When you think about the royals and any of the British royal family member’s homes, naturally, you think of lavishness and extravagance of a palace. But, do you know where Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, actually spends most of her time, in between her travels and hard working? She lives in the country, in the same estate where she got as a wedding gift from her mother when she first got married.
Taking into account how much work she has, it might be hard to even imagine Princess Royal relaxing anywhere. Last year, she had as many as 455 charity events, dinners, receptions, and other engagements just in the UK, and 85 more events overseas. She does maintain a London residence at St. James’s Palace, however, she prefers spending time at Gatcombe Park, her private country home in Gloucestershire where she lives with her husband Sir Timothy Laurence.
The estate is located between the villages of Minchinhampton and Avening, in the heart of the Cotswolds and near Highgrove. The house was built back in 1774 for a local clothier Edward Sheppard. Then, in the 1820s, economist David Ricardo renovated it with the help of architect George Basevi, and ever since then, very little changes have been made in the house. Back then, he added a conservatory, single-story wings that flank the home, the polygonal stables and coach house, and the Doric porch.
Queen Elizabeth II bought this house in 1976 when her daughter Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, and the two moved in right after their wedding, and they raised their two children, Peter and Zara there. Their marriage ended in 1992, when Captain Phillips moved to the nearby Aston Farms, while Princess Anne stayed in her house and she continued to maintain the estate with her second husband, Sir Lawrence.
The property takes up 730 acres and it contains a farmhouse, cottages, a lake, and an enormous stable, with horses and cattle. Both the Princess and her daughter Zara have passion for equestrian events, so the Festival of British Eventing is held there every August.
Even though Princess Anne’s children now have families of their own, they all still chose to stay in the estate. Namely, Zara moved there in 2013 with her husband Mike Tindall and they’re raising their children, Mia and Lena, there, and her brother, Peter, also calls Gatcombe home together with his wife Autumn and their two daughters Savannah and Isla.
Given that the estate has only gained more residents, they have a plan to build a two-story extension on the grounds, as well as a larger kitchen, new bathroom, and additional bedroom. Even if some of the new members eventually decide to leave Gatcombe, we’re sure Princess Royal is not going anywhere.