeing these houses. Thanks for sharing very beautiful pictures of the houses.



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