Revealing a lap of luxury in King Edward and Wallis Simpson's short-term Bahamas home, the Sigrist House tells the tales of architecture and grandeur
By: Tejashee Kashyap
Posted on: March 31, 2020
A house that opens the gates of opulence and royalty in the Bahamas is up for sale at the guide price of $8,500,000. The grand estate - Sigrist House – the former residence and estate of King Edward VIII of England and his wife, the famous Wallis Simpson, has been listed for sale by Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty.
Wallis and Edward’s life was always in the news. The former Duchess of Windsor was known for her wit and style. While the current Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - settle into their new life in Canada, comparisons are drawn to that with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. King Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history, reigning for only 326 days before he abdicated the throne due to his engagement with Wallis Simpson. It was deemed politically and socially unacceptable for him to marry someone who has two living ex-husbands. After his abdication, Edward became the Duke of Windsor and Wallis was credited to have caused one of the biggest scandals in the British monarchy. Edward gave up the throne of England for the love of a woman that the monarchy would not make a queen, making their relationship quite an inspiring modern love story.
Their relationship was mostly consumed with running away from the rest of the royals and British government. Stationed in Nazi Germany under Hitler's regime during a time in their life, there were speculations that the Nazis were gleaning information from them. The British intelligence community became worried as well. Henceforth, Edward received a new assignment—the relatively low-risk governorship of the Bahamas. Wallis performed her role as the Bahamas' first lady competently - she worked actively for the Red Cross in the improvement of infant welfare. Spending a considerable amount of years there in a Napoleon-like exile, it is said that Wallis hated life in the Bahamas and made frequent shopping trips to the U.S., which irked many British citizens who were having to deal with severe rationing and ongoing blackouts.
During this time, the existing Governor's Mansion, where they lived, was not up to the couple's standards. And so the house went under extensive renovations. While the Duke and Duchess waited, they moved somewhere a bit more comfortable: Sigrist House. They were offered to stay in the home by Sir Frederick Sigrist, a British aviation pioneer, millionaire and the original owner of the property, who made his fortune designing aircraft for the First World War. The Windsors moved on to a mansion owned by industrialist Sir Harry Oakes, before finally moving into the Government House.
Sigrist House was designed to take advantage of the stunning views of Goodman’s Bay, which now overlooks the new Baha Mar Resort and Golf Course, with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. The estate has a 4 bedroom-suite main residence, two 4 bedroom guesthouses as well as a 3 bedroom apartment. Inside, the home has unique architectural features and finishes with extensive use of hardwoods and stone. The great room and office in the home are panelled with white mahogany, which was hand-selected in Honduras, taken to England for milling and then reassembled in Nassau.
The four fireplaces also originated from country homes in Britain. The roofs have been replaced and the historical wood and ironwork have been lovingly restored. The gourmet kitchen has been upgraded to modern standards as well as all electrics and plumbing. Outside, the estate has a beautiful garden spread over 4 acres, with fruit and coconut trees, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, all with views over the mature manicured grounds, saltwater canals, and the distant Atlantic Ocean.
A home that gives a whiff of a royal lifestyle with the incredible taste of Wallis Simpson, Sigrist House charms with an elegance that is hard to come by.
Coordinates: Prospect Ridge, Nassau And Paradise Island Bahamas