Monday, April 4, 2011

Forget mugs and tea towels, this is the ultimate in Royal Wedding memorabilia: Kate Middleton's childhood home (and it's yours for a mere £460,000)

By Daily Mail Reporter

Childhood home: The Victorian villa in Bradfield Southend is on the market for £460,000

If you've stocked up on official Royal Wedding memorabilia and still have a few hundred thousand pounds to spare, the perfect Kate Middleton-related purchase is about to come onto the market - her childhood home.

The semi-detached Victorian villa in the Berkshire village of Bradfield Southend is on the market for £460,000 and will be sold at auction in June - just weeks after its former resident marries Prince William.

Miss Middleton's parents, Michael and Carole, bought the four-bedroom house for £34,700 in 1979 when they were both working for British Airways.

The future queen was born in 1982 and lived in the house, named West View, until she was 13 when the house was sold for £158,000.

The Middletons set up their partywear business in 1987 and the money it generated eventually led to the family selling up and moving to a bigger home in 1995.

Dudley Singleton, the auctioneer handling the sale, said: 'It’s always possible that someone will buy it as an investment, because if Kate becomes queen someone might even want to open it as a museum one day and charge people to see it.

'There’s also a chance that someone could look to buy it as a holiday let, but if it sells to someone who just wants it as their home I’m not sure the royal connection will attract a huge premium.'

The villa is currently leased to tenants, but its owners are hoping to cash in on the national obsession with the Royal Wedding.

'Any publicity around the sale of the house will make more people in that price bracket aware of what is a very nice property,' said Mr Singleton, 'and that might mean more bidders.'

The Pangbourne-based estate agent, who also sold the house for the Middletons when they moved in 1995, said it is 'very much as they left it'.

The Middletons extended West View's kitchen and created a playroom. But few changes have been made to the house or garden since they moved out.

The village school where Miss Middleton briefly attended a playgroup before moving on to the fee-paying St Andrew's School in Pangbourne is also just around the corner.

Both are key sights on the 'Middleton Country' bus tours which have attracted visitors from all over the world since the royal engagement was announced.


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