Once the London home of the Onassis family, 47 Grosvenor Square is on the market at £25 million.

 

One of the largest and grandest apartments in the square, it has a glamorous history.

The list of celebrities with links to the property include Jackie Kennedy Onassis, opera legend Maria Callas and Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis.

Built in 1938-39, just before the Second World War, its first owner was Sir John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley.

He was Winston Churchill’s wartime Home Secretary and later Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Sir John moved into the property in 1946 and took up the role of Chairman of the Royal Opera House.

It was Sir John who helped welcome Maria Callas to her first performance at the Royal Opera House in 1952.

Maria Callas first met Aristotle Onassis in 1957.  (They are pictured above left.)

Their famous love affair continued for more than 11 years.

When Sir John’s property became available, the Onassis family snapped it up.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the apartment became the London home of Aristotle’s sister Artemis Onassis (pictured above right).

Jackie O

Then Aristotle met Jackie Kennedy (pictured above centre), widow of assassinated US President John F Kennedy.

When they got married in October 1968, Artemis acted as Jackie’s sponsor.

Guests at 47 Grosvenor Square included Jackie Kennedy Onassis, her sister Princess Lee Radziwill and Christina Onassis.

Christina was Aristotle’s daughter from his first marriage to Athina Onassis later Niarchos.

 

Safe house

Jackie’s daughter Caroline Kennedy sought refuge at the apartment in 1975, staying there for several days, after narrowly avoiding an IRA attack.

Caroline had been staying at the London home of MP Sir Hugh Fraser when the IRA placed a bomb under Sir Hugh’s car. The device exploded prematurely killing a passer-by.

Both Caroline and Sir Hugh’s wife the famous writer Lady Antonia Fraser would have been killed had the bomb gone off at the intended time.

The American ambassador advised Caroline to stay at 47 Grosvenor Square. He thought she would be safe based so close to the American Embassy.

Today the grand ambassadorial first floor apartment has been modernised.

On the market for the first time in 28 years, it still hints at its fine past.

The large hall, 32′ main reception room, formal dining room and study all open onto the ornamental balcony. They offer unparalleled views of the world-famous square.

A magnificent master bedroom suite has large His and Her walk-in dressing rooms and master bathrooms. There are a further four bedrooms.

The apartment is for sale with Wetherell.

Chief Executive Peter Wetherell, described the apartment as the finest in Grosvenor Square.

“This is a trophy apartment which would serve as an excellent long-term investment and main London residence,” he said.

 

For full details of the property, read here.

To find out about other famous Americans who made Mayfair their home, read here.