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Middletons move in! The family of Kate, Princess of Wales expand in rural Berkshire


As Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, has a range of decidedly impressive homes including Amner Hall in Norfolk and Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate.

But the rest of her family are building an upmarket property portfolio of their own And they’re all concentrated in the county of Berkshire, where Kate grew up.

Michael and Carole Middleton are well-established there and had been living in the small village of Bucklebury for many years before moving into the local manor house in 2012.

Now their children are gravitating homewards, with parents and children living within 40-miles of each other.

Carole and Michael Middleton, parents of Kae and Pippa, live at Bucklebury Manor, a pretty seven-bedroom property with a tennis court, swimming pool and a library

Carole and Michael Middleton, parents of Kae and Pippa, live at seven-bedroom Bucklebury Manor, which boasts a tennis court, swimming pool, a library and 18-acres of land 

The Middletons now have an extensive property portfolio in their home county, Berkshire

The Middletons now have an extensive property portfolio in their home county, Berkshire

Mike and Carole Middleton moved into Bucklebury Manor in 2012

Mike and Carole Middleton moved into Bucklebury Manor in 2012 

They had brought up their family in a more modest house in the same village

They had brought up their family in a more modest house in the same village 

James Middleton, the third, was the first to make the move back, buying a £1.45 million 16th century farmhouse near Bucklebury with his wife Alizee Thevenet  in 2021.

Next to relocate from West London to West Berkshire were Pippa Middleton and her investment banker husband James Matthews along with their three children.  

They have  set up home in a £15 million mansion a 20-minute drive from her parents.

James and business pals have also purchased the  72-acre Bucklebury Park Farm, a stone’s throw from Pippa’s parents. 

Even the Prince and Princess of Wales, who have quit Kensington Palace for Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor estate in Berkshire, have found themselves much closer to the rest of the family than they were before in Kensington.

They made the move to Windsor so that their children could have more freedom – and become a ‘modern royal family doing normal things. Life at Adelaide Cottage brings them closer to their grandparents as well as their three young cousins. 

Mike and Carole Middleton’s £4.7 million manor 

In 2012, a year after the royal wedding, Mike and Carole Middleton packed up their Oak Acre home and moved down the road into £4.7 million Bucklebury Manor, a seven-bedroom property with a tennis court, swimming pool and a library.

It is secluded within 18 acres of landscaped grounds and offers views across the picturesque valley.

The Georgian pile was previously owned by a family whose ancestors were granted the land by Henry VIII.

In 2020, Royal fans were able to catch a glimpse into the lives of the Princess’ parents after her younger brother James Middleton, 35, shared social media photos of the property.

James and wife Alizee had chosen to move in with his parents during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

James Middleton gave us a peek at his parent's outdoor dining area at their £4.7 million home

James Middleton gave us a peek at his parent’s outdoor dining area at their £4.7 million home 

In another of his snaps,  the Middleton family dogs are seen resting in front of the fireplace

In another of his snaps,  the Middleton family dogs are seen resting in front of the fireplace

There was a glimpse of the kitchen, with farmhouse-styled cream tiles above a range cook

There was a glimpse of the kitchen, with farmhouse-styled cream tiles above a range cook

A video on James's Instagram page showed the front of his parents' house

A video on James’s Instagram page showed the front of his parents’ house

The pictures suggested that the Middleton family kitchen has a  farmhouse-style cream tiles above an AGA with an old-fashioned whistle kettle.

 There were also snaps of his Golden Retriever jumping into a pool and the rest of his dogs lounging by a modern cream fireplace.

The fireplace was fenced off with a black rope, and the animals sat on fluffy grey rugs around the fireplace.

Aerial footage revealed topiary in the grounds.

Bucklebury Manor is somewhat grander than the cosy childhood home the Princess of Wales grew up in.

The Middletons bought semi-detached West View in Bradfield Southend, also in Berkshire, for £34,700 in 1979. 

Mike and Carole had worked for British airways as a BA flight dispatcher and air stewardess respectively before the launch of Carole’s party accessories business, Party Pieces, put them in a different league of money. 

They later moved to Oak Acre, a detached house with a gravel drive in nearby Bucklebury, before trading up to Bucklebury Manor. 

James Middleton’s £1.45 million 16th century farmhouse

James Middleton seemed to have fallen back in love with Berkshire after staying at his parents’ house during the pandemic in 2020.  

The following year, he shared a photo with his wife, Alize, and one of their beloved dogs outside a four-bedroom Grade II listed 16th century farmhouse in a village called Stanford Dingley, just a five minute drive from Mike and Carole.  

On Instagram he said: ‘I think buying a house is up there with one of the most stressful experiences in my life.

‘It’s been a hectic few months moving into our new home and we couldn’t be happier.

‘We are settling into our life in the country and the dogs loving their new home.’

James and wife Alizee keep sheep, ducks, goats, hens, dogs and bees at their Berkshire home

 James and wife Alizee keep sheep, ducks, goats, hens, dogs and bees at their Berkshire home

The couple purchased the mansion, which features dark rustic beams and leaded windows, for £1.45 million.

Another photo showed him posing with his beloved dogs in front of a brick fireplace inside their home.

Since moving in, the couple have also sought to restyle their farmhouse, crossing swords with West Berkshire council in the process.

The couple wanted to demolish the existing conservatory and ‘unsightly’ garage and replace it with a new garage described as barn-style.

They also wished to create a new lobby area, an open porch and move the open staircase into the kitchen were also included.

In December, members of West Berkshire council raised a number of concerns, including the fear that the garage was too large and would distract from the historic property which lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Conservation and design chief Debra Inston recommended that the council them to reject the application, saying:

‘Whilst the existing garage is of no architectural merit, its diminutive size does at least allow the garage to sit unobtrusively within the site.

‘The new garage would be of a size, scale, bulk and height that would be significantly bigger than the current garage…the proposal would therefore fail to preserve the special architectural and historic interest of this listed building.’

The ecological survey of the home also revealed that the farmhouse is used as a day roost by common and soprano pipistrelle bats – both protected species.

This meant that the pair had to apply for a special licence from Natural England before work could begin.

Fortunately for James and Alizee, the application was approved on January 13 meaning they can go ahead with construction.

David Alderton (pictured) says he doesn't get on with his neighbour of 18 months, James Middleton

James Middleton (pictured) has hit back, accusing his neighbour of trespassing onto his land

James Middleton (right) and David Alderton (left) live just 130 yards from each other. There has reportedly been tension over Mr Middleton’s collection of farm machinery  

It is not the only dispute to entangle James in recent months.

Earlier this year, MailOnline revealed that he was at loggerheads with neighbours living only 130 yards away who object to James’s collection of ageing farmyard machinery. 

David Alderton complained that Pippa’s brother kept an old dumper truck running for long periods of time  ‘pumping toxic exhaust fumes into the surrounding countryside’.

David and his wife Karen, who have lived in the village for several years, claimed their peaceful surroundings were  being ‘shattered’.

‘His property is like Steptoe’s junk yard,’ said Mr Alderton. ‘There are three barns full of old farmyard machinery, no good to anyone and it’s all going on 50ft from our front door.

‘This month we have further been subjected to the unwelcome toxic and noxious ingress of fumes within our home from the clearly unsuitable machinery he uses.

‘It’s a matter of public record that complaints have been made to the local council, but nothing has been done.’

Mr Alderton said neither he nor his wife had made any complaints regarding the Middleton’s planning application.

‘He’s a hoarder,’ continued Mr Alderton, ‘and doesn’t say no to anything. He probably thought a few farm implements would go well with the new green wellies.

‘It’s ancient, noisy, dirty, smelly machinery, old Massey Fergusons, an old threshing machine, wood chipping machines, you name it.

‘It’s a farm so I suppose he thinks he feels justified in having farm machinery even if it’s derelict.

‘But he has a duty of care to his neighbours and the environment – it should not impact on people nearby.’

James, however, accused Mr Alderton of sending threatening letters and trespassing.

He said: ‘It is disappointing that someone who chooses to live in the countryside in a farming community cannot accept that from time to time there will be noise and smells from tractors and animals especially if they live next to a farm.

‘We are very sensitive to the proximity of our neighbour however we would be neglecting our duty of responsibility for the animals and countryside if we were to adhere to all the wishes from our neighbour.

‘The complaints are disingenuous. Mr Alderton, our neighbour, has made complaints to West Berkshire council who have found no reason to investigate.

‘I volunteered to participate in a council run mediation program to hear the concerns of Mr Alderton and have looked to address some of the issues raised out of goodwill however despite this the complaints continue.

‘Mr Alderton has a history of disputes with neighbours within the village. In 2017 he took legal action against the parish council and a parishioner.’

Mr Alderton denied trespassing, on his neighbour’s land saying he simply tried ‘to attract his attention over the din of a tractor’.

He also denies having long-running disputes with other villagers and the Parish Council.

Pippa Middleton’s £15 million home and Berkshire barn tourist hub

Kate’s younger sister Pippa has also moved to the area.

Pippa’s new home is near Hungerford in Berkshire, around a 30-minute drive from Bucklebury.  

The mother-of-three bought the house with her investment banker husband, James Matthews, for £15 million in July.

Pippa Middleton and her investment banker husband James Matthews  bought a £15 million mansion in Berkshire, with 30 bedrooms and grounds sprawling over 150 acres

Pippa Middleton and her investment banker husband James Matthews  bought a £15 million mansion in Berkshire, with 30 bedrooms and grounds sprawling over 150 acres 

Pippa Middleton's husband James Matthews also bought Bucklebury Farm Park for £1.5 million

Pippa Middleton’s husband James Matthews also bought Bucklebury Farm Park for £1.5 million

The farm houses a petting zoo, said to have been one of Prince George's favourite spots

The farm houses a petting zoo, said to have been one of Prince George’s favourite spots

The huge property has around 30 rooms and a massive garden, sprawling over 150 acres, leaving plenty of space for their young children, Arthur, Grace and baby Rose.

Following the purchase of the Georgian mansion, a close friend told the Mail: ‘Pippa and her family are thrilled.

‘It’s a very exciting time in their lives. They are looking forward to living closer to her parents.’

It is also close to her sister, the Princess of Wales, allowing the children and their cousins to all attend the same private school in the county, according to Richard Eden.

The home is said to be more spectacular than any of the Royal properties in the nearby Windsor estate.

One local told the Mail: ‘It’s a far more impressive property than any of those on the Windsor estate, apart from the castle.’

The couple is also waiting to hear about a planning application that asks to build a huge build a huge 2 ft x 19 ft swimming pool within the grounds.

This would make it more than double the size of the average private pool and more like those found in leisure centres.

The nearby existing potting sheds would be converted into changing rooms.

They also want to dig up the lawn and build a tennis court with an AstroTurf surface, to allow for year-round use.

There are several concerns over the application, however, including that their home is built in an Area of Outstanding Beauty and has heritage interest, as it lies within the Kennet Valley, where many Middle Stone Age sites have been found.

One conservation officer declared they had ‘a number of concerns’ citing the cessation of ‘horticultural use’ in favour of ‘recreational/leisure use’.

Plans for the Princess of Wales’s sister to perforate walls of the home would also result in the potential loss of the ‘historic fabric’, the officer continued, adding that if the new pool is dug it could ‘have an impact on surviving archaeological deposits’. 

The couple now need to submit more detailed plans about the tennis court to the council. 

Pippa and her husband want to expand the existing business and create a tourist hub including glamping cabins, a farm shop and a restaurant. Pictured: The farm shop

Pippa and her husband want to expand the existing business and create a tourist hub including glamping cabins, a farm shop and a restaurant. Pictured: The farm shop

Plans included revamping the petting zoo (pictured), constructing a children's play centre in an eco-friendly wooden barn

Plans included revamping the petting zoo (pictured), constructing a children’s play centre in an eco-friendly wooden barn

Inside the Bucklebury Park Farm Shop. Pippa and her husband want to expand the businses

Inside the Bucklebury Park Farm Shop. Pippa and her husband want to expand the businses 

It is unclear whether Pippa and James have  sold their six-bedroom, £17 million home in Chelsea.

James Matthews and his business partners have husband also bought up Bucklebury Farm Park, a 77-acre piece of land, where the family is already running a petting zoo, café and cabin accommodation for around 30 people.

The farm was put on the market back in 2021, and the couple snapped it up quickly for £1.5 million.

The petting zoo was a favourite of Prince George’s when he was younger.

The couple now want to expand the business further, with the plans being dubbed ‘Pippa’s Playground’.

The proposals, seen by the Mail, revealed the plans to create a tourist hub made of glamping cabins, a farm shop and a restaurant, hoping to create a place that offers ‘human health activities’.

Plans included revamping the zoo, constructing a children’s play centre in an eco-friendly wooden barn and creating a tree plantation with retro farm vehicles painted in pastel colours.

The couple wanted the site to be decorated with lanterns.

Rushing to get ahead with their plans, the couple failed to apply for planning permission to create a covered seating area.

This was then brought to the attention of West Berkshire county council, leading to a year-long battle over the area. 

The couple were involved in a year-long planning battle with the council after they failed to request planning permission for on a covered seating area on the farm. Planning permission was eventually given retrospectively

The couple were involved in a year-long planning battle with the council after they failed to request planning permission for on a covered seating area on the farm. Planning permission was eventually given retrospectively 

The major concern from locals was that the new cover meant a public footpath had to be diverted.

Neighbours claimed the new path was ‘prone to flooding’ while others said it put walkers at risk of conflict with visitors parking their cars to visit the farm. stating they had an intention to divert a public footpath, claiming the new route was ‘prone to flooding’.

Eventually, in December retrospective planning permission was granted.

The couple were subsequently granted permission to extend an existing ‘visitor barn’ and to erect a ‘play barn’ and a huge new storage building — plus new lavatories and a 100-vehicle car park.



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