Inside long-forgotten royal home where Queen lived before Buckingham Palace… and how it was destroyed in tragic disaster | The Sun

THROUGHOUT her long reign, the Queen had her pick from a whole host of impressive properties.

From her official residences Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to her favourite Scottish castle Balmoral, she was certainly never short of choice.

However, there is one home of great significance that is often forgotten about – the townhouse, 145 Piccadilly, which she grew up in.

The London residence was where Princess Elizabeth, as she was then known, was raised with her sister Princess Margaret, after she was born in her maternal grandparents' townhouse in Mayfair.

Tragically, the childhood home was destroyed by a bomb in October 1940 – just four years after Elizabeth and her family moved out in 1936.

The property is now the site of the luxurious hotel, InterContinental London Park Lane – but let's go back in time for a peek into the historic property.


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The white terraced building was originally built in 1627 as a hunting lodge for George II.

In a number of pictures, the young Elizabeth II can be seen playing on the neatly manicured lawns with her pet corgis.

Other snaps also show her spending time with her mother and father.

Another photograph that dates back to 1926 shows the future monarch being pushed in her pram in the garden – for what was her first outing out of the house.

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The young royal was treated to an impressive view of Green Park from her five-storey home, which is detailed in Jane Dismore's book Princess: The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II.

The house was decorated with a massive gramophone, an abundance of books and a large glass cabinet which had miniature animals for the princess' pleasure.

According to Jane's book, the décor was in stark contrast to the design of the 1920s, featuring chintz-covered armchairs and a Persian carpet.

Although the royals were asked to rein in their spending during this period, the drawing room of 145 Picadilly was nothing short of magnificent.

There were 25 bedrooms in the building – the attic floor was reserved for the servants who worked for the family.

The sisters had their own exclusive day and night nurseries on the top floor, which had red carpets and fireplaces.

The day nursery was where the princesses played and entertained friends who'd come to visit.

According to Jane's book: "It was filled with toys and curios from all over the British Empire.

“There were tiny, exquisitely dressed dolls; china cottages and palaces; model soldiers and ships; animals, birds and fishes in finely-blown glass. Many of them gifts from Queen Mary.”

The future King George's study was located on the ground floor, along with a huge dining room that could host a feast with up to 30 guests.

While living at the residence, George often visited a Harley Street-based speech therapist to help him with his stammer, as shown in the movie, The King's Speech.

The family left the home to take up residence in Buckingham Palace following the abdication of Edward VIII, Elizabeth's uncle, in 1936.

He had given up the crown so he could be with Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, making Elizabeth's father the new King.

After the family left, the home was put on the market for rent.

Shortly afterwards in 1940, their former home was flattened by a bomb during the Second World War.

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The building's interior was so damaged that it had to be closed for the remainder of the war – there was even a report that a caretaker and his family were found in the wreckage of the blast.

Between 1968 and 1975, work began to construct the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel, which still sits at the site today.

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