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Pre-Buckingham Starter Homes For Prince William and Kate

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Yesterday, Prince William and his longtime, on-again, off-again girlfriend Kate Middleton announced their engagement to much fanfare and little surprise. Hooray! But then we realized the 28-year-old prince is going to be twiddling his thumbs for a while: his grandmother still rules supreme over the British Empire, and father Charles is her heir apparent. That means William and Kate will have plenty of time to shack up together before (presumably) moving into London's Buckingham Palace. So we thought since these kids are just beginning their life together—as man and wife, that is—we'd find them a handful of luxe starter homes.

A British territory since 1713, Gibraltar occupies a prime strategic location at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Fortunately, that spot also means balmy weather and views of Africa and the shipping traffic in the Strait. In this Georgian manse (above), William and Katie could enjoy eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a fairytale staircase, and the sort of modern technologies that might be frowned upon in the royal residences.

The tony Atlantic island of Bermuda offers many fitting options, including this $19.5M Palladian estate on three ocean-view acres (above). That fountain/staircase has drama to spare, and though it might be tacky under any other regime, a royal couple could surely make it work. Inside, there's enough Chinese porcelain to convince ol' Billy boy that Hong Kong is still part of the empire.

If the prince and his bride-to-be really want to break away from their stodgy everyday, this modern beach house on the Caribbean isle of Anguilla is just the ticket. William, please return to that vintage royal jet-set excess we miss gawking over. For $6M, clean lines and modern fixtures replace the staid halls of William's familial London home, Clarence House.
· Spectacular Georgian-style house [Sotheby's]
· Deepwater [Sotheby's]
· LV [Sotheby's]