Until the shock Brexit vote, the Prime Minister assumed he had another three years left in power. By late tomorrow, he and his family will be out of Downing Street.
Discovering on the morning after the referendum that they had just weeks left in their accommodationabove No 11 Downing Street was already a shock. Now the Camerons have been turfed out two months early, they barely have time to gather their belongings, and nowhere permanent to go immediately in London. For their three children Nancy, 12, Elwen, ten, and Florence, five, it must be an extraordinarilytraumatic and bewildering time.
Though Samantha hated the fusty four-bedroom flat when they arrived in 2010, the couple spent tens of thousands in their own cash redecorating it, installing a top-of-the-range kitchen and open-plan sitting room. They have never loved it, but it has come to feel like home.
Mr Cameron's instinct will be to retreat to his peaceful constituency home in west Oxfordshire, a place the whole family loves. A few miles from Chipping Norton, the secluded Cotswold cottage offers far more privacy than anywhere in London, allowing them to live an almost normal life. Security is low key; they have many friends in the area and find it easy to relax. With more than a week until the school holidays, however, that won't happen. The property is more than 70 miles from London, making it totally impractical for getting to school.
The Camerons have already served notice on the tenants in their beloved £3.6million Notting Hill home, where they raised their late firstborn, Ivan. They had hoped it would be empty in time for them to move back in when the Prime Minister stepped down. But unfortunately the tenants are still in situ. Last month it emerged the Camerons had taken out a new mortgage on the Notting Hill property but No 10 sources deny it was to buy another home.
Either way, where the family will live is a small matter relative to the question about what he and Samantha will do for the rest of their lives. "The easy answer to that question is whatever Samantha wants," according to a friend. "David will put her first now." Liberated from the constraints of being the wife of the premier, Samantha is now likely to step up her lucrative retail career. After a long and highly successful stint with luxury leather goods company Smythson, she is said to be planning to launch her own fashion label with her aide and stylist Isabel Spearman.
As for the children, sooner or later, they are likely to move schools. Currently at a state secondary in Westminster, Nancy can now be educated privately, without it creating a big fuss. But the Camerons will need to decide whether to put her through even more upheaval by enrolling her in a new school. Elwen, who along with Florence is currently at a Kensington primary, is thought to be down for a prep school in south west London.
What of Cameron himself? He loves being MP for Witney, where he has a comfortable majority. He has said he plans to continue in the role. Though he could continue as a backbencher for decades, it's likely he will step down in 2020 in favour of a seat in the Lords. Friends expect him to emulate former prime minister John Major, taking on a couple of low-key but lucrative non-executive corporate roles, and maybe a job on the international stage.
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