RIP Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch who died Thursday at 96 inside Scotland’s Balmoral Castle. She assumed the Buckingham Palace throne back in 1952, which royal watchers confirm was a long, long time ago—a full 11 years before the first James Bond starring Sean Connery, who’s also in God’s kingdom now.
Balmoral. Buckingham. All these places. At this point, you might be asking yourself: With such a cheeky innit property portfolio, is it possible the Queen of England once had a lakeside place in Minneapolis? Remarkably, yes.
The year was 2015, and as the British empire continued to wane across the globe, so did Queen Elizabeth’s claim to a .37-acre parcel on Cedar Lake. Then the acting Minnesota Transportation Commissioner, current Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle purchased 28 Park Ln.—all five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and 4,576 square feet of it—for $1.65 million. The name on the deed of the stately home from 1949? Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth!
At this point, you might be asking yourself: Da fuck?
Great question. Here’s DoT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht to the Pioneer Press in ’15:
“The purchase of the house was not predicated on the fact that the Queen of England was on the purchase agreement. But he does think that will make an interesting story to go along with the house.”
Zelle, a former investment banker, earned $155,000 per year as a civil servent at the time. He presumably has no trouble paying the mortgage with his new salary at the Met Council. Racket just emailed Zelle with the subject line: “Quote on living in the Queen’s old house?” We’ll let you know if we hear back. (Update: “The chair is not available to chat,” a friendly Met Council PR person tells us.)
Previously, the Canadian consul general lived at his place, the PiPress reports, thus, through some sort of colonial algorithm, explaining the previous/royal ownership. There’s no evidence that Queen Elizabeth II even knew it existed, let alone proof that she’d spend summer nights skinny-dipping down the block at Cedar Lake South Beach.
How close did Elizabeth get to Minnesota turf, physically speaking? Local angle buff Chris Steller unearthed archival clippings that show she traveled to present-day Thunder Bay, Canada, where she munched on Lake Superior trout “with apparent pleasure” in 1959.
Enjoy this bloody blurry photo tour of the best local angle we could muster, courtesy of the ol’ property listing: