King Edward VIII’s abdication from the British throne in favour of the pursuit of love was deemed a monumental fall from grace. The then King and Wallis Simpson, exiled by the Windsors, travelled to the Bahamas by commercial liner and were stripped of some of their royal privileges. Here Edward’s was appointed Governor of the Bahamas with Wallis Simpson appointed Bahamas’ first lady. Sigrist House, a magnanimous and noble property, was just the place to house the royal couple.
Spread over four acres of prime Bahamian real estate, gazing down upon Goodman’s bay, Sigrist House is truly fit for a King. The home contained magnificent regal artwork, servants and soldiers, enough to dazzle any guests the hosts chose to invite. The property has a rich history, built in 1930 by Sir Frederick Sigrist, British aviation pioneer, film producer and millionaire.
The island remains the inspiration for the home, with each detail within the home is designed to magnify Nassau’s natural beauty. Panelled with white mahogany, hand selected from Honduras, each room has fine imperfections, typical of a handcrafted home. The smell of the raw wood still permeates the home, providing a beautiful ambiance like no other.
A large patio area inspects the rear gardens, providing ample opportunities to reflect and plan a lifetime together as one of world’s most famous power-couples. Endemic fruit and coconut trees litter the four acre gardens, spreading as far as the adjoining saltwater canals. Extensive restorations over the last 30 years has provided the home with a stately and modern feel; timeless by appeal and by nature. Home improvements mean residents now have access to a Jacuzzi and swimming pool, both with views over the mature manicured grounds, curvaceous canals and the distant Atlantic Ocean.
The abundance of space across the property allows residents to maintain the tranquillity of the island, distancing oneself from both the rest of the island as well as frustrating family members – something the Windsor couple knew a lot about. There are three separate outhouses, including a four-bedroom guesthouse, a three-bedroom apartment as well as a secondary guesthouse.
King Edward VIII is one of the shortest reigning monarchs in British history, reigning for 326 days before he abdicated for love. This politically and socially unacceptable decision cast the couple to the Caribbean, forced to live the next five years in this exceptional home. Wallis Simpson performed her role as the Bahamas’ first lady with great competence for the five years she was stationed there, working actively for the Red Cross.
Following the couple and their entourage’s first few years at the property, they once again upped sticks and moved on to a mansion owned by Sir Harry Oakes, before moving back into the official Governor’s House. The property is now for sale through Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty.