Bagshot Park: Prince Edward & Sophie raised ‘fortunate’ James & Louise in 120-room mansion

Sophie Wessex's fierce defence of Lady Louise Windsor

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Bagshot Park is one of the most impressive royal residences, located out in the vast Surrey countryside just 30 miles outside of London. It has been home to Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, since their wedding in 1999. The home has been a royal residence for around 200 years and the village of Bagshot is just 11 miles away from Windsor, where the Queen lives in Windsor Castle.

Lady Louise, however, is away from the property for most of the year.

She is believed to be a boarding student in sixth form, Louise’s school St Mary’s School in Ascot is where she spends the majority of her time.

James, who is celebrating his 14th birthday today, is a day pupil at Eagle House School near Sandhurst in Berkshire.

Therefore he spends a lot more time at home with his parents at Bagshot.

The house itself is a very impressive Grade-II listed building, complete with 51 acres of ground for the family to enjoy affording them complete privacy.

The main house at Bagshot Park was originally a series of small lodges designed for King Charles I.

It was completely demolished in 1877 and later rebuilt in 1879 with 120 rooms.

From 1880 it was the main residence of Prince Arthur, son of Queen Victoria, until his death in 1942.

The house was also used as a hospital in the war for the Auxiliary Territorial Service and then by the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department as a Church House until Sophie and Edward moved in the late 1990s.

The Surrey home belongs to the Crown Estate, meaning ownership will pass onto Prince Charles when he becomes King.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex do not necessarily pay rent, but Prince Edward did extend the lease on his family home to 150 years for £5million.

Edward and Sophie, like most other royal couples, normally keep the interior of their home as private as possible.

But there are lots of aerial photos of the 120-room Bagshot Park showing the family are not short on space.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Sophie and Edward took part in virtual royal engagements via Zoom, offering royal watchers some glimpses into Bagshot Park.

Sophie took part in a video call with the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, which revealed part of her beautiful kitchen.

Pictured behind Sophie were some stunning grey cabinets, one with some elegant white and purple China, and the other with some ornamental pieces, including a vase and a gold-plated dish.

There was also white marble detailing on the wall with a painting to the left of Sophie.

The home’s enormous green space has an array of trees, bushes, and paths for lovely walks, as well as an enormous driveway at the front of the house.

Women and Home Magazine reported the Queen loves to visit Bagshot Park unannounced for tea.

Queen Elizabeth and her daughter-in-law are particularly close, with a shared love of military history and horses, so would have plenty to talk about when they are together.

In an interview with Sky News, Sophie said: “We’re a lot more fortunate because we live so close to the Queen, so when she spends a lot of time at Windsor at weekends, our children are more fortunate, because they can go over and have tea with her on a regular basis.”

Bagshot Park is not open to the public as it is a private family home, despite also being a royal residence.

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