The Queen has access to a vast property portfolio with homes up and down the country. Recently, she’s been spending much of her time in Windsor, spending the Christmas and New Year period at Windsor Castle.
But there’s one residence on the Windsor estate that she’s never lived in – and it was once reportedly earmarked for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. That residence is Fort Belvedere, which was built between 1750 and 1755 for Prince William Augustus and is located in Windsor Great Park.
According to MyLondon, it was built in the Gothic Revival architectural style and the home was fondly referred to as ‘The Fort’ by many members of the Royal Family. The home was hugely expanded by George IV who added an octagonal dining room, a three-storey annexe and a large flag pole.
The home was later used by Queen Victoria as a tea house and allowed it to be open to the public in the 1860s. He spent a vast amount of money on the property and it is where his romance with Wallis Simpson flourished and she moved in permanently in 1936.
Upon his abdication in 1936 after he was not allowed to continue as King if he married twice-divorced Wallis, Fort Belvedere is where he signed his written abdication notice. Edward, who then became the Duke of Windsor, moved out and the vast property was empty until 1955.
It has since been occupied by the Queen’s cousin Gerald Lascelles and is currently leased out by the Crown Estate.