herald

Friday 25 July 2014

Princess Petra and the €65m fairytale castle

How good can a girl have it? Petra Ecclestone is 23 and lives in a €65m castle in Los Angeles with 123 rooms and 27 bathrooms -- plus don't forget the luxury cars, including a Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini parked outside.

Say 'hello' to Hollywood's new billionaire. Normally when we think of a daughter of a self-made man who now lives in a castle and is so filthy rich she needs bodyguards, we think Kate Middleton.

The Amercians think Petra Ecclestone. The stunning blonde daughter of Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone recently renovated the 56,500sq ft castle in Holmby Hills, built in 1991 by Aaron Spelling, the creator of Dynasty and Melrose Place.

She paid an estimated €65m for the house last year, and millions more on renovations. Perhaps because of her youth, Petra has decorated her massive new house in white marble with thick black stripes, and with black carpet sweeping up the double staircase to the second floor. Dark velvets line the walls, and crystals sparkle everywhere.



Historic

The house has a cinema with 20 seats, a gym and a swimming pool, a spa and a beauty parlour. A closet has been designed to resemble a boutique, with two glass-top centre islands, on which Petra displays her designer clothes.

Thank to dad Bernie's billions, now in trust funds for his children, Petra also owns aN historic listed house in London's posh Chelsea neighbourhood, which is valued at €70m.

Sister, Tamara, the 27-year-old subject of a British reality show called Billion $$ Girl, recently bought a house on Kensington Palace Gardens, the most expensive street in England.

Petra's husband James Stunt (30) --who she married in an extravagant €14m wedding six months -- owns goldmines and is building up an art collection which he proudly boasts will rival that of the British royal family.

However, one little drawback might be that Petra's new home doesn't appear to have met her father's expectations. It's reported that Bernie Ecclestone established a €3.5bn trust for his daughters to build a real estate portfolio. He's quoted as sayin: "The idea was that they'd buy superquality property that would be long term -- for their kids and everything else. Didn't happen. They haven't done that. So they've had access to money, which they've spent."

Bernie Ecclestone is the pint-sized son of an English fisherman who made billions in Formula One and married a leggy Croatian Armani model called Slavica who is mum to Tamara and Petra. Bernie and Slavica divorced in 2009.



Willpower

Petra's lavish wedding was held in Odescalchi Castle (where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married), and where guest were served Chateau Petrus (€4,500 a bottle).

The young beauty is keen to be seen as a businesswoman, and her new purse label Stark, which launched in January, includes structured clutches in exotic skins (python, alligator) with names like High Maintenance, Working Girl, and Morning After.

Petra recently said: "I want to be known for my business. Everyone always talks -- because I'm rich and I'm privileged, and I understand that.

"At the end of the day, I don't need to work, and I think it's good that I have the drive and willpower to get up and do something in the morning even though I don't need to. No one ever talks about the good in me; they just say that I'm spoiled."

Spoiled or talented, at the end of the day Petra doesn't seem to mind the begrudgers. "Yes, I have money, and I understand that, and I work. And I think anybody else in my position wouldn't say no if they had the opportunity to live the way that I live."

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