Highgrove House, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, served as the country residence of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen consort, before he stepped into his role as the sovereign of the United Kingdom. Following a reshuffle of the royal family, ownership of Highgrove has now automatically passed to Prince William as the new Duke of Cornwall.
'As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me,' announced King Charles, in his first televised address to the nation (9th September 2022) from Buckingham Palace. 'He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades.'
The King and Queen Consort have an extensive property portfolio around the country, with estates including Clarence House, Dolphin House, Llwynywermod in Wales, and Birkhall on the Balmoral estate. Not to mention the 775-roomed Buckingham Palace, which could become the King's new permanent home if he decides to keep with tradition.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Highgrove House...
Where is Highgrove House?
Situated in the heart of Gloucestershire, Highgrove House is just six miles away from Gatcombe Park — the country residence of Anne, Princess Royal, and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence. The sprawling estate is also a 10-minute drive from the walking trails of Westonbirt Arboretum and the Arts & Crafts country house, Rodmarton Manor.
Who built Highgrove House?
The Georgian neo-classical house was built in 1796 to 1798 by John Paul Paul, along with architect Anthony Keck. Its land once belonged to Maurice Macmillan, a member of parliament, and the son of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, before King Charles III purchased the house, garden and nearby farmland (now known as Duchy Home Farm) in 1980.
In 1987, Prince Charles (as he was then known) remodelled Highgrove using neo-classical architecture, transforming it into a family home. During his first marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, the family would spend weekends in Gloucestershire with Prince William and Prince Harry, before returning to Kensington Palace.
Highgrove House: Interiors and gardens
Charles chose to live in Gloucestershire because of its easy access to London, Wales and other parts of Britain, including the western counties where the Duchy has most of its properties. The Duchy of Cornwall owns Highgrove – the house, garden and Duchy Home Farm — which has now been inherited by Prince William, the new Prince of Wales. However, it has not been confirmed whether Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, will use the country home as their own.
The 18th century residence, surrounded by 900 acres of organic land, has an ethically and environmentally conscious approach. This includes the use of energy-saving bulbs, solar lights where appropriate, compost systems, biomass boilers, and a specially built reed bed sewage system. Rare trees and plants are grown for future generations to enjoy, and heritage seeds are planted to ensure these varieties continue to flourish.
Inside, the property has nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, beautiful decor, and a marvellous Orchard Room. Built using Cotswold stone in 2000, this space is where the former Prince would host many briefings and receptions.
'The Duke is particularly proud of his garden and, since the early 1980s, he has regularly invited various groups, schools and charities to enjoy a tour. Approximately 250 groups visit each year,' explains the Duchy of Cornwall website. 'After considerable time and effort, the gardens at Highgrove and the Duchy Home Farm are flagship examples of the organic movement, both in terms of their environmental sustainability and their natural beauty.'
Can you visit Highgrove house?
As it is a private residence, Highgrove House itself is closed to the public, however its extensive gardens are open for tours, including group garden tours, and champagne and tea tours. For more information, please visit highgrovegardens.com.
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