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Princess Diana’s Boarding School Where She Was Sent After Her Parents’ Divorce Goes Up For Sale For £3million

The countryside boarding school that Princess Diana was sent to following her parent’s divorce has gone up for sale for £3million.

Former prep school Riddlesworth Hall, in Norfolk, first opened as an independent girl’s school in 1946, before it was forced to close due to facing ‘unprecedented financial challenges’ in April this year.

The young princess was sent to the Norfolk boarding school at the age of nine after her mother, Frances Roche, left her father, John Spencer, for wallpaper millionaire Peter Shand-Kydd.

Now, the Grade II listed country estate in which the school was formerly set, which has a swimming pool, playing fields, and tennis courts on its grounds, is on the market for £3million.

Princess Diana was sent to the prep school in 1970, three years after her parents separated, and stayed at Riddlesworth Hall, which lies between Thetford and Diss in Norfolk, between the ages of nine and 12.

The young Princess Diana's (pictured) father John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, took a picture of his daughter in her school uniform sitting on a trunk after she told him she did not want to go to Riddlesworth Hall
The young Princess Diana’s (pictured) father John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, took a picture of his daughter in her school uniform sitting on a trunk after she told him she did not want to go to Riddlesworth Hall
Riddlesworth Hall school announced it would be closing in April this year after deciding the school was no longer financially viable
Riddlesworth Hall school announced it would be closing in April this year after deciding the school was no longer financially viable
The former independent school counted Diana as a pupil between 1970 and 1973
The former independent school counted Diana as a pupil between 1970 and 1973
Princess Diana visiting her old school Riddlesworth Hall School, which first opened in 1946 in a Grade II-listed 18th-Century former country house
Princess Diana visiting her old school Riddlesworth Hall School, which first opened in 1946 in a Grade II-listed 18th-Century former country house

Princess Diana later left Riddlesworth Hall in 1973 to go to West Heath Girl’s School in Sevenoaks in 1974.

The school announced it would be closing in April this year after admitting it was struggling to maintain its vast grounds, due to having faced financial issues for a number of years.

A spokesperson for the school told the Eastern Daily Press in April that: ‘After much consideration and with a very heavy heart, it has been decided by the owner that the school is no longer viable.’

‘The school has been facing unprecedented financial challenges for several years now which is due, in part, to the impact of the pandemic and the current economic climate,’ the school spokesperson said.

The young Diana had initially told her father, John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, that she did not want to go to the boarding school. He instead took a photo of his daughter sat on a trunk in her pleated skirt and red cardigan school uniform.

Diana was sent to the school in Norfolk after her parent’s divorce, following her mother’s decision to leave the young princess’s father for Australian millionaire Peter Shan-Kydd – the heir to the Shand-Kydd wallpaper fortune.

Although at first unhappy at the school, Diana later settled in to life at Riddlesworth Hall, to become a popular pupil, while dealing with the aftermath of her family breakup.

A spokesman for the school said Riddlesworth Hall was hit by the pandemic and economic climate
A spokesman for the school said Riddlesworth Hall was hit by the pandemic and economic climate
The school, which more recently started taking boys as well as girls, joined the Confucius International Education Group in 2015 which runs international schools in China, Spain and the USA
The school, which more recently started taking boys as well as girls, joined the Confucius International Education Group in 2015 which runs international schools in China, Spain and the USA
The young Diana Spencer was a boarder there from the age of nine to 12 ¿ a formative time in her life as her parents had just divorced
The young Diana Spencer was a boarder there from the age of nine to 12 – a formative time in her life as her parents had just divorced

In an interview with the Eastern Daily Press in 2017, Rev Reginald Sweet, who was Riddlesworth Hall’s chaplain and a Latin teacher at the school said: ‘When she came initially she was, I suppose, very sad.’

‘Very quickly she settled into the school and became very popular not only with the staff but with the other girls.

‘The great thing about her was she was always taking care of the little ones, or any girl who was down or upset.

‘The new ones who came in and were homesick she would take care of them. She was always very popular in that way,’ he said.

Princess Diana later revealed the way her parent’s divorce had troubled her as a child, as she described how her and her brother Charles Spencer ‘had become horribly different at school because we had divorced parents, and nobody else did at that time.’

The young princess also recalled being told a Judge would visit her at the Norfolk prep school to ask her who she would prefer to live with.

‘I remember there being a great discussion that a judge was going to come to me at Riddlesworth (my preparatory school) and ask who I would prefer to live with. The judge never turned up,’ she said.

In a listing posted by luxury estate agent Savills, the building is described as a ‘striking Grade II listed’ property situated within ‘picturesque woodland and rolling farmland.’

The school, which more recently started taking boys as well as girls, joined the Confucius International Education Group in 2015 which runs international schools in China, Spain and the USA

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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