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One day I will run a trashy tabloid. Until then, this will have to suffice.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Prince Will and Kate's starter home?

The flat waste ground at the end of a once grand driveway may not look much now. But it will soon boast a mansion fit for a King - or even a future King and his bride. According to locals in this small corner of Herefordshire, the neo-Georgian manor house planned for this site is to be Prince William's new home after he marries. As speculation grows in society circles that William will announce his engagement to long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton at the end of his Sandhurst training in six months' time, many in the Wye Valley have no such doubts. 'This estate is for William and his wife,' said one. 'We all know it and it will be perfect for them.' There is little doubt that something special is happening on the 900-acre estate in prime countryside between Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye. For more than a year, a team of artisans, builders and restorers has been working on Harewood End, bought by the Duchy of Cornwall six years ago along with 11,000 additional acres of land. Once one of the finest estates in the county, Harewood - not far from Prince Charles's Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire - had been reduced to a sad, crumbling collection of dilapidated farmhouses, cottages and barns. Parkland and formal terraces had been lost under farmland, and the Georgian mansion house - last of a line of grand houses on the site dating from 1324 - was left to rot and finally demolished after serving as target practice for the SAS. An ugly suburban bungalow had replaced its classical outline. [Daily Mail] Thanks to Floh for the tip!


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