You could own a romantic holiday home and a piece of royal history if you buy sugar-white Victoria Cottage on Scotland’s Isle of Mull, where Kate Middleton and Prince William spent time canoodling at the end of finals at St Andrews University in 2005. The pair, and a group of close chums, enjoyed its sweeping views over Tobermory Harbour.
The future queen was spotted cheerfully enjoying a drink in the bar of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry on her way to the three-bedroom terrace cottage. It has been let for several years but is now for sale for £219,000 (bellingram.co.uk).
Charlie Bubear, associate director of estate agent Savills, agrees that a sprinkling of royal glamour is good for sales. "It is a very hard thing to quantify but a house with royal links creates a huge marketing opportunity and a lot of interest, adding fun and kudos to a property that makes for good dinner party chat. In property one-upmanship, it’s a great thing to be able to drop into the conversation."
Be lord of your manor
If you’re in the market for something a little bigger with even stronger royal connections, read on...
King John’s Castle, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire has five bedrooms, three reception rooms and its future occupant can style themselves Lord of the Manor of Mythe and Mythe Hook.
The property’s first owner is believed to have been Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, with the title bestowed on the castle by her descendant, Prince John. It is on sale with Knight Frank, priced at a not-too-princely £795,000.
Off with her head
A property with a more ancient royal heritage is King John’s Hunting Lodge, close to Wraysbury, Berkshire. This picture-postcard house, standing in five acres, dates from the 13th century and - as its name suggests - is thought to have been a favoured stop-off of the king who signed the Magna Carta in nearby Runnymede.
The house later passed to Sir Walter Stonar, a prominent member of the court of Henry VIII, and it is thought to be where the king romanced the unfortunate Anne Boleyn (beheaded for treason and witchcraft). The five-bedroom property is on the market with Savills with a guide price of £1.8 million (savills.co.uk).
Britain’s oldest house
Fyfield Hall in Fyfield, Essex, is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited timber-framed house in Britain - it was built circa 1150. It is Grade I-listed and was seized by Henry V in 1415 when its owner, Lord Scrope, was beheaded for treason. The six-bedroom house is on the market for £1.75 million with Fine (fine.co.uk).
Abbey by the Avon
But if you must have a royal hideaway with wow factor, you might be forced to head further afield. The Grade I-listed Stoneleigh Abbey, on the River Avon at Kenilworth, is set within 690 acres of parkland.
King Charles I once stayed there, as did Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (Jane Austen was also a house guest). The east wing, with four bedrooms and dating from 1258, is on sale for £630,000 (visit knightfrank.com).
Where will the modern couple find their home?
In the short term Prince William and Kate Middleton will live in a £750-a-month farmhouse in Anglesey, North Wales after their wedding on April 29. The property overlooks a private beach and is convenient for the prince’s posting as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot on the island.
At the moment Kate shares an apartment in Chelsea with her sister and chief bridesmaid, Pippa, and spends part of the week at her parents’ home in Bucklebury, Berkshire. William has rooms in his father’s official residence, Clarence House. Current favourite for their first royal home are Princess Margaret’s old apartments at Kensington Palace - not, as was earlier thought, Diana, Princess of Wales’s less-spacious former home at KP.
For their country retreat, six-bedroom Harewood Park in Herefordshire, owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and built by the Prince of Wales to the very latest eco-standards, has regularly been suggested - although St James’s Palace steadfastly denies this.
Another possibility is that Prince Charles will hand over Highgrove in Gloucestershire to the couple, but only if he can take over Sandringham in Norfolk. However, this move is unlikely to receive the sanction of the Queen.