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Built for a princess ?

The story went that Anns Beach was built by Sir Fred Sigrist for his daughter Princess Fredericka Ann “Bo” Guirey.

An unapologetic jetsetter, Bo moved between London, Monte Carlo and Nassau, where she inherited the famous Sigrist House from her mother Lady Beatrice Ormerod. Sir Frederick was an aviation pioneer in the early 20th Century and founding member of Hawker Siddeley, who developed the Spitfire aircraft.

Anns Beach was the house on the white sands of New Providence which belonged to this glamorous and beguiling lover of life, the arts and philanthropy. She became a princess by her marriage in 1972 to Prince Azamat Guirey and with him, in their lavish homes in Ireland and Nassau, she promoted Bahamian and international art. Her previous marriage was to film director Kevin McClory, famous for his James Bond movie Thunderball, whose Vulcan bomber wreck off southern New Providence draws international diving and movie enthusiasts.

Sadly the truth is more prosaic. While researching the connection with Kevin McClory for a book on the James Bond movies, author Simon Firth discovered that Bo Guiry would have been only 10 years old when Anns Beach was gifted by Fred Sigrist to his Wife in December of 1946. So Bo probably walked the rooms and swam from the beach, but she never owned it.

Never mind, for aviation enthusiasts more important may be the connection with Sir Frederick Sigrist an aviation pioneer in the early 20th Century and founding member of Hawker Siddeley, who built both Spitfire and Hurricane fighters. And for yachting enthusiasts, Sigrist was recruited, whilst chief engineer on his yacht Philante, by Tommy Sopwith to run Sopwith aviation. Philante was built by Camper & Nicholson, a company chaired for some 25 years by the current owner of Anns Beach. Small world.

Ann Bo.jpg

The iconic photo of Bo at the height of her beauty was taken on the water in Nassau Harbour by socialite photographer Slim Aarons. and Simon Firth

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