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The Hanburys at home: Inside polo player Charlie and wife Yoanna's majestic family house

Yoanna Hanbury on raising a polo family at the home she shares with British player Charlie

Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury at home posing with horses
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Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury are one of the polo world's most glamorous matches. British player Charlie and Yoanna, the daughter of German Princess Anna Oettingen-Wallerstein, first crossed paths in Argentina thanks to their shared passion for the sport. An exquisite Bavarian woodland wedding followed four years later in 2016.

The pair have since welcomed three daughters to the family - Cara, seven, Cressida, five, and Catinka, three. Their girls are enjoying an idyllic country childhood here at their home in the English countryside, where Charlie, 37, grew up himself.

Yoanna Hanbury standing in front of a horse with her three kids© ESI SEILERN

The 18th-century house is within easy reach of Cirencester Park polo Club, where his late father Major Christopher Hanbury pioneered fundraising through polo, supported by  King Charles, as well as Princes William and Harry, who Charlie has often played alongside.

Yoanna, 35, discovered her love for the sport at the age of 18. Having taken time off from competition while having her babies, she’s just returned to the field, as she explained when we met her.

"We’re very lucky to have not only a beautiful garden but also space for our horses, so we spend a lot of time outside riding. I love watching and playing with our foals in the field, it's my happy place where I can completely relax," she tells us.

Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury beautiful living room with red blue and yellow sofas© ESI SEILERN

What’s the history of this house, Yoanna?

"The building dates back to the 18th century, but some parts later burnt down and were rebuilt.

"Charlie’s parents bought it in the early 1980s, and we moved in three years ago. It’s very special to live in a house that holds so many happy memories for our family. I love watching Charlie show the girls his old secret hiding places in the garden.

"We have redecorated some of the rooms. Interior design has become a big interest of mine, and I love seeing how it all comes together to create a home."

Yoanna Hanbury in a black and white dress inside her home© ESI SIELERN

Was living in the country a must for you?

"Before having children I lived in London, but having grown up in the countryside in Bavaria I knew I would always want that for my family. Watching our daughters running around the garden and riding horses in the woods is something we could never do in the city. The countryside is an amazing place for children to grow up and I love that our daughters would rather be in the stables than inside watching TV."

Do friends and family often visit?

"All of Charlie’s family live very close to us, and we love having friends over, so luckily we’re always in great company."

Yoanna Hanbury posing outside Berkshire home in white maxi dress© ESI SEILERN

What can you tell us about your childhood in Germany?

"I grew up in the south, in Bavaria, in a lovely spot by a lake. It was a very happy time."

Do you miss your home country?

"Although I miss my family, I’m very happy here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s something I never thought I would say, but England has become my home."

Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury kitchen with cream units and blue kitchen island© ESI SEILERN

How long have you been involved in the horse world?

"I started riding when I was eight, then when I was 18 my parents took up polo and I got hooked too!

"Horses are what I love the most and to be able to share this passion with my husband and daughters is magical. Charlie and I played a few tournaments together last year and we really enjoyed it."

What’s it like being married to a polo player?

"It’s a wonderful life, even though it can be hard to watch him play as I get nervous! Our daughters love horses and help Charlie in the stables daily. He’s amazing and a very involved father, which I adore."

Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury dining room with blue floral blinds© ESI SEILERN

Competing in polo involves a lot of travel. As a mum, is that tricky?

"Well luckily, being German, I’m very organised!"

What can you tell us about your own mother, Princess Anna Oettingen-Wallerstein?

"I have learnt so much from her. We’re very close and talk almost every day. She’s an amazing grandmother who loves spending time with our daughters."

Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury bedroom with grey carpet four poster bed and blue curtains© ESI SEILERN

Tell us about your career

"After taking my second degree in Munich, I started working at McKinsey in Shanghai. Then I came to London to do a master’s degree in innovation management. Shortly before that I met my husband on vacation in Argentina and decided to stay and work in London when I finished my studies.

"These days I’m lucky enough to consider social media content creation as my job, which means I can work from home."

How is life as a mother of three young children? Would you like more?

"Life with them is absolutely brilliant; crazy and hectic at times, but so rewarding and the best thing I’ve ever done.

Yoanna Hanbury dressing room with beige floor to ceiling cupboards and island unit © ESI SEILERN

"I don’t think we’ve closed that chapter yet. We both come from large families and have always wanted to be surrounded by lots of children so who knows what the future holds."

What memories do you have of your and Charlie’s wedding day?

"We actually had two weddings; a civil ceremony in London and, a year later, a bigger celebration in Germany. Both were incredibly special. The first was very intimate and filled with so much joy and love. The second took place in the forest, in the shade of 800-year-old trees. That was incredible."

Charlie and Yoanna Hanbury home beige bathroom with bay window© ESI SEILERN

You’re regularly noted as one of the best-dressed women at Ascot. How do you choose your outfit?

"Ascot is one of my favourite events of the year; it’s a great excuse to combine my love of horses with my love of fashion! I try to support British designers for everything – the dress, hat, shoes and bag."

What does elegance mean to you?

"For me, elegance is about timeless shapes, quality fabrics, a neutral colour palette and attention to detail. It’s about how the clothes make you feel, about creating confidence."

Yoanna Hanbury arranging flowers in the kitchen© ESI SIELERN

And what do you appreciate most in your life?

"My husband. We’ve become a great team in everything we do and life with him makes me incredibly happy. I am very proud to be his wife.

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"I’ve never met anyone so loyal and loving. He always supports me and encourages me to follow my dreams."

Yoanna Hanbury at home in Berkshire with daughters and dog © ESI SEILERN







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