Residents near Anmer Hall, the home of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have become increasingly irked after a historic weathervane in the shape of a 17th century ship has apparently been ‘blinged up’.
The Georgian mansion’s weathervane has not only been re-painted to include gold gilt highlights, it is reported that a St George’s flag has also been removed from the ship’s stern. The weathervane is at least 100 years old and one man who is not happy about the new style is Neville Manley who renovated the vane around 20 years ago. He commented, “It is not original and it has spoiled it in my opinion. Maybe the flag was taken down for political reasons. It is ridiculous in my view and I find it a bit annoying that they would do that, but there you go.”
Anmer Hall is a Georgian country house situated in the village of Anmer in Norfolk and is around two miles east from The Queen’s Sandringham House. The current house was built in the 18th century and since 1898, it has formed a part of the Sandringham Estate. From 1972 to 1990, the house was leased to The Duke and Duchess of Kent after which it was rented to Hugh van Cutsem and James Everett respectively. In 2013 it was revealed that The Queen had allocated Anmer Hall for use by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Although it is thought the weathervane is 100 years old, Mr Manley suggests it could be over 200 years old as he believes it sat atop another building previous to Anmer Hall. Neville Manley continued, “The flag was part of the original structure of the vane and it should have been kept. When we restored it, we put back all the masts and rigging and tried to keep it as original as possible. I was asked specifically not to spoil the originality of it.”
Karen Green of Greens Weathervanes had this to say about the alleged ‘blinged up’ vane, “It is interesting that the big flag has been removed, particularly as it was a nod to Admiral Hamilton and his service to the country.” Admiral Sir Frederick Hamilton moved into Anmer Hall after his retirement from the Naval gunnery school in Portsmouth in 1908. Sir Frederick was the first tenant of Anmer Hall after the future King Edward VII bought it in 1896.
Karen Green concluded, “The flag might have been so damaged that it could not have been kept or it could have been taken off for political reasons. It is strange because the flag would have served a practical purpose, making the vane move in the wind.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on the issue, “Anmer Hall is a private residence and I cannot make any comment.”