Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be residing mainly at Kensington Palace these days, but our favorite royal newlyweds need a weekend country house, too! Reports are circulating, in fact, that they’re building a six-bedroom manor on a property a couple of hours outside London known, of all things, as “Beggar’s Lodge.”
While the royal family won’t confirm or deny these rumors, the timeline is pretty telling. In November, soon after the couple announced their engagement, an unnamed buyer quietly inked a deal to purchase a 13-acre parcel in Gloucestershire. While some run-down farm buildings are currently situated there, floor plans and computer renderings soon surfaced on the West Oxfordshire District Council’s website indicating that these structures will be torn down to make room for these way posher digs.
Computer rendering of a place that may be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s country home
West Oxfordshire District Council
These floor plans were amended just a day before the royal wedding, with an unnamed source telling the Daily Mail, “The property has been earmarked for a specific couple and the project is shrouded in secrecy, so naturally the assumption in the village is that Meghan and Harry might move in. … The property will take at least a year to build, which would explain why they are renting in the area for that amount of time.”
As for why the area’s called Beggar’s Lodge, that’s anyone’s guess—but it sure is ironic given the scope of the house being built there now.
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live here?
As further evidence that the newlyweds are the masterminds behind this new house, the computer renderings and floor plans certainly seem worthy of royalty. I mean, who else would need three reception rooms, as well as massive staff quarters for butlers, drivers, and security guards?
Located at the end of a 150-yard tree-lined drive, the stone-built estate will also feature a high-tech media room, huge walk-in closet, flagstone terrace, and 150-foot yew topiary. Talk about fancy!
A floor plan fit for royalty
West Oxfordshire District Council
But not everyone approves of these plans in their entirety—starting with the fact that they’ll be demolishing the historical farm buildings currently there, rather than trying to restore or salvage them in some manner.
“Although the new plans and site elevations are impressive and blend with the surrounding area, it is always a concern to lose historical buildings on an old Roman farm such as this,” says Kelly Parks, a broker at Paris Gibson Realty.
Then again, given their main home in Kensington Palace is centuries-old and lacking in many modern amenities (air conditioning, anyone?), perhaps they’re sick of old homes and eager to have something shiny and new.
“Nothing is like having a home built from the ground up, with all the bells and whistles that you can imagine,” says Sheryl English, a luxury real estate agent at eXp Realty in Dallas. “When given the opportunity, many clients love new construction over the process of renovating. The idea that no one has ever even used the toilet in the property makes them giddy.”
So, perhaps we should give the royal couple a pass for wanting to wipe this slate clean and start fresh.
“While it is a shame that they could not have kept something on the property that has historical significance, such as a farm building, and turned it into a guesthouse, it may not have been possible to retain the older structures while trying to build a new home,” says Florida real estate agent Cara Ameer. “It is often easier to just start with a blank canvas versus trying to retrofit existing things into the mix.”
Is their new home more English or American?
Another feature worth noting about this new house is its quintessential “Englishness,” in spite of the fact that Markle is American.
“With Meghan being an American, it is interesting there wasn’t more of a modern or transitional influence incorporated into the plans in some way with regard to the layout of the bedrooms,” observes Ameer. “It is interesting that all of the bedrooms are on the second and third floors with little to no separation, unlike the more American aesthetic of having a split floor plan with a master suite on one side of the home and the rest of the bedrooms located on the other.”
Another cool thing worth noting? “The best feature about the plans is the incorporation of bat and bird boxes on the residence,” says Parks. “I only wish we had those features on plans in the U.S. Bats are so important, and so are homes for them. To add a bat box to a new structure is like a dream come true in my opinion, as a bat conservancy fan.”
Of course, only time will tell whether this place is truly where Harry and Markle will be kicking back. Nonetheless, it sounds like an amazing home—for bats, birds, and royalty.
Source: Housing Trends Feed