Homes of the British royal family are filled with historic significance. And at certain points throughout the year, their homes are tourist attractions. Learn about their homes without traveling abroad, ahead.
Buckingham Palace | mikeinlondon/iStock/Getty Images
Arguably, the most recognized property of the British royal family’s is Buckingham Palace. The palace is 830,000 square feet in size with 775 rooms, according to Love Property. There are also 188 bedrooms for staff members, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. In case the family gets bored in the palace, they can explore the 40 acres comprising the grounds, take a dip in the swimming pool, visit the royal stables, or the queen’s art gallery.
Hint: Why the queen and Prince Philip have separate bedrooms.
The queen has her own apartment
An aerial view of Buckingham Palace | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
The queen lives in a private nine-room apartment in Buckingham Palace, according to MSN. In the apartment, Prince Philip and the queen have separate bedrooms, Lady Pamela Hicks told Sally Bedell Smith in her book, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, according to the Daily Mail. “In England, the upper class always have had separate bedrooms,” Hicks said. “You don’t want to be bothered with snoring or someone flinging a leg around.”
Hint: You’ll never guess who convinced Queen Elizabeth II to live at Buckingham Palace.
She didn’t want to live at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace | Leon Neal/Getty Images
Winston Churchill convinced Queen Elizabeth II to make Buckingham Palace her permanent residence when she became queen, according to Love Property. At the time, she considered another royal residence to be her home (page 15).
Hint: The queen’s weekend home has 1,000 rooms.
Queen Elizabeth II speaks with Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key | Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images
The queen spends her weekends at Windsor Castle. The castle, with 1,000 rooms, is just outside London, making it a convenient weekend getaway for the queen and the rest of the royal family. The castle covers 484,000 square feet and is Queen Elizabeth II’s official country residence, according to MSN.
Hint: One of the queen’s favorite places.
Balmoral Castle on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
During the summer, Queen Elizabeth II retreats to the Scottish Highlands, during which time Buckingham Palace is open to the public for tours, according to MSN. Balmoral is unique because it’s one of the queen’s privately owned properties.
Hint: The castle is drafty.
Prince Albert bought Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle in Scotland | Andrew Milligan/AFP/Getty Images
Since 1852, Balmoral has been a royal residence when Prince Albert bought the castle for his wife, Queen Victoria, according to MSN. Supposedly, Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite residence, Balmoral covers 50,000 acres and is known to be drafty. “Guests often remark how cold and draughty the castle can get, even on the warmest sunny days,” according to Love Property.
Hint: Queen Elizabeth II has recorded numerous holiday addresses at this royal residence.
Sandringham Estate | Adrian Dennis – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Giving extravagant property as gifts runs in the royal family. In 1862, Queen Victoria gifted Sandringham House to her son, Edward VII, who would later become king, according to Love Property. Today, Sandringham House is one of the queen’s privately owned properties where she stays from Christmas until February.
Hint: Sandringham House’s renovations gave it this distinction in England.
Sandringham House: ‘Most comfortable house in England’
Queen Elizabeth II (C) talks with guests during a garden party in honor of her diamond jubilee at the queen’s Sandringham Estate | Adrian Dennis/AFP/GettyImages
Known as “the most comfortable house in England,” after King Edward VII renovated the house in 1870, it became one of the first country homes in England to have gas lighting, flushing toilets, and showers, according to Love Property. Sandringham is also known for being “less grand and more relaxed than the monarch’s other residence,” according to MSN.
Hint: The queen gifted this residence at Sandringham House to Prince William.
Prince William’s family has a place at Sandringham House
Anmer Hall, the home of Prince William and Kate Middleton. | Richard Humphrey/Wikimedia Commons
Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their children have spent time staying at Anmer Hall, situated on the Sandringham House property, according to The Week. The queen gifted the 10-bedroom home to the couple as a wedding gift. Anmer Hall boasts a swimming pool, and a newly renovated tennis court and kitchen.
Hint: What shocked Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Prince William and Kate Middleton hang out in their kitchen
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Possibly part of the reason for a kitchen renovation, Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoy spending time in their kitchen, according to Express. A concept Queen Elizabeth II didn’t understand when she visited, a source told the publication. She “couldn’t get her head around” how much time they spent in the kitchen socializing. “In her mind, that is where all the kitchen staff work,” the source said.
Hint: Most people don’t know much about this royal residence.
Prince Charles and Camilla at Hillsborough Castle | Liam McBurney – WPA Pool/Getty Images
One of the lesser-known royal residences is Hillsborough Castle probably because the queen occupies this residence the least, according to Love Property. The castle is located in Northern Ireland and is where the queen stays when she has business in the area.
Hint: The castle has extensive grounds.
The castle is open to the public four months a year
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrive at Hillsborough Castle | Carrie Davenport/Getty Images
Hillsborough Caste received renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to Love Property. The castle, built in Georgian style, is surrounded by 96 acres is open to the public in April, May, June, and September. One of the castle’s main attractions is the Lady Alice Temple.
Hint: This royal residence is special to Prince Harry and Prince William.
Highgrove House | Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Highgrove House is the country home of Prince Charles and Camilla, according to Hello magazine. The house has gardens, which are open to the public. Princes Harry and William spent time with their mom, Princess Diana, at Highgrove House as children.
Hint: Peak inside Prince William’s family home.
Prince George with Barack Obama and his father, Prince William | Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton live in apartment 1A in Kensington Palace with their children, according to Hello magazine. The couple renovated the apartment — although “apartment” is an understatement — and hosted the Obamas, giving the public a glimpse into their home.
Hint: Prince Charles’ personal art collection is on display at Clarence House.
Clarence House | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The official London residence of Prince Charles and Camilla took two years to build, according to the royal family’s website. Queen Elizabeth II lived in Clarence House following her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947. Five rooms occupy the ground floor, which the public can tour in the summer. They’ll also get a glimpse of some of Prince Charles’ personal art collection that he brought to the home when it became his official London residence.
Hint: Queen Elizabeth II stays where Mary, Queen of Scots, lived.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Guests outside of the Palace of Holyroodhouse | Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Queen’s official Scottish residence, the palace sits at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. Among the former residents are Mary, Queen of Scots, and other Scottish royalty. Founded as a monastery in 1128, Scottish King James IV converted it into a palace in the 16th century, according to MSN.
Hint: A ghost has been spotted at the palace.
The palace is supposedly haunted
Annual garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse | Jane Barlow/AFP/Getty Images
When visitors are done seeing Mary, Queen of Scots’ bedroom, they can learn about the ghost who supposedly haunts the palace, according to MSN. The ghost of “Bald Agnes” has been seen walking through the castle more than once. The ghost is supposedly of a woman executed in 1592 for witchcraft.
Hint: Get a look inside Prince Harry’s digs.
Kensington Palace grounds | Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Nottingham Cottage, located on the grounds of Kensington Palace, previously housed Prince William and Kate Middleton. Today, it’s home to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It used to be Harry’s bachelor pad, where he hosted former first lady Michelle Obama in 2015, according to Hello magazine. The public got a glimpse of his decor — no hammock in sight — of cream-colored armchairs and a green and gold coffee table.
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