Homes gossip

Here's a chance to buy a piece of history: Victoria Cottage, Isle of Mull, which Kate Middleton and Prince William rented after their finals, is up for sale.
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Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton
Victoria Cottage, Isle of Mull, which Kate Middleton and Prince William rented after their finals, is up for sale and could make the perfect honeymoon gift from the prince to his new bride.

Meanwhile, Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, have no intention of selling their cosy family flat in Chelsea, Kate’s former home, which will now offer extra space to their younger children, Pippa and James, during their increasingly frequent visits to London from their parents’ home in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Kate divides her time between her fiancé Prince William’s quarters in Clarence House and the £750-a-week Welsh farmhouse he rents while stationed in Anglesey. The couple eventually hope to begin married life in Kensington Palace, where they have their eye on Princess Margaret’s former apartment, No 1A, which is being refurbished.

Click here for more details on Victoria Cottage, and other royal hideaways for sale.

Sophia Dawnay and Piers Milburn
Sophia Dawnay and Piers Milburn
Actress Sophia Dawnay, whose family owns 15th-century Blarney Castle, was the jazzy one in ITV’s talent-show spoof Rock Rivals. Now she has sold her one-bedroom Notting Hill flat for "an amazing" £575,000 and moved to Wiltshire. She and her husband, website designer Piers Milburn (right), have paid £350,000 for a three/four-bedroom Seventies chalet bungalow near Salisbury.

"We’ve always wanted to find a house to do up, and this one has great potential," says Sophia, who is Sienna Miller's best friend. "We plan to add five dormer windows, build an en-suite bathroom beside the master bedroom and make an open-plan kitchen/diner/sitting room."

Sophia was born with a golden shamrock in her mouth. Her family home, near Cork, is famous for the Blarney Stone. Legend has it that if you kiss it you will never be at a loss for words - useful gift for an actress.

Lee Child
Lee Child
After 12 years in New York, best-selling thriller writer Lee Child is considering buying a property in East Sussex. "It makes sense because he spends so much time in the UK," reports a friend. "He has his eye on a house set in extensive grounds near Rye."

The Coventry-born civil servant’s son and his American wife Jane also own a holiday home in France. Child’s 15 novels have sold more than 40 million copies in 75 countries.

His main character, Jack Reacher, has attracted superstar Tom Cruise, who is keen to play him in a Hollywood blockbuster franchise of the books.

Comic genius Mel Smith has finally sold Little Haseley Barn, his five-bedroom, oak-beamed, Grade II-listed Oxfordshire home for £1.75 million through Knight Frank, a £750,000 drop from his original asking price.

He bought the barn conversion for £1.2 million seven years ago and added a swimming pool, tennis court and orchard. The Chiswick bookie’s son funded the landscaping by selling his beloved Bentley, a gift from the producers of the Mr Bean film he directed in 1997. He and his party-loving wife Pam share four other properties.

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