Home World A history of Chequers – the country residence of the UK’s sitting Prime Minister

A history of Chequers – the country residence of the UK’s sitting Prime Minister

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Becoming the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom affords the chosen candidate many different privileges, with one of the most prestigious being the use of Chequers. Indeed, spending time in this magnificent country residence is one of the most desired aspects of the job and will undoubtedly be in the thoughts of both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak whilst the Conservative Party membership chooses the next PM.

Interestingly, the latest betting on politics indicates that Truss is the more likely to be given the keys to Chequers with the 47-year-old at odds of 1/16 to become the next leader of the Conservatives. 

In addition to that, the most recent betting tips on politics also predict that the current Foreign Secretary will beat Sunak convincingly when the votes are finally tallied up.

With this being the case and now that the removal trucks are taking away Boris Johnson’s belongings, it seems a mere formality that Truss will be afforded the luxury of calling Chequers her new country getaway. But what is the history of this home and why do the serving prime ministers get to use it? 

For the answer to this question, you have to go back to 1917 when the estate was handed over to the UK government by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham. It was an incredibly generous gesture that was done so the serving Prime Minister would have a spacious country house to retreat to when the business of Number 10 became all too much. Another crucial reason for the handover was so that prime ministers could entertain foreign dignitaries in a setting befitting of the occasion.

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With ten rooms, a swimming pool, tennis court and over 1500 acres of land, Chequers is certainly a destination that the world’s leaders will feel at home at when visiting the UK’s sitting prime minister. This sprawling 16th-century manor house also boasts an astonishing art collection that features 190 pieces that date back hundreds of years. Amongst the many famous paintings, there hangs one from Sir Winston Churchill that was completed in 1937. 

On that note, Chequers was the place where Churchill addressed the nation during difficult times and also where he delivered some of his most spine-tingling speeches, including the rallying cry during the Battle of Britain. 

With this in mind, you can better understand how much history is attached to this country residence. Indeed, this has been a property that has provided the backdrop to monumental moments that have altered the future of the world and it will undoubtedly be the place where seismic events happen in the future. In this sense, you can perhaps get a better appreciation of the feeling that must accompany walking into Chequers given how many historic moments have taken place between its walls.

Although, very few will ever experience the aura of this famous Buckinghamshire home as it is a property that is exclusive to only the prime minister of the UK and their chosen guests. 

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Needless to say, Liz Truss will be hoping to make Chequers her new weekend getaway in order to have one of the most unique honors of public office in the UK bestowed upon her.

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