In Brief

Sarah Ferguson applies for permanent residency in Switzerland

Duchess of York plans to live in £13m ski chalet she bought with ex-husband, Prince Andrew

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York has applied to become a permanent resident of Switzerland, the country she now thinks of as "home", she says.

The Duchess, still popularly known by her nickname Fergie, filed the application after moving into her ski chalet in the ritzy resort town of Verbier, where the family have enjoyed many holidays.

The property is no rustic Alpine hut, however, but a £13m luxury lodge with seven bedrooms, an indoor pool and a sauna.

Sarah and her ex-husband, the Duke of York, purchased Chalet Helora in 2014 as an investment for their daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. However, it now appears she intends to occupy the lodge herself, after living there on and off since last summer.

"I call it 'my home,'" she told Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste, adding that the "positive energy" of the area, which she first visited at the age of 16, gave her focus to concentrate on her charity work. She also said one local business owner had surprised her with a cheque for 13,000 Swiss francs (£9,100) for her Children in Crisis foundation.

Verbier, in the Valais canton, is just as famous for its high society as it is for its magnificent ski runs. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have holidayed there, along with royals from Denmark, Sweden and Belgium and celebrities including Diana Ross and Sir Richard Branson.

Switzerland offers three levels of residency for foreigners and the Daily Telegraph reports Sarah will probably apply for a Class B permit, classifying her as a "resident foreign national" for the next five years.

If her application is approved, she will be free to buy property, open a business and enjoy Switzerland's notoriously low income tax and generous tax breaks.

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