After Egypt: Are the Mubaraks London-Bound?

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Khaled Desouki - AFP/Getty Images

Alaa (L) and Gamal Mubarak attend a national football team match

Rumors abound that the family of besieged Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, have fled their country … to England’s “green and pleasant land.”

The story surfaced on Tuesday when it was reported by BBC Arabic Service that Mubarak’s wife Suzanne, his two sons Alaa and Gamal, and their families took a private jet to Heathrow airport. A flurry of twitter messages seemed to confirm the glamorous evacuation, with reported sightings of the Mubarak family at Heathrow airport and in Central London. One report claimed they brought with them a grand total of 97 pieces of luggage.

(More on TIME.com: See exclusive photos of Turmoil in Egypt here)

Forty-seven year-old Gamal has long been seen as the heir apparent, starting his official political career in 2000 when he was appointed (by his father) to the General Secretariat of the National Democratic Party. Although Gamal, like his older brother, started his career in banking, he has been much more politically active than Alaa, and is primed to take over his father’s post when he retires. Hosni Mubarak announced on Wednesday that he would step down at the next election, bringing Gamal’s opportunity even closer.

Gamal and Alaa’s mother, Suzanne Mubarak, is Welsh born and bred, prompting speculation that her sons have British passports. This seems likely and means the Mubarak family can kick back in their luxe London accomodations without fearing a call from the border agency. In an interview with Al Jazeeera Amani Soliman, a Middle East Analyst and University colleague of Gamal’s,  said London was the most likely place for him to flee to: “it’s like a second home to him.”

(More on TIME.com: See the Top 10 Autocrats in Trouble here)

Members of the media are already staking out Gamal’s pad, located at 28 Wilton Place (a stone’s throw from the 5-star Berkeley Hotel), but surprisingly he’s not answering the door.

There was one unconfirmed sighting of Gamal and his 27 year old wife Khadiga driving past the Knightsbridge address. They apparently saw the media scrum and drove on, but who knows where to. If they are in England, it’s likely one of London’s more luxurious hotels might be checking in some anonymous Egyptian guests some time soon. (via BBC)

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