The Real Estate Manager Who’s Making the Queen Richer: Stephanie Baker:
The Crown Estate’s transformation into spry property manager began in the early 2000s. By then, most of Regent Street’s 100-year leases, inked during Queen Victoria’s reign, had begun to expire. In 2002, the Crown Estate launched a £1 billion project to regenerate the street, renowned for its curved shape designed by 19th-century architect John Nash.
The turnaround began in earnest in 2004, when Europe’s first Apple Store opened on Regent Street. Other global brands followed: Banana Republic, J.Crew, Superdry. In 2011, when Burberry’s then-CEO Angela Ahrendts announced that the luxury label was planning to open a 44,000-square-foot space, she likened Regent Street to “the Champs-Élysées or Fifth Avenue.”
There you go, Apple indirectly saved England by saving the Queen – well, her real estate assets. Fist the Apple Store itself, then the soon-to-be-head of the Apple Stores, Angela Ahrendts.