By Ruth Doherty published
While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose Canada as their home after stepping down from royal duties, King Edward VIII chose the Bahamas. And now, the former residence and estate where he and his wife, socialite Wallis Simpson, lived during his first years as The Governor of the Bahamas, has gone on sale for $8,500,000 (around £6,570,000).
Sigrit House is a stylish sprawling estate sitting on four acres of beautiful gardens with balmy Atlantic Ocean vistas. It became King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson's Bahamas home after his famous abdication.
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King Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history, reigning for 326 days before he abdicated the throne due to his engagement to Wallis Simpson, as it was deemed politically and socially unacceptable for him to marry someone that had two living ex-husbands. After his abdication, Edward became the Duke of Windsor.
The Duke was appointed the Governor of the Bahamas in July of 1940 and arrived in Nassau in August of that same year.
The Duke and Duchess were originally going to live in Government House, which is the official residence of the Governor of the Bahamas. However, it was in need of renovation, even being referenced to military barracks.
As such, the Windsors lived in Sigrist House while the renovation was taking place. They were offered to stay in the home by Sir Frederick Sigrist (1880 – 1956), a British aviation pioneer, millionaire and the original owner of the property, who made his fortune designing aircrafts for the First World War. The Windsors moved on to a mansion owned by industrialist Sir Harry Oakes, before finally moving into the Government House.
Wallis Simpson's Bahamas home, Sigrist House. was designed to take advantage of the stunning views of Goodman’s Bay, which now overlooks the new Baha Mar Resort and golf course, with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
The estate has a four-bedroom-suite main residence, two 4 bedroom guesthouses as well as a three-bedroom apartment. Inside, the home has unique architectural features and finishes with extensive use of hardwoods and stone.
The great room and office in the home are panelled with white mahogany, which was hand selected in Honduras, taken to England for milling and then reassembled in Nassau. The four fireplaces also originated from country homes in Britain.
Over the last decade, the home has experienced extensive restorations. The roofs have been replaced and the historical wood and ironwork has been lovingly restored. The gourmet kitchen has been upgraded to modern standards as well as all electrics and plumbing.
The bedrooms boast a grand, classic style with walnut floors and four-poster beds given a little contemporary edge with modern lighting and on-trend hues.
Outside, the estate has a beautiful garden spread over four acres, with fruit and coconut trees, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, all with views over the mature manicured grounds, saltwater canals, and distant Atlantic Ocean.
The estate is available at the guide price of $8,500,000 USD through Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty. Visit www.sirbahamas.com or call +1 242 424 9193.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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