Could royals be set to move to the Surrey village of Hambledon?
With the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton now confirmed, the nation's rumour mill has gone into overdrive – and the usually unassuming village of Hambledon has found itself unexpectedly at the centre of it all.
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2011
With the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton now confirmed, the nation’s rumour mill has gone into overdrive – and the usually unassuming village of Hambledon has found itself unexpectedly at the centre of it all.
Planning permission has been sought to transform the old Nutbourne Brickworks into a new �20m ‘country seat’ estate for someone ‘famous for being very English’. A PR stunt that’s got out of hand or a property that is fit for a future king? So far, the developer, Millgate Homes, is refusing to comment on the speculation, but it’s certainly got villagers talking.
“Clearly the house isn’t being built ‘on spec’, but in this day and age of celebrity culture, who would have the clout to ensure the buyer was kept secret?” said one local resident.
“Hugh Grant is mooted much around here but someone would have leaked that. Personally, I think Prince William is a good bet.”
Meanwhile, one official royal link has already been confirmed in Kingswood, where the family-run Pobjoy Mint has produced a commemorative coin featuring the happy couple’s initials.
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“I think the coins could sell really well; the ones we issued for Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding were very popular so there is no reason why these won’t be,” said John Smith, the general manager at the mint. “I would expect to have a total of five or six different coins issued by the time of the wedding, and one is currently with Buckingham Palace awaiting Her Majesty’s approval.”
Postage stamps are also produced at Pobjoy and they expect to have three or four stamp issues by the time of the wedding.
Not to be left behind, Surrey County Council will be issuing special royal themed certificates to couples who marry on April 29. Coincidentally, 14 ceremonies were already booked on the date, although so far there have been no new takers since the announcement.
Whether we do get royal neighbours remains to be seen, but what seems clear is that no one is going to be short of conversation in the coming year.