The Carribean home of a former royal and his American wife presents the perfect hideaway
In a story that many see echoed in the current Meghan and Harry saga, in 1936, Edward VIII shocked the world by abdicating the British throne, famously claiming that: “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.” The woman, of course, was American divorcee Wallis Simpson, who has been painted by history as a femme fatale intent on destroying the royal family, much like the modern day Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, was granted a stipend and sent off abroad, with the understanding that he would not set foot on British soil again without the permission of his newly enthroned brother. First came a tour of Germany that earned the couple a reputation for being Nazi sympathisers. To avoid the potential PR fallout of these perceived allegiances, the Duke of Windsor was shipped off to the Bahamas and appointed governor of the territory in 1940. And while the couple waited for their official residence, Government House, to be renovated, they acquired this home, dubbed Sigrist House.
While he was widely praised for his governorship, The Duke of Windsor was unhappy in the Bahamas – perhaps rightly feeling that he had been sent there
The Caribbean home of a former exiled royal and his American wife has come on to the market
to be forgotten. He resigned in March 1945, and was quickly welcomed into North American high society.
Located on a ridge on a 1.5-hectare plot on the outskirts of Nassau, the house was built in the 1930s by British movie producer Frederick Sigrist. Offering expansive ocean and bay views, the 15,000-squarefoot, four-bedroom main residence has retained its colonial character, and features wood-panelled walls and fireplaces. The property’s mahogany walls were shipped to England for finishing and then sent back to Nassau for installation.
In addition to the main residence, the estate is home to a three-bedroom apartment and two four-bedroom guest houses. While it retains its original feel, the property has been refurbished – from the electrical and plumbing systems to the restoration of wood and iron work. The lush tropical grounds flow out from the house’s terraces, and are home to flower gardens, as well as fruit and coconut trees. A swimming pool and spa look out over the sea.
The property is listed by Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty, Nassau.
The Sigrist House estate includes a four-bedroom main residence, a three-bedroom apartment and two fourbedroom guest houses. The property, which was built in the 1930s, has been updated and refurbished, and retains its colonial feel