Sunninghill Park

Sunninghill Park

Sunninghill Park was the official residence of the Duke of York until 2004.

An estate of some 665 acres (2.7 km²) in England lying between Ascot and the southern boundary of Windsor Great Park was purchased by the Crown Estate Commissioners in 1945 from the late Philip Hill. The main house was made available to Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh after their marriage in 1947, but the house burned down before they could occupy it. In the mid-1960s the site was considered for a new home for Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, but nothing was done then.

In 1988 the walled garden of some five acres (20,000 m²) was purchased from the Crown Estate Commissioners on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. The following year construction began on a two-storey red brick house to be the home of the Duke and Duchess of York. The architect responsible was Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith, Balmoral Estate Architect and Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at Heriot-Watt University. Construction was completed in 1990.

The house has six reception rooms, 12 bedrooms, and 12 bathrooms, and compares in size to the larger country houses built since the Second World War. Sunninghill Park was the first new-built royal home since Bagshot Park was built 1879 for the Duke of Connaught. In the British tabloid press the home was often referred to as 'SouthYork' a play on words for the 'Southfork' estate on the popular 1980's soap opera "Dallas"

In 2004 the Duke of York, now divorced, moved into Royal Lodge, Windsor, the home of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, following an £8.5 million refurbishment paid for by the Queen.

In 2007 it was announced that Sunninghill Park had been sold for a reported £6 million to an Eastern European. []

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