ByLouisa Marshall/Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 11:14 am EST
We all know Buckingham Palace — at the heart of London, the palace sits on gorgeous grounds, is always bustling with tourists, and looks just as lavish on the inside as it does on the outside. Buckingham Palace has been home to Queen Elizabeth and her family, but, as her children have grown up and ventured out on their own, many have acquired their own properties. While some royal fans may think that the only two places the royals can live is Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, you might want to think again.
One of the hardest working — and notoriously private — members of the royal family is Princess Anne. The Princess Royal, as of publication, is 70 years old and is 16th in line for the British throne. Despite her distance from the crown, Anne has made her dedication to her mother, Queen Elizabeth, and to the monarchy incredibly clear. But what has remained under wraps, until now, has been what Anne's primary residence looks like. For a royal so private, she has kept her home — the estate at Gatcombe Park — largely unseen. But due to COVID-era video calls and social media, we've gotten a sneak peak.
So, here's all the information you need to know, as we take you inside Princess Anne's fabulous home.
Princess Anne's home is located in the country and includes a working farm
David Levenson/Getty Images
If you're a fan of "The Crown," then you know that the royals have a reputation for being pretty outdoorsy. That is certainly the case for Princess Anne, as her home — Gatcombe Park — is a working farm. As noted by Gloucestershire Live, Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence, spend their days among horses, cattle, and a variety of livestock that have found homes at Gatcombe. The estate is located in Cotswolds near Prince Charles' home in Highgrove. But, as such, the estate sits on 730 acres of land, making it the ideal place for a working farm (via Express).
In an interview with Countryfile, Anne expressed her appreciation for her home and its function as a farm, sharing that it is the place she always wants to come back to. "It's really nice to ... just be yourself in an area like this," she said (via Hello!).
This is what Princess Anne's sitting room looks like
It's only really been since the coronavirus pandemic started that royal fans have gotten a glimpse into Princess Anne's home. While all of us were hunkered down at home, Anne continued to work on behalf of the royal family, but, because of restrictions, did much of her work via video calls. As such, we got to see snippets of her home at Gatcombe Park, and what we saw was not at all surprising. Anne is very much of a "get the job done" kind of lady, so her more modest style of decor makes a lot of sense.
As noted by Gloucestershire Live, Anne took part in a video event for the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital and called in from her sitting room. Anne was surrounded by freshly cut flowers, photos of her family, and a rather vintage-looking mirror. Behind Anne sat a glass cabinet full of what looked like small animal statues, perhaps a nod to her love of the outdoors. From the glimpse of her sitting room, it's clear that she's a no-frills kind of royal with a style to match.
Princess Anne's country estate is used for this specific event
Max Mumby/indigo/Getty Images
Princess Anne — for those who only consider themselves to be acutely aware of the British royal family — is known for two things: her work ethic and horses. Anne had a rather successful equestrian career, and, as such, has turned her home into an event space for the Festival of British Eventing — a horse racing and display event. AsCountry Livingnoted, the Gatcombe Park grounds are used for the festival every year (COVID-19 permitting) in August. The festival is a combination of horse racing events, coupled with other equestrian displays such as the Shetland Pony Grand National and the Dressage to Music display (via the Festival of British Eventing website).
It wouldn't be Anne's style if the festival didn't benefit the community in some capacity, so, in addition to turning her home's property into the event's setting, she uses the opportunity to bring artisans in to sell their goods. According to the event's website, over 100 stands — featuring food, clothing, jewelry, art, and more — are present on the grounds of Gatcombe Park. While the festival has been postponed for 2021 due to COVID-19, here's to hoping the grounds will open up again for 2022.
Princess Anne does not shy away from color in her home
It's been hard to imagine what the inside of Princess Anne's home looks like. You might have thought it looks like the regal display that is Buckingham Palace, but now that we've gotten a little glimpse into what the Princess Royal's estate looks like, her interior style totally makes sense.
According toHello!, Anne took part in a video call during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she appeared to be in a living room or sitting room of some kind at her Gatcombe Park estate. She was seated on a floral-printed sofa in front of two lime green-colored curtains, and next to her sat a photo of herself and her brother, Prince Charles. Anne was spotted again, on a different video call, sitting in front of the same curtains (so they're clearly a favorite).
If you're surprised by the fact that Anne has lime green curtains in her house, you really shouldn't be. All we have to do is look back through her wardrobe over the past decades to get a sense of her taste — as noted by Vogue, the princess has never avoided color and has often been seen in shades such as lime green, turquoise, and canary yellow.
Princess Anne's home hasn't been updated since the 1800s
David Levenson/Getty Images
Now we're going to get into some of the nuts and bolts of Princess Anne's property. The Gatcombe Park estate is a Grade II-listed manor house, according to Historic England. The main home, where Anne lives, features a rectangular floor plan and was originally built using ashlar limestone and stone slate. The two-story structure also comes with an attic, and on either side of the home are ground-floor wings (think of when someone pretentious you know says, "My room is in the west wing." That's what we mean).
A conservatory runs from the west wing to the estate's summer house, and the entrance to the home features a rather grand-looking staircase and column design. After the initial construction was completed, English architect George Basevi was brought on to work on the house, circa 1814. Historic England noted that since Basevi's work, "Very little [has been] altered since the 1820s." So, if you think that Gatcombe Park looks old, well, that's because it is.
Princess Anne's property is made up of modest interior decor
Princess Anne's home at the Gatcombe Park estate isn't only home to her, but also to her daughter, Zara Tindall, and her husband, Mike Tindall. Through Anne's video conferences and the Tindalls', due to COVID-19, we've gotten to see even more of Anne's estate than ever before. AsHello!noted, the bulk of Anne's home and property is pretty modest, as she "tends to steer clear of [color]" (except for the green curtains, that is). Elsewhere on her property, where Zara and Mike live, the royal keeps things very tidy and modest, too.
The inside of Mike and Zara's home office features white walls, a cupboard, and some shelves — but that's about it. Furthermore, their living room features the same neutral shade on the walls, includes darker wood flooring, and is decorated with armchairs and a side table — but that's it. If you're surprised by the modest taste of the Princess Royal, you're not alone. After all, she did grow up in a castle, and we sort of thought that her home and property would be a little more lavish, like that of Prince William and Kate Middleton's Kensington Palace apartment.
Princess Anne's living room is surprisingly cozy
We love a good caught-on-camera moment, and Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence, shared a great photo of their Gatcombe Park estate living room on social media. As noted by Gloucestershire Live, the Princess Royal and her husband were photographed sitting on their living room sofa watching a rugby game — the moment was normal, the photograph was warm and inviting, and it gave us a great glimpse into the princess's home.
Inside the living room were a floral couch and matching armchair, a (rather cluttered) coffee table, two dark wooden cabinets full of trinkets, framed photographs, and, of course, a television propped up on a wooden media center. Surrounding the princess and her husband in the photograph were books, antique-looking lamps, and vintage-looking rugs. If you were to think of a cozy inn located in a sleepy English village, or somewhere like New England, where tea is plentiful and the room sort of smells like freshly baked dessert, that's what Anne's living room looks like.
Unlike other royal residences, Princess Anne's home is entirely self-funded
Max Mumby/indigo/Getty Images
Even if you don't consider yourself to be a fan of the royal family, you probably know that the royals are supported by taxpayer money. The royals' public funding has been a bit of a sore spot — just think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spending all that money to renovate their royal home, only to pay back the money once they moved (talk about drama). But, unlike other royal residences, Princess Anne's home at the Gatcombe Park estate is entirely self-funded."Being able to take on a place like this ... I've got to make it work," Anne told Countryfile. "This is not something that comes free, this has got to pay its way" (via Hello!).
As noted by The Sun, Anne runs the property and home as a private business, so, as such, no taxpayer money goes toward it or its upkeep. You might think that this would be a pretty sizable reprieve for the average British taxpayer, and while it is a great gesture of financial independence on Anne's part, it doesn't really make a huge dent in taxpayer fees. As noted by British Heritage, the royal family cost British taxpayers almost $95 million in 2019, which was about a $28 million increase from the year before. What did the money go to? Namely, a major renovation of Buckingham Palace, and, of course, maintaining royal life and travel.
Princess Anne's home was a gift to her and her first husband, Mark Phillips
Max Mumby/indigo/Getty Images
A lot of young newlyweds have dreams of one day purchasing a home, but it's a dream oftentimes not within reach. This, however, was not a problem for Princess Anne and her first husband, Mark Phillips, as they were gifted Gatcombe Park as a wedding present. AsExpressnoted,Queen Elizabeth bought the home for her daughter and former son-in-law in 1973. The home was touched up, and the couple made it their primary residence in 1977. Quite the gift, if we can say so.
Of course, the home signifying the happy union between Anne and Phillips was a nice, albeit empty, gesture. As noted by Town & Country, Anne and Phillips started having problems within their marriage after their daughter was born, and both were said to have had affairs while married. Things got really bad in the mid-1980s, when Phillips had a child with New Zealander Heather Tonkin. As such, he and Anne separated in 1989 and finalized their divorce in 1992. However, the two have remained cordial and have been spotted at the Gatcombe Park estate together, namely at horse-related events.
This is how many bedrooms Princess Anne's estate boasts
John Li/Getty Images
Princess Anne's home has a fascinating history. After the initial structure was built, architect George Basevi was hired to both remodel and expand the construction — all with circa 1800s equipment, mind you. Basevi was responsible for adding the home's wings, porch, conservatory, coach house, and stables, according to Historic England. The home is, unsurprisingly, extremely impressive — and there are enough bedrooms to sleep in a different room every night of the week, with more to spare.
As noted by Express, Anne's home in the property's main structure boasts five main bedrooms alone. That's not to mention the four secondary bedrooms (imagine being able to say you have secondary bedrooms). There are also four reception rooms, a billiard room, a conservatory, and a library — if you're starting to think about the murder mystery game "Clue," you're not alone. It's unknown if the home includes a designated master bedroom or if Anne chooses to sleep in different bedrooms just because she can. Either way, the home is extremely impressive, but we'd hate to think about how long it takes to clean each bedroom and make each bed.
How much is Princess Anne's home worth?
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
If you've gotten just one impression from Princess Anne's home, it probably is that the property is storied and impressive, which means one thing: It's expensive. As Woman & Homenoted,the private estate — which sits on more than 700 acres of land — is beautiful, and the main home in which Anne lives is worth a pretty penny. When the home was purchased in the 1970s, the price was not made public, but, reportedly, the home was sold for a price between $706,000 and $1.05 million. Since those were the prices way back in the 1970s, it's safe to say that the estate is worth far more now, especially given its ties to the British royal family.
Gatcombe Park isn't just expensive in its estimated worth — it's also an expense to maintain. As noted by Gloucestershire Live, the main home where Anne lives has 27 rooms, and — coupled with Highgrove House, another royal residence — racks up a $127,000 electricity bill each year. While we can't imagine that Gatcombe Park will be sold any time soon, we'll be watching for any disclosed financial info.
Princess Anne's home is surrounded by extensive gardens and forests
Princess Anne's home has a lot of land, as we've mentioned throughout, but there are some details that you absolutely have to know. First and foremost, there is a 200 meter-long terrace that runs alongside the southern part of the home, providing views for days. So, what is Anne looking at while standing on her terrace? Just her park — casual, we know.
As noted by Historic England, the Gatcombe Park estate sits on parkland that extends for miles. Trees line the northern and eastern parts of the grounds, and single trees pop up throughout the property. A stream runs through the estate, which leads to two lakes that were created, most likely, by Edward Sheppard. Gatcombe Park was expanded in 1797, and Historic England suspects that this is when a bulk of the landscaping took place. To top off a park that sounds absolutely magical, there is a kitchen garden on the property — to think that you could walk from your kitchen to your garden and pick the veggies needed for dinner just sounds delightful. We'll let you know when Anne invites us over.
Princess Anne's property was the site of this dramatic event
Max Mumby/indigo/Getty Images
Everyone has experienced a crazy at-home incident, and while the royals always seem to have it together, they, too, deal with some exciting (and jarring) times. AsHello!noted,one of the most insane occasions to take place in Zara and Mike Tindall's lives was the birth of their third baby, Lucas Philip. What does this have to do with Princess Anne's home? The baby was born on the bathroom floor.
While at the Gatcombe Park estate, the couple was shocked by the rapid birth of their son. Mike took to his podcast, "The Good, The Bad & The Rugby," to explain what happened. "Didn't make it to hospital," he said. "It was running to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace." What a lovely place to welcome a new bundle of joy into the world.
Mike and Zara's portion of the Gatcombe Park estate has undergone some renovation and expansion over the years — it features an open floor plan kitchen and dining room and a new bathroom on the ground floor. But it's the storied birthing bathroom that takes the cake.
Princess Anne has a secondary residence in this palace
It's safe to say that Princess Anne's home sounds lovely, welcoming, and a tad lavish, not to mention a place where people and horses alike are welcome. But the Gatcombe Park estate isn't the only property that Anne calls home. According toRoyal Central, she also has a residence in St. James' Palace located in London, and given her expansive royal schedule, it's easy to understand why.
Anne is the royal patron of many London-based organizations and charities. She is the president of the City and Guilds of London Institute and the University of London, and she was an integral part of planning the 2012 London Olympics. As such, a London-based residence is very important, and while it remains unclear how much time Anne spends at St. James' Palace, we'd imagine that it's quite a bit, given her demanding schedule. She isn't the only royal who has called the palace home, however. At one point, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice shared an apartment in the palace that their father and Anne's brother, Prince Andrew, provided to them.