The United States might not have such a friendly history with monarchy, but it has certainly become a popular place for deposed, abdicated, vacationing, and diplomatic royals to take up residence. This sprawling white mansion, according to brokerbabble, was "built in 1926 for the heir to the Polish throne." Apparently the royal didn't keep the 24,000-square-foot spread for long, as it was said to have been given to actress Gloria Swanson by Joseph Kennedy during their affair in the late '20s, a scandal intensified by rumors that Kennedy paid for the "gift" with Swanson's own funds. The sprawling house, located in Englewood, N.J. and known as Gloria Crest, was recently renovated and updated by architect James Paragano and hosted the wedding this summer of a Hollywood producer, with a guest list that included Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Listed for $39M, the estate boasts eight bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and five acres, all in close proximity to NYC.
↑ Speaking of royals and scandal, this brick mansion in the Chicago suburbs played host to one of the great royal dramas of all time, the abdication of Britain's King Edward VIII and his ensuing love affair with American divorcee Wallis Simpson. The couple stayed as the guest of the Schweppe family, whose heir, Charles Schweppe, later shot himself on the premises. The estate fell into disrepair before being restored, but the couple who took on the restoration were foreclosed upon, leaving the estate to the bank. The 12-acre lakefront property is currently listed for $12M, a price that hasn't changed in nearly a year.
↑ Built as a Florida getaway of real estate titans Harry and Leona Helmsley, this Miami Beach penthouse was later purchased by Saudi Shiek Saoud Al-Shaalan, who used his nearly bottomless wealth to transform the interior into an "authentic Arabian palace with architectural elements similar to the Taj Majal." The place was then sold to an antique weapons collector, hence the many rifles in the listing photos. The 5,000-square-foot apartment, complete with sprawling outdoor space for all that Florida sun, is listed for $4.2M.
↑ Another Saudi royal, this time a princess, was the one responsible for decking out this suburban Virginia mansion in its over-the-top style. Recently featured as a House of the Day, the 15,000-square-foot manor failed to win over commenters, who bemoaned its neutral palate, lack of sophistication, and a "polka-dotted kitchen [that] looks like it came from a Disney nightmare." Listed for $5.5M, the 10-bed, 12-bath house is just as gaudy as one might expect.
↑ The Saudis weren't done there. This massive 1980s estate in Bradbury, Calif., east of Pasadena, was built for the late Prince Ahmed Bin Salman, a Kentucky Derby-winning horse enthusiast who died suddenly in 2002 at the age of 43. A decade after his death, it is probably unlikely that the sprawling-but-modest interiors remain intact from the Prince's tenure, but the features list is certainly worthy of royalty, with 10,000 square feet of living space, a 2,000-square-foot guest house, two master bedrooms, two maids rooms, an elevator, five fireplaces, a library, a home theater with 120" projection screen, billiards room, four-car garage, a swimming pool. Situated on a large lot in guard-gated Bradbury Estates, the mansion is now listed for $9.5M.
· Gloria Crest [Sotheby's International Realty]
· This Lakefront Mock Brit Once Hosted the Duke of Windsor [Curbed National]
· Inside Miami's Utterly Insane Moroccan Penthouse Palace [Curbed National]
· This Great Falls 'Castle' Falls Short of Fawning Brokerbabble [Curbed National]
· 123 Bliss Canyon [Zillow]
- Gloria Swanson