It has been called home by three prime ministers, two James Bonds and enough Russian oligarchs to earn it the easy prefix ‘Red’, but Belgravia’s Eaton Square has intriguing royal ties to boot — and we don’t mean Fergie’s pied-à-terre.
In 1947, once exiled Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark quietly moved into a 10,000 square foot, six-bedroom townhouse, which is now up for sale for £39.5 million with Beauchamp Estates.
Born a few weeks after her paternal grandfather King George I was assassinated in Thessaloniki, Katherine faced a unsettled childhood between Greece, Switzerland, Sicily and Florence, before being educated near Broadstairs in Kent.
She returned to Greece in 1935 when her brother George was reinstated as king, but soon fled to South Africa after the country was overrun by Axis forces in the Second World War.
It was on the last leg of her 1946 voyage to England that Princess Katherine met (and soon married) Major Richard Campbell Brandram MC, with King George VI granting her the British title of Lady Katherine Brandram. The couple settled in Eaton Square in 1947, before moving on to Marlowe in Buckinghamshire.
Lady Brandram remained in the orbit of the British royal family, attending the Queen’s wedding to Prince Philip — her first cousin — and a service to mark his 80th birthday in 2001.
Refurbished some 30 years ago by socalite interior designer Nicky Haslam, once declared by Tatler as “the most well-connected man in Britain”, the former royal residence is one of only 12 freehold houses facing the square.
Its deep-pocketed buyer will find little lacking among the Grade II-listed property’s 10,000 square feet of living space, which is split across the main house and a connecting mews home.
There’s the suitably stately full width entrance hall, with its inlaid marble floor, chandelier and Corinthian columns, and the cluster of grand reception rooms which offer a dizzying range of hosting options.
The lower ground floor has been configured to sequester staff quarters from the rest of the house, and it’s here you’ll find the chef’s kitchen, wine cellar, utility, laundry and several vaults.
An elevator has been installed to deliver the owners swiftly between all six floors, beside a separate lift for funneling food from the kitchen to the formal dining room — and possibly the odd room service request.
The mews house, which connects to the main house on the lower ground floor, has five bedrooms, three ensuite shower rooms, multiple receptions, a garage and a storeroom.
According to Marcus O’Brien, Head of Beauchamp Estates Private Office, the square is the “jewel in the crown of the Grosvenor Estate and regarded as one of the best addresses in London”.
He anticipates “significant domestic and international interest” in the former royal residence.
A former home to such disparate figures as Neville Chamberlain, Margaret Thatcher, Vivien Leigh, Roman Abramovich and George Soros, Eaton Square is the largest garden square in London.
It was named in 2016 as the most expensive street in England and Wales, with a then-average price tag of £16.9 million. It has since been overtaken by Kensington’s Phillimore Gardens, where properties command an average price of £23.8 million.