Among the extravagant houses and palaces in the royal family’s real estate portfolio, none may have seen as much care and devotion as Highgrove House. The Gloucestershire estate served as the country home of King Charles III before he stepped into his role as the sovereign of the United Kingdom. The King is now expected to spend most of his time at Buckingham Palace which has left many to question what will come of his most beloved residence.
The staggering Georgian neo-classical house dates back to the 1780s; the then-Prince Charles bought the property from parliament member Maurice Macmillan in 1980. Highgrove House provided easy access to London, Wales, and many of the properties owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, which was under Charles’ watch at the time.
The nine-bedroom mansion needed major renovations including an entire refresh of the home’s interiors. Princess Diana was tasked with orchestrating the interior decoration with the help of South African designer Dudley Poplak, who famously also decorated the couple’s Kensington Palace apartment.
Charles, on the other hand, put most of his attention into taming the overgrown and unruly gardens across the 353-acre property. Immediately, the gardens at Highgrove became the royal’s passion project—and remain one to this day—with the royal completely reinventing the grounds to include a wildflower meadow, thyme walk, cottage garden, sundial garden, arboretum, and stumpery.
It’s said that each garden reflects the King’s interests, including his deep commitment to leading an eco-friendly and sustainable life. Nearly all waste materials are recycled while rainwater is collected for irrigation. There’s a specially-designed reed bed sewage system to manage the estate’s wastewater, a wood chip boiler to provide heating, and numerous solar panels. The King even planted rare trees and heritage seeds to ensure these varieties continue flourishing for future generations.
Before his accession, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla spent most of their free time at the country home in Gloucestershire, inviting guests and the public to tour the grounds and indulge in culinary treats created with goods harvested from the gardens. With so much time and thought put into the home and gardens, it’s nearly impossible to think the King would ever bid it goodbye.
There’s a catch though: Highgrove House technically belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. Since Prince William has been named the new Duke of Cornwall, he now has ownership of King Charles’s beloved home. The Daily Mail reports that in order for the monarch to stay at Highgrove House, he will need to pay his son an estimated “£700,000 a year” in rent.
It’s unclear at which residences the new King and the new Prince of Wales will spend the majority of their time, but one can only think that the monarch will surely work out a deal with his son to ensure his vision for Highgrove House continues to live on.
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