A FLAT once owned by a Russian princess is part of a block of property in Harefield under new ownership.
Numbers 11-13 High Street, including the antique store Phoenix Collectables, barber shop Terry’s of Harefield and the village’s only taxi firm, Harefield Radio Cars, exchanged hands in a private deal last month.
The block was originally put up for auction by London firm Brendan’s Auctions but failed to sell.
News of the Russian royal ownership was revealed by the auctioneers, who said deeds for the empty flat show it was owned by Princess Marie Troubetzkoy during the Second World War, in about 1943.
How long she lived in the village, and why she moved there in the first place remains a mystery.
Online documents reveal a Princess Marie Troubetzkoy also owned a milliner’s shop in London around the same time. She also wrote a number of novels, including The Clock Strikes (1934) and A Spider Spinning (1936).
Initial research shows she was a British woman who married Prince Paul Troubetzkoy, a sculptor born in Italy who worked in England and died in 1938.
The chairman of Harefield History Society, Gordon Isaacs, said news that property in the village may once have been owned by a royal was fascinating.
He told the Gazette: “Apparently, she wrote books, novels, which from the titles sound like crime fiction.
“She also had a milliner’s shop in London so she was a busy lady. It would seem she settled here for some time.”
The one-bedroom flat is now empty and in need of updating, according to the auctioneer’s advertisement.
The name of the new owner, and how much he paid for the property, has not been disclosed, although a guide price of £330,000 was given at auction.
Terry Clements, who owns the barber’s shop, said he knew very little about the flat above.
The new ownership is unlikely to have any effect on the shops.
n Do you know anything about the village’s Russian princess? Call 01895 451 060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.