The royal family get to visit the world over, staying in luxury resorts and travelling in style but their residences back home are not to be sniffed at either. There are grand royal residences up and down the UK, and each of them has its own charm. From Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s home in Norfolk, to the Queen‘s estate in Aberdeenshire, here is a round-up of 21 of the most amazing royal houses you need to see…
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1. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace served as the Queen’s main royal residence since Queen Victoria decided to renovate it in 1837. It’s where the royals often gather for occasions such as royal weddings and Trooping The Colour, where they are photographed on the famous balcony. However, these days, Windsor Castle acts as the Queen’s main base.
2. Windsor Castle
Before the Queen moved there more permanently, Windsor Castle was visited upon special seasonal occasions. For example, Her Majesty would stay a month over Easter, and at least one week during June while attending Royal Ascot and the Order of the Garter service at St George’s Chapel. It’s located just an hour away from Buckingham Palace.
MORE: The Queen unveils incredible room inside Windsor home
3. Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is home to several royal family members. The most famous are Kate Middleton and Prince William, who reside at Apartment 1A with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, meanwhile, live at Ivy Cottage, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at Apartment 10, the Duke and Duchess of Kent at Wren House and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at the Old Stables. Princess Diana also lived at Apartment 1A with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
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4. Anmer Hall
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also own Anmer Hall in Norfolk. It’s situated on the Sandringham Estate, and was a wedding gift to the couple from the Queen in 2011. They isolated there during the COVID-19 crisis, and formerly used it as their main residence while Prince William worked as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance until 2017.
5. Frogmore Cottage
Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor estate continues to serve as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s base in the UK, after they relocated to North America. The Grade II-listed property is owned by the Queen, and was previously converted from five separate apartments into an official residence for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their newborn son Archie when they moved in.
SEE: Inside Prince Harry and Meghan’s incredible £11.2million house
6. Balmoral Castle
Said to be one of Her Majesty’s favourite places in the world, Balmoral Castle acts as a holiday home. It’s set in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, and the Queen tends to start her break in the seven-bedroom Craigowan Lodge on the estate while the castle is still open to the public, before moving to the main house in August.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall spend their summer holidays at the 18th century property, Birkhall. The Prince of Wales inherited the property from his grandmother when she died in 2002, and he and Camilla even spent their honeymoon there in 2005. They spent much of the coronavirus lockdown period there, too.
8. Clarence House
Clarence House is Prince Charles and Camilla’s main London residence. It was previously home to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Mother, who lived there until her death in 2002. Prince Charles carried out extensive renovation work before he moved in.
9. Highgrove House
When they’re not at Clarence House, Charles and Camilla are typically found at their country home in Gloucestershire, Highgrove House. Prince Charles bought it in 1980, and lived there with Princess Diana and their sons William and Harry.
READ: Prince Charles and Camilla’s beautiful living room at Highgrove House revealed
10. Sandringham House
Sandringham is where the Queen usually resides at Christmas, and stays there until early February, after marking the anniversary of her father’s death. The 19th century home is set within 600 acres, and became the monarch’s property when she inherited it from her father in 1952.
11. Gatcombe Park
Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire was bought by the Queen in 1976 for her daughter Princess Anne and former husband, Captain Mark Phillips. Now, the Princess Royal lives there with her new husband Sir Timothy Laurence, as well as her son Peter Phillips and his ex-wife Autumn, her daughter Zara and her husband Mike Tindall and their daughters, Mia and Lena.
RELATED: Autumn Phillips won’t leave Princess Anne’s home
12. St James’ Palace
St James’ Palace in London is the official residence of the Princess Royal, and is also where Princess Alexandra lives. Princess Beatrice used to reside here, before settling down with her family in the countryside.
13. The Royal Lodge
Royal Lodge Windsor has been home to Prince Andrew since the Queen Mother’s death in 2002. The Duke of York’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson also lives there, while their daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice were raised there.
LOOK: Sarah Ferguson gives unprecedented access inside royal home with fun videos
14. Bagshot Park
Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward have called Bagshot Park in Surrey their home for over 20 years, after moving in following their royal wedding in 1999. They now share it with their two children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.
MORE: Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex won’t leave home in Surrey
Llwynywermod has been the property of Prince Charles since 2007, and cost him £1.2million. It’s situated in Wales, and has three cottages, a Grade II-listed barn and a main house, where Charles and Camilla stay.
16. Castle of Mey
The Castle of Mey in Caithness on the north coast of Scotland was bought by the Queen Mother in 1952 after the death of her husband, King George VI, and was inherited by Prince Charles after her death in 2002. In May 2020, Prince Charles opened a new ten-bedroom bed and breakfast on the grounds of the castle, the Granary Lodge.
READ: Prince Charles’ stunning Scottish bed and breakfast revealed
17. Dumfries House
Prince Charles owns an additional Scottish residence, Dumfries House. The 18th-century home is set on 2000 acres, and was saved by the intervention of the Prince of Wales in 2007.
18. Dolphin House
Dolphin House is a six-bedroom property in Tresco, on the Isles of Scilly, belonging to Prince Charles. It is also where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a summer staycation with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in 2019.
19. Hillsborough Castle
Hillsborough Castle is the Queen’s official residence in Lisburn, Northern Island. It’s also home to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who holds an annual garden party there, usually attended by a royal. In 2014, Historic Royal Palaces took over the running of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and started a five-year refurbishment believed to have cost £24million.
20. The Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Queen’s official Scottish residence is the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. It often plays host formal receptions there including state visits, ceremonies and garden parties for a week during the summer. It began as a monastery but has been home to the royals for over 500 years.
21. The Blue House
Prince Charles also owns a rural farmhouse in Viscri, Transylvania, known as the Blue House. The Prince of Wales bought the property in 2006, after falling in love with the country during a visit in 1998, and is believed to spend a couple of a days a year there, while the guest house is rented out to the public.
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