On the market for $150m: TV mogul's 'Buckingham Palace'

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The Independent US

The house that is quite possibly the largest private citizen's residence in the world is up for sale. Called The Manor, it is the home of Candy, widow of Aaron Spelling, producer of such addictive television tat as Charlie's Angels and Dynasty, and so large that Mrs Spelling is not altogether sure how many rooms it has. Diligent research has established it has 123.

The price is $150m (£100m), for which you get a home that looks as if Sandringham had a one-night stand with Versailles and this is the result. This is not altogether surprising, since, when it was designed in the late 1980s, Mrs Spelling sent the architects a postcard of Buckingham Palace with orders to "build me a house that looks like this". They were faithful, perhaps, to the spirit of the instructions, but made one or two modifications. Unlike the home of our own Queen, it has a bowling alley, two large swimming pools, an ice rink, four bars, a dolls' museum, a flower-arranging room, wine-tasting room, gift-wrapping room, bombproof anti-terrorist chamber, its own barber shop, parking for 100 cars, and a service wing with five maids' bedrooms and two suites for the butlers. And bathrooms? "That's either 23 or 26," says Mrs Spelling. And it could have been even bigger. Mr Spelling was so perturbed by its size that he ordered an entire wing to be removed from the plans.

Outside, in the five acres of grounds, are more facilities. They include a tennis court, fountains, a waterfall, a pool and spa, lily pond, pool house with a kitchen, 18th-century-style gardens, citrus orchard and rooftop rose garden. After this, Mrs Spelling may find her new home – a two-storey $47m condominium – somewhat cramped.

And, of course, to handle the sale of this 56,500sq ft chateau-style home, you wouldn't want just any old estate agent. Thus it was that Mrs Spelling let her dog Madison help her choose. She had her security bring the dog into the room every time she met one of the candidates and watched his reaction. If Madison didn't like them, out they went.

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