Saudi billionaire`s former Windsor pile with secret gate to royal park on sale for £32m

Date Published 13 April 2022

The ostentatious mansion was the site of one of Britain's most expensive divorces, between Pirelli model Christina Estrada and Sheikh Walid Juffali, just weeks before his death in 2016.
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Saudi billionaire's extravagant Windsor mansion has been relisted for £32 million after failing to sell for £50 million in 2018.

The sprawling Surrey pile was home to Sheikh Walid Juffali before his death from lung cancer in 2016. He had lived there with his ex-wife, Pirelli model Christina Estrada, with whom he was going through one of Britain's most expensive divorces when he died.

The price has been reduced by £18 million after the muted Brexit market followed by the pandemic saw wealthy overseas buyers retreat.

"The family are no longer living in the home and have moved on so they are very motivated to sell now," explains Becky Fatemi, founder and managing director of Rokstone Properties, which is selling the property. "They have been inundated with rental offers but want to sell it." Fatemi declined to comment on which member of the Juffali family is selling the home.

Shrouded in woodland on its own 34 acres of land, Bishopsgate House offers direct access from the grounds into Windsor Great Park through a secret gate.

Built in 1926, it has 12 bedrooms, a swimming pool and spa, tennis courts, a maze and a helipad, which has on occasion been commandeered by the Royal family with special permission.

There are riding stables and paddocks, garages to hold 20 cars and a separate cottage for the estate manager.

The plot, to the northeast of Windsor Great Park, dates back to the 13th century, when the parkland was carved out as as a royal hunting ground to accompany the pre-existing Windsor Castle, built in the 11th century after William the Conqueror's invasion.

The plot, to the northeast of Windsor Great Park, dates back to the 13th century, when the parkland was carved out as as a royal hunting ground to accompany the pre-existing Windsor Castle, built in the 11th century after William the Conqueror's invasion.

'The deeds stipulate that residents today can venture through it on foot or on horseback for a levy of £1 per year.'

The original Bishopsgate House was built in the 19th century and showed up on the ordnance survey map in 1882. This version of the property was demolished in the early 20th century and made way for today's grand home.

At first glance, it has all the hallmarks of a stately home. Behind electric gates, the long drive winds past immaculate lawns lined by banks of rhododendron bushes on either side, before it widens to reveal the grand brick facade with mullioned windows and tall chimneys stacks.

Inside, it is more ostentatious; think Belgravia bling, as opposed to traditional cottagecore.

The main bathroom has mirrored cabinetry and mirrored double doors covered with a giant, pale pink butterfly motif and the initials ‘SJ' as handles.

The rest of the room is white marble with a grey vein, with sections of grey marble with a white fleck.
Dark wooden panelling with detailing picked out in gold lines the main reception room, while the opening of the marble fireplace in the drawing room has been covered in reflective glass.

The marketing photographs of the spa show the walls dripping with modern artworks, from a collection of hanging stainless steel shields to a trio of giant, multi-coloured fabric lollipop-style pieces on another wall. Vast sofas overlook the circular pool with a coral-like blue and white chandelier at the centre of the ceiling.

The decor is unlikely to be to her taste, but Bishopsgate House could appeal to Kate Middleton and Prince William, who are readying to move to Windsor after the Queen announced she would move permanently to what has been her weekend residence.

The family of five could relocate to the leafy Berkshire-Surrey border from their primary home, Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace, as early as the summer.

The parents-of-three to Prince George (8), Princess Charlotte (6) and Prince Louis (3) are understood to be interested in living in a private property on the Windsor Estate, rather than an official royal mansion (such as Prince Andrew's Royal Lodge, and Fort Belvedere, which used to be home to King Edward VIII).

One option is Frogmore Cottage, the UK home of Harry and Meghan close to the castle, but this palatial property represents another.

"This is an idyllic home with a rare right to access one of Europe's most prominent parks,' said Fatemi. 'It is in good company; around the corner is the developer Christian Candy's mansion, which is rumoured to be worth £150 million. In this era of Bridgerton and with the Queen's Jubilee coming up, I expect a lot of demand for Bishopsgate with its new price tag."

Maybe it's another job for the Duchess of Cambridge's go-to interior designer, Ben Pentreath. Recommended by Prince Charles to freshen up the Cambridges' Kensington Palace apartment, Pentreath has A-list celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler on his books.

He also overhauled Anmer Hall in Norfolk, William and Kate's country residence, respecting its Georgian heritage.

Fatemi declined to comment on which member of the Juffali family is selling the home.