IT MUST take something really special for The Queen to reportedly suggest another London property 'makes Buckingham Palace look rather dull'.
Then again, for a rumoured £200million, if anywhere can do it, it's Dudley House.
Once thought to be Britain's most expensive home – until just recently usurped by this Mayfair mansion – the mindblowing property nicknamed 'Sheikh Shack' is part of the lifestyle of hugely successful racing tycoon and massive backer of the sport, Sheikh Fahad.
Located at 100 Park Lane, London, this home is luxury on a scale even some billionaires can only dream of.
It is said to have taken six years to carefully refurbish the 44,000sq ft, 17-bedroom palace.
A Vanity Fair article going inside the property showed the incredible 81ft long picture gallery.
There is also the 50ft ballroom, stunning views across Hyde Park… and an estimated £100m worth of furniture inside.
That was according to a Times article from 2012, six years after the property was bought for £37.4m.
Speaking at the time, property guru Gary Hersham, who had recently visited Dudley House, said: "It is an absolutely magnificent property, the only real palace other than the royal palaces in London.
"There is gold leaf throughout. The other main colours are cream and neutral — it is very tastefully done.
"The ceilings are ornate and very high, although these have been dropped in the bathrooms, which are all marble. There is a very grand staircase, and chandeliers throughout.
"The stature and grandeur of the house cannot be compared to anything else on the market, where luxury properties already sell for £4,000 to £6,000 per sq ft."
AMAZING PROPERTY PAINSTAKINGLY RESTORED
Vanity Fair reported that Her Majesty was a visitor to the mansion a few years ago, around the time that QIPCO [Qatar Investment & Projects Development Holding Company] became the first commercial sponsor of Royal Ascot.
The Queen's love of racing is well known – she was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame.
And it is a love she shares with Sheikh Fahad – brother of Sheikh Hamad, said to be the 'driving force' behind Dudley House, a property he 'shares' with his close family.
Recalling his brother's move into racing, Sheikh Hamad said: "One day, we were home in Qatar, and he was concentrating on the TV, which was broadcasting the race.
"He said, 'I have a runner'. I said, 'since when?' I was shocked!"
Turns out that was the start of a love affair with racing for Sheikh Fahad, a man champion jockey Oisin Murphy calls 'my boss'.
Sheikh Fahad, the son of a former prime minister of Qatar, bought his first horse when he was still at school and without his family's knowledge.
Now his meteoric rise has seen him become the face of Qatar Racing Ltd.
There have been top class winners in Britain, Ireland, France, Japan, Australia and the US.
They are just as much a powerhouse now, whether it be winning on the track or generously sponsoring big events, like last month's QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot.
Of course, when not at the track or at Tweenhills stud farm near Cheltenham, Sheikh Fahad and his brothers can watch the action on TV in Dudley House, where apparently everything is run 'like in Downton Abbey'.
Describing life there, Lady Elizabeth Anson, an events planner and first cousin to The Queen, told Vanity Fair: "At 6pm, the staff changes into white tie and tails."
Not a million miles away from the dress code for the posh areas at Royal Ascot.
Racing is a sport for all the family and Sheikh Fahad, part of the Qatari Royal family, watches it all with wife Melissa.
Brilliant pictures on her social media page showed them celebrating when Kameko won the Guineas.
There was also the snap standing next to The Queen after Roaring Lion won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
An amazing London property, hugely successful horses and a booming yard.
Sheikh Fahad really is onto a winner.
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