Are you interested in coming to London in the near future? Looking to check out some of the city’s most salubrious districts like, say, Kensington? And intrigued to find out who lives there? Well, now’s your chance, all right! Should you choose for your stay one of the snug and affordable Shaftesbury hotels London (such as the Shaftesbury Suites London Marble Arch), then you’ll be able to check out how the ‘other half’ lives by taking a stroll down Kensington Palace Gardens – but just who actually lives there…?
Britain’s one-time richest man, the Indian steel magnate picked up his 55,000 sqft mansion from Bernie Ecclestone in 2004 for £57 million. ‘Taj Mittal’, as it’s nicknamed, comprises 12 bedrooms, a pool and marble sourced from the same quarry as, yes, the actual Taj Mahal. Mittal, as it happens, owns two other properties in this street.
Daughter of former Formula 1 owner, billionaire Bernie, Tamara scooped her mansion here for £45 million in 2011. A renovation for between £15 million and £20 subsequently took place to add a bowling alley, private nightclub, swimming pool, fully operational beauty salon, car lift and dog spa. The driveway features a turntable ensuring vehicles won’t need to reverse and, apparently, a £1 million bathtub made from Amazonian crystal has also been installed.
The Russian-American industrial billionaire bought his property’s plot here in 2004, reputedly by outbidding both Mittal and another one-time Kensington Palace Gardens resident, Roman Abramovich; the notorious Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club. Blavatnik’s extension to his property has seen the creation of underground parking (including, yes, a car stacker), a home cinema and a home fitness area with an indoor swimming pool, which was built to look like an orangery from outside.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Finally, by far and a way the most famous residents of the street are the current heir to the British throne, his wife and their three children. Technically, the Royal palace that’s Kensington Palace isn’t on the street, of course, but logistically it backs on to it (while the front occupies part of the western end of Kensington Gardens which, don’t doubt it for a second, is absolutely worth a visit if you’re staying nearby at the likes of the Shaftesbury Suites London Marble Arch).
The palace itself, parts of which are also open to the public (be sure to book up!), has been home to a whole host of minor British royals over the decades, after being the favoured London residence of the monarch in the 19th Century. For instance, it was the final home of Prince William and Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, as it was for both the Duke and Duchess of Kent and, you may say, Diana’s forerunner, Princess Margaret (the present Queen’s sister).