Inside the Royal Family's Favorite Bahamas Retreat

Inside the Royal Family's Favorite Bahamas Retreat

casa casuarina bahamas
Christie's International Real Estate

A lot of people have heard about Mustique, the private island where a lot of royal family members -- including Kate Middleton and Prince William -- have gone to relax away from private eyes. (Remember in The Crown, when Princess Margaret got busted cavorting with a lover on a beach? That was Mustique.)

But lots of us probably haven't heard of Casa Casuarina, the luxury home that's hidden away on the Bahamian island of New Providence -- the place where Princess Diana took Prince William and Prince Harry on vacation after her separation from Prince Charles. It's glorious.

Well, guess what? It's for sale by Christie's for $12.5 million. Whaddya say we all pool our money together and score it for the next time we need to stay put at home? Nah? Oh, well -- no harm in trying. Guess we can do the next best thing, which is to ogle it through lots of beautiful pictures. 

The home has long been owned by the Menzies family, who were somehow good friends of Diana, even though they owned a national chain of newsstands where the public could catch a glimpse of the scandalous tabloid headlines that were the unavoidable part of her life. It's not clear why they're unloading it now, because God knows we never would.

During the 1993 vacation, which Diana's bodyguard Ken Wharfe wrote about in his 2017 book Guarding Diana: Protecting the Princess Around the World, the royals and some friends also hopped over to Florida for a trip to Disney World.

But the highlight of the trip -- at least for scandal-weary Diana -- may well have been the family's stay at the gorgeous property, which is right on a private beach and so far away from the hustle and bustle of gray London that it's the perfect place to exhale.

Want to take a look inside? Of course y'all do. Here's a great peek at the house where William and Harry spent time with their mom, had fun, and were able to take a breather from their harried royal life. 

  • Now That's a View!

    1

    Ahhhhh. We can feel that gorgeous aquamarine water splashing against our skin. Imagine waking up and walking straight outdoors to be greeted by the Caribbean breeze. Perfection. This photograph also offers a great look at the house itself. At more than 4,492 square feet, it's pretty roomy but still feels intimate and very private, thanks to the lush vegetation that surrounds it.

  • Front Entrance

    2

    The front of the house is pretty unassuming, which makes sense, given that this a beachfront home, and a chill place to hang out. This drone shot reveals the u-shape layout of the house, which is perfect for catching the breeze and swirling it around. Behind the entrance is the home's pool, and beyond that, a bird's-eye look at the mostly tree-covered island. Let's set down our luggage and go inside.

  • Airy Living Rom 

    3

    Jesus, please bless us with the kind of cash required to live in a place like this. Amen. The most eye-catching part of this low-key living room is that ceiling lined with sun-bleached wood. Pretty on brand, obviously, but so mesmerizing. Stone tile floors keep the room cool, and the furniture gives the area a laid-back vibe. Check those shoes at the door. Nothing formal here.  

  • Dining In, Dining Out

    4

    One of the best features of the house is how effortless the transitions between the outdoors and indoors are. Case in point is this dining area, which has huge windows that offer views of the greenery and an enormous rolling door that connects it to a patio with more seating. Coral tile floors on the patio work well for absorbing water and sand brought up from the beach by hungry swimmers.

  • Chef's Dream Kitchen 

    5

    But is there a microwave? Bwahahaha. Seriously, this is #kitchengoals. We totally doubt that this is what the kitchen looked like back when Princess Di and the boys visited, because the layout and amenities are very, very now. Double gas stove, double oven, warming drawer right below, (yep, a microwave), double dishwashers, a roomy island, tons of drawers, and cabinets big enough to hide an adult -- y'all get the picture. It's meant for serious cooks, serious caterers, and serious eaters. Hot Pockets need not apply.

  • Master Bedroom

    6

    We're guessing this is it, because though the other four bedrooms are lovely, this one is extra so, with its fireplace -- which in the balmy Bahamas is strictly for aesthetics -- extra space, and access to the pool. This must be the quietest room in the house, the furthest away from the patio and beach. Although the ceiling is not covered in wood, like the living room, it still has that pretty beveled look. We would sleep here.

  • Uplifting Bedroom

    7

    Don't get us wrong. We could definitely sleep here, too, and we might even like it better. It's vibrantly decorated, closer to the kitchen (don't shame us for our constant snackage!), and closer to the beach via the patio. (That's why we're here, after all.) The amount of light that enters this room is wonderful, adding to its pretty and cheery vibe. We could recharge our batteries without even going outdoors -- not that we'd do that, unless it's for a nap.

  • Cabana-Like Bathroom

    8

    Not enough attention is paid to bathrooms these days. It's not just a place to park it and take care of business. This one would make us want to spend all day in there. What's not to love about a bathroom with a beach cabana feel? This one is covered in sand-colored stone tiles and features a walk-in shower and a bathub, plus a window that offers light with the added privacy of shielding plants. Very nice.

  • Patio From Heaven

    9

    Looking at this picture, we can just imagine William and Harry -- and even the famously fun-loving Diana -- using the length of the floor to get a running start and diving into the pool beyond. This patio is also a wonderful area to host a party or even small wedding and reception. Picture it: a few beach torches, candles, and some amazing cocktails and food. Now we're ready for an unforgettable evening.

  • Heated Pool

    10

    Well, well, well, if it isn't the perfect afternoon drinking spot. Roll out of bed, slide the bedroom door open, roll over to one of the lounge chairs, and suck away at a strawberry daiquiri. The pool is heated, which, even in a place as hot as the Bahamas, is so easy on the body. One thing we would do as owners, though: Replace those chairs. Can't really nap on those. Need more cushioning.

  • Pool View

    11

    Pretty much nothing beats a view of the Caribbean Ocean, but surprisingly, this view of Casa Casuarina's pool area comes pretty close. If this was our house, this would be a favorite spot to sit in silence, observe, and be thankful for everything we have. The sky, the clouds, their reflection in the pool, the palm trees swaying -- it's all just begging to be enjoyed. 

  • Party Prep Area

    12

    Yup, this is our kind of kitchen. It's got an entire room just for preparing drinks en masse -- as evidenced by the stacks of glasses and the mini wine fridge -- and for holding trays upon trays of hors d'oeuvres. We love the idea of crates of food and drink arriving on a Saturday morning, followed by caterers who cook all day as we pick at the food when we come in from the beach and go back out. Then, all our friends arrive, and the party starts and spills into every room of the house and out to the grass -- and down to the beach. The music is bumping, the drinks are flowing, and everyone has an awesome time. 

    OK, back to our shelter in place reality. Someday. Keep the faith!

  • Masterful Bathroom 

    13

    Y'all, this house has six full bathrooms and five partial bathrooms. That's a total of 11, which is bananas, but frankly, we love it. It's safe to say that this isn't one of the partial ones. With a dressing room that could double as an extra bedroom, a porthole window, and a bathtub room with a door, this is one place where we'd never have to run into anyone else.

  • Sitting Area

    14

    There are so many pretty little corners in this house, aren't there? This one is no exception -- like a little hookah lounge right at home, especially with that generously proportioned coffee table. These couches look comfy in an updated Golden Girls kind of way, and that's a good thing, in our view. We think Betty White would accept an invite from us, for old times' sake.

  • Lots of Green Space

    15

    The house isn't all cushy interiors and beachy exteriors. It turns out it has plenty of green space as well. Look at that lawn -- pretty nicely kept up, great for a morning yoga session or an afternoon picnic. This house really has it all, except a vegetable garden. Those are hard to grow near the salt sea air. Hey, is that an outhouse on the bottom left corner of the house? Handy!

  • Still Close to Some Action

    16

    This picture gives a really good idea of where the house sits and what's around it. Clearly, the Lyford Cay gated community, as it's now called, is a lot less secluded than it was back in the day. Plenty of houses are around, but this one retains its hideaway feel, thanks to its relatively modest size and the breakwaters that border its private beach. Christie's website mentioned that the house is within walking distance of Lyford Cay Club, which we're guessing is that enormous structure on the left with the golf course. 

    Either that or Jeff Bezos just moved in.

  • Oceanfront View

    17

    Y'all know what? Scratch that previous statement. This is where we would be setting up shop every day. We'd do our daily affirmations here. We'd eat breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, dinner, second dinner, after dinner snack, and mightnight snack in this quiet oasis. We'd write entire novels here and have life-changing epiphanies here. How could we ever let go of this view? 

  • Tête-à-Tête 

    18

    Riiiiight?! Absolute paradise in one picture. This is another view of the oceanfront from the life-giving, breeze-spreading patio. The tête-à-tête chairs are the perfect accessory, almost like they've been there forever. We'd have to negotiate them into the price of the house, right after we also throw one of our kidneys into the deal to bring down the overall price, of course.

  • Living Room Extension

    19

    This looks like another side of the living room because it's got the same ceiling and general relaxed feel. This area, however, is blessed with serious light capturing floor to ceiling sliding glass doors. Call us crazy, but that would be the perfect place to watch a big thunderstorm roll in off the sea. Sit back and enjoy it. Those are hurricane-proof impact doors, so we'd be fine.

  • Gratuitous Drone Shot

    20

    Oh, hey! Hi there! Here we have an overhead shot of the entire house, so we can envy the buyer all the more. But we have to say, we would be asking a question or two about that unevenly colored roof. Was it damaged in a hurricane? Was part of it it just replaced? Looks a little iffy. But we're sure it's totally fine. We'd still drop $12.5 million on this place if we had it.   

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