Princess Michael of Kent has been left saddened by the planned changes to her former home.

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The 63-year-old royal – who is married to Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Prince Michael – was reportedly shocked to discover the current owner of Nether Lypiatt Manor in Gloucestershire, Southwest England, plans to replace her beloved wall garden with a state-of-the-art giant greenhouse.

A close friend of Princess Michael said: “It is awful. But I suppose the owner doesn’t want to play Marie Antoinette, looking for chicken eggs and clucking over piglets.”

The royal personally designed the wall garden, which featured luxury pens to house exotic breeds of farm animals.

The 18th century country home – which is a Grade 1 listed building meaning it needs special planning permission for significant alterations – is now owned by businessman and Labour life peer Lord Drayson, who bought it from Prince Michael and Princess Michael for an estimated UKP5.5 million in 2006.

The royal couple had lived in the mansion, which is rumoured to be haunted, since 1981.