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Private Island
ISS-47 Mustique Island, Grenadines.jpg
Location of Mustique
Location of Mustique
Map showing the location of Mustique within the Grenadines
Map showing the location of Mustique within the Grenadines
Coordinates: 12°52′N 61°11′W / 12.867°N 61.183°W / 12.867; -61.183Coordinates: 12°52′N 61°11′W / 12.867°N 61.183°W / 12.867; -61.183
CountrySaint Vincent and the Grenadines
Island chainThe Grenadines
OwnerThe Mustique Company
European Discovery15th century by Spanish sailors
 • Total2.2 sq mi (6 km2)
 • Total500
 • Peak season1,300
WebsiteMustique Island

Mustique /mʌˈstk/ is a small private island that is one of the Grenadines, a chain of islands in the West Indies, and like most of these it is part of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The island is located within Grenadines Parish, an administrative area of the country.

The island covers 1,400 acres (5.7 km2; 2.2 sq mi) and it has several coral reefs. The land fauna includes tortoises, herons, iguanas, and many other species. Its year-round population of about 500 mostly live in the villages of Lovell, Britannia Bay, and Dover.

The island is owned by the Mustique Company, which is in turn owned by the island's home owners. The island has approximately 100 private villas, many of which are rented out through the Mustique Company. In addition, there is one hotel called the Cotton House, which is owned by the Mustique Company, and one privately owned seven-bedroom hotel called Firefly.

Early history[edit]

The history of the island of Mustique, and of the Grenadines in general, dates back to the 15th century, when Spanish sailors first sighted this more or less linear group of small rocky islands and named them "Los Pájaros" or "the birds", because they resembled a small flock of birds scattered across the sea in flight. During the 17th century the islands were renamed the Grenadines by pirates, who used the sheltered bays to hide their ships and treasure. The islands were later used by European planters to grow sugar cane. This lucrative industry lasted until the 19th century, when the extraction of sugar from European-grown sugar beet dramatically lessened the worldwide demand for tropical sugar.

Mustique's sugar plantations were abandoned and eventually swallowed up by scrub, leaving remnants such as the sugar mill at "Endeavor" and its "Cotton House". The Plantation House was built in the 18th century.

Later history[edit]

Mustique was purchased in 1958 by The Hon. Charles Tennant, who became The 3rd Baron Glenconner in 1983, under whose guidance the island began to be developed. In 1960, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, the sister of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accepted as a wedding present his gift of a 10-acre (40,000 m2) plot of land, where she built a residence called Les Jolies Eaux. In 1979, Mustique Island was transformed from a family estate into a private limited company with the homeowners as shareholders.[citation needed]

In 1971, the SS Antilles, referred to locally as the Antilles Pack Boat, struck a reef not far off of the island and sank.[1]

Residents and guests[edit]

There are a core set of names whose influence created Mustique as what it is today. In probable order, they are Lord Glenconner, Oliver Messel, Princess Margaret, Tommy Hilfiger, Shania Twain, and Mick Jagger. Immediately prior to that, the island was home to fishermen.[2]

Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and The Duke of Edinburgh made private visits to Mustique in 1966, 1977 and 1985.[3][4] The Duke of Cambridge, who is second-in-line to the Throne of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, vacation in Mustique often.[5][6]

David Bowie once owned an Indonesian-inspired multi-pavilion villa on the island, which he left, asserting that "the house was so tranquil and peaceful that he found it hard to get any work done."[7][8] Bowie then sold the estate for $5 million to business tycoon and poet Felix Dennis in 1994.[9] After the death of Felix Dennis [10] in June 2014 the Mandalay Estate was put up for sale and sold for a reported price of £14 million [11] to entrepreneur Simon Dolan.

In 1996, while on holiday at Mustique, Noel Gallagher wrote and demoed many of the songs that would later be released on Be Here Now.[12]

The painter Stefan Szczesny has also been coming to the island since 1995 and has been working on his art there. He has already published three books about Mustique.

The British fashion designer Lotty B has been an island resident for 20 years and runs a local boutique called The Pink House. [13]

Other property owners[edit]

Several high net-worth individuals have acquired land in Mustique, which grants them access to the island's private airline and other resources. Among them are:

A villa.

Further reading[edit]

  • Vaughan, Roger (1994). Mustique. Arne Hasselqvist & Alfred Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9640-2729-9.
  • Stefan Szczesny: Szczesny. Mustique. teNeues Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Kempen 47906, ISBN 3-8238-5591-3
  • Stefan Szczesny: Szczesny. Best of Mustique. Szczesny Factory & Publishing & Gallery, Saint-Tropez 83990, ISBN 978-3-9813406-0-0
  • Stefan Szczesny: Szczesny. Picturebook Mustique. Colordruck Leimen, Leimen 66978, ISBN 3-00-004426-4