Amid the royal baby buzz, we almost missed the latest royal business venture from Prince Charles, who will take a break from his royal duties to turn hotelier this month, opening a new bed and breakfast within the breathtaking grounds of Castle Mey.
Called Granary Lodge, the luxurious 10 bedroom B&B overlooks the North Sea and will open its doors to its first guests on 15 May.
The Castle of Mey, on the picturesque north coast of Scotland, is famous in the royal family for being the late Queen Mother’s favourite summer retreat.
Though a stay at Granary Lodge will set guests back around £160 a night, a fireside rest in the lodge’s stunning drawing room and a walk in the lush 18,000 acre grounds of the estate promise to make the price tag worth it.
Charles, who has faithfully maintained his ‘darling grandmother’s’ tradition of decamping to the castle every August, sported a kilt and sporran while he was given his own tour of the accommodation on Wednesday.
And it’s no wonder the prince was so visibly impressed by what he saw.
The royal-worthy bed and breakfast is decorated in a plush Victorian style, with rich rugs, long drapes and dark wood furniture. The walls of the luxury bedrooms are painted in light, bright shades from Farrow & Ball, and the fabrics by Colefax and Fowler are rumoured to have been approved by the interiors-savvy prince himself.
While Prince Charles is unlikely to be greeting guests at the front desk, the luxury retreat was still given the royal seal of approval during Charles’ visit, and all profits of the business will go towards the maintenance of the estate.
The Queen Mother bought the Castle of Mey in 1952 after the death of her husband, King George VI, and gifted it to the Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey trust in her later years.
And though the castle has been a firm favourite among many royals, some were historically less impressed by its ‘fridge-like’ draughty halls.
“I can’t think why you have such a horrible place as the Castle of Mey,” the plain-speaking Princess Margaret is reported to have once told her mother.
To which the Queen mother drily replied, “well, darling you needn’t come again.”
With booking open now via the Castle of Mey website, we can’t wait to try living like a royal ourselves – even if it’s only for a night.