giovedì 5 gennaio 2017

The Duchess Dictionary: Anmer Hall

The country residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Anmer was a wedding gift from the Queen. Located on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, it lies about 12 miles (19 km) from King's Lynn and a mere 2 miles (3.2 km) from the Queen's own residence at Sandringham House.

Anmer Hall is a 10-bedroom late-Georgian house and dates back to the 18th centrury, although it was perhaps built around an earlier core. It has two stories with attics and a red brick south-front (the one most often photographed) refaced in its current appearance around 1815. The house was registered as a Grade II*-listed building in 1984.

It is thought to have been the birthplace of Elizabethan Jesuit martyr St Henry Walpole. The house was added to the Sandringham estate in 1898 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. It first served as the private residence of John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby and Governor-General of the Sudan; later it was leased to the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who made it their country home from 1972 to 1990. It was then privately rented, first by Hugh van Cutsem, a friend of the Prince of Wales and the father of William van Cutsem, a close friend of Prince William's and godfather to Prince George, then by James Everett, the owner of bespoke kitchen and timber company Norfolk Oak.


Previous residents:
John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Hugh van Cutsem.

When the Queen decided to allocate Anmer to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the lease to the Everett family, which was due to expire in 2017, was terminated early to allow for refurbishments.

The redevelopment program, details of which were made public at the time of the planning application being submitted on behalf of the Queen to the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, cost an estimated £1.5 million and included the conversion of storage rooms into accomodation for the Duke and Duchess's police protection officers, a new roof and new kitchen, the re-routing of the driveway to create a larger parking area further away from prying eyes and extensive tree-planting, again to afford more privacy to the family.

Anmer Hall undergoing renovations in 2013.
Architect Charles Morris and interior designers Anne Allen and Ben Pentreath, who has worked for the likes of the Prince of Wales and Sarah Jessica Parker, supervised the building works. It has been reported that the dining room has been painted jewel green.
In April 2015, just before the birth of Princess Charlotte, speculation mounted that the Duchess was indeed pregnant with a baby girl when reports emerged that Oxford interior design company Annie Sloan had delivered three pink paint samples to Anmer Hall.
The samples were reportedly "Antoinette", described as a soft pale pink inspired by the decorative pieces and interiors of 18th century France, "Emile", a warm soft aubergine colour with pink red undertones, and "Henrietta", a beautiful rich complex pink with a hint of lilac:
Left to right: Antoinette, Emile and Henrietta.

In Autumn 2015 the Department of Transport agreed to the Duke and Duchess's request to ban aircraft from flying within 1.5 miles of the house "in view of the need for security for the royal family". All aircraft, including drones, are included in the ban, except for emergency services aircraft, such as Prince William's employer, East Anglian Air Ambulance, reports the Daily Mail.
Also exempt are any helicopters and planes flown by members of the Royal Family or by guests of the Royal Family who have permission to land.

In December 2016, speculation started to mount as to whether the Duke and Duchess were about to leave Anmer Hall as their main family home in favour of a permanent move to London. This would mean that Kensington Palace would become, once again, their full-time base, while Anmer would serve as a country house. The move is anticipated as the Duke and Duchess are upping their royal duties, while Prince George is expected to start school in London (possibly at Wetherby pre-prep, where his father and uncle Harry were pupils). Only time will tell!

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