AS Prince Edward extends the lease of his home Bagshot Park for another 150 years, people want to know – what is the Wessex family home really like?
The family has lived in the sprawling country estate in Surrey since 1999, shortly after Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex tied the knot.
Thanks to the pair’s numerous television appearances over the years, royal fans have been able to catch a quick glimpse of the house and surrounding grounds.
It’s estimated that the Grade II listed building has 120 rooms, sits on 51 acres of land and is just 30 miles from London.
The surrounding grounds sit within the Windsor Great Park and house a private lake, as well as multiple stables.
There are various different gardens, pathed walkways and an extensive driveway leading to the front of the house.
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The home has belonged to the royal family for more than 200 years, originally built for King Charles I in 1609.
Originally it stood as a series of small lodges, later demolished in 1877. The house was then rebuilt in 1879 for Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
The grounds were leased to the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth in 1998 for 50 years, although he has since extended it, rumoured to have cost him £5 million.
It is currently owned by the reigning monarch and will be passed down throughout the family.
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The Mansion House has undergone various renovations and extensions, including an extensive re-design before Prince Edward and Sophie moved in.
It’s estimated that if the royal home ever made it onto the open market, it would be worth almost £30 million.
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A Family Home
The pair currently live in the Mansion House with their two children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and their son James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn.
Although their eldest spends little time at home. She is currently studying at the University of St Andrew’s in Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince William and Kate Middleton live nearby at Adelaide Cottage in Berkshire, with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Sophie has often fondly spoken about the home she shares with her family. In a previous interview, she praised how close their home was to Windsor Castle – a favoured home of the late Queen Elizabeth.
Speaking with Sky News, she said: “We’re a lot more fortunate because we live so close to the Queen, so when she spends a lot of time at Windsor on the weekends, our children are more fortunate because they can go over and have tea with her on a regular basis.”
On The Inside
Like most royal couples, Edward and Sophie have kept the interior of their home private.
But thanks to numerous televised interviews in recent years, royal fans have been able to catch a glimpse inside the royal home.
In a recent conversation with Naga Munchetty for the BBC, Sophie welcomed the newsreader into one of their living rooms.
It had cream-panelled walls, a sage green carpet and a lavish marble fireplace. The room was also furnished with green striped chairs and polished wooden furniture.
In another conversation with the Thames Valley Air Ambulance during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sophie appeared to be sitting in the kitchen.
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Behind her was a navy-blue cupboard with glass panels, revealing various china tea sets.
For another on home-schooling, the Countess of Wessex sat ahead of intricately carved wooden doors.
Prince Edward has also helped add to the picture, revealing what may be his office or study, fitted with an expansive wooden bookcase.
A Private Space
Unfortunately, while some royal residences like Windsor Castle and Sandringham are open to the public, Bagshot Park is not.
However glimpses of the residence, entrance drive and lodge are visible from nearby roads.
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