Hanover Lodge, a Nash-designed villa in Regent's Park that was once home to a Russian prince and Napoleon's older brother, is up for sale at pounds 6m.

The elegant villa, in its own grounds, is one of 14 designed for the park by John Nash. Completed in 1825, it is owned by the Crown Estate, which manages inherited property for the monarch. A 99-year lease of the lodge, two gatehouses and a stable block are for sale.

Richard Crosthwaite, a partner with agents Knight Frank & Rutley, said that Hanover Lodge is the last of five Nash mansions to be sold by the Crown Estate. All have been bought by individuals to use as family homes.

'Hanover Lodge is in a royal park on two acres of land. There aren't many people who can boast that as an address.

'As the last villa in the park to go on the market it has an additional desirability, and will be among the top five houses in London, he said.

Hanover Lodge was home to Joseph Bonaparte and to Alice Astor and her husband, Prince Serge Obolensky.

The couple later separated and the princess sold the villa in 1946 to Bedford College, London University, when she married her fourth husband. The house was used as student halls and as a result requires substantial restoration to its five bedrooms, four bathrooms and four reception rooms.

The most recent tenant was the French Ambassador, who rented the property for four years. It has been empty for several months.

Mr Crosthwaite is confident that Hanover Lodge will find a buyer: 'In the past ten years we have proved that there is a demand for these houses for people wanting to live in London in the grand style.

'The golden age of large private residences seemed to have died out in the 1920s, but now it has returned and these mansions are again being used as grand houses.

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