Princess Alexandra, who is 85 today, lives in a huge home in Richmond and has done since her wedding in 1963. The Queen’s first cousin has lived at Thatched House Lodge since 1963, shortly after her wedding to her late husband Sir Angus Ogilvy, who died in 2004. It was the home of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole, and since 1963 has been a royal residence, leased from the Crown Estate by Princess Alexandra.
The asking price for the sublease was £150,000, a considerable amount at the time. This amount of money in 1963 is equivalent to £3.3million today.
This royal home is not as well-known as Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace, but it is still majestic in size and style.
The Grade-II listed property was originally built as two houses in 1673 for Richmond Park keepers. It now serves as a grace-and-favour home for members of the Royal Family.
It features six reception rooms and six bedrooms, spread across a massive four acres of grounds.
READ MORE: Houseplants: Expert’s unusual household remedy to kill mouldy soil
There is also a separate 18th-century summer house, a gardener’s cottage, and stables.
The gardens of Thatched House Lodge include a lawn with a concrete path leading down to a swimming pool.
In May 2020, Princess Alexandra filmed a rare message from inside her home as she thanked volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Society. This gave royal fans a look at the décor inside for the first time.
She stood in front of large bay windows with white frames and white wooden shutters.
The room had a view overlooking the gardens, including an outdoor patio area.
A photo of the exterior of the building released in 1990 also showed what Thatched House Lodge looks like from the outside.
It is built with white panels and a grey brick roof, with white sash windows and cream wooden shutters.
It is a two-storey home, with a large balcony at the front of one room, and a loft conversion on one side.
The home is surrounded by a white wall and a black metal fence, leading into an arched metal door at the middle with a floral design.
A concrete water feature is in the centre of the gravel and tarmac driveway, which is in front of the lawn.
However, Alexandra and Angus’ home was burgled in 1963 shortly after their wedding.
As well as over £6,000, the thieves stole some of the couple’s wedding presents, including a gold cigarette case given to Angus by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Although Thatched House Lodge is a royal residence as Princess Alexandra lives there, it is actually private property.
It was acquired on the open market, and the leasehold was bought by Sir Angus Ogilvy, Alexandra’s late husband. As a result, the property may be sold by the Princess or her heirs.
The leasehold arrangements concerning Thatched House Lodge differ from the arrangements of other royal residences leased from the Crown Estate.
For instance, the Crown Estate never contributed towards restructuring Thatched House Lodge, as it did in the case of Royal Lodge and Bagshot Park.
Princess Alexandra also has a grace-and-favour apartment within St James’s Palace in London.