In 2022, Her Majesty the Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. To celebrate her historic reign, we take a look at the royal properties.
Whilst it’s common knowledge that the British royal family live in some of the most prestigious buildings in the world, like Buckingham Palace the family also owns a number of lesser-known residences throughout the United Kingdom and the world. Whether they are properties still owned by the monarchy or former palaces now regulated as museums, many of these residences recall the history and lives of British royalty. From a 50,000-acre estate in Norfolk, England to a miniature, Berkshire wendy house, these are the twenty-five regal estates that the royal family has called home.
As depicted in the first season of The Crown, The Queen Mother purchased deteriorating Barrogill Castle in 1952 after seeing it on her visit with Commander and Lady Doris Vyner. After extensive renovations of the castle and gardens in 1955, Her Majesty made the decision to restore the structure’s original name, The Castle of Mey. Today, the property is under the stewardship of The Prince’s Foundation, which recently opened The Granary Lodge Bed & Breakfast on the grounds.
The original structure on the grounds of the Hollywood-famous Hatfield House, the Royal Palace of Hatfield was the childhood home and favourite residence of Queen Elizabeth I. After the accession of King James I to the throne, he decided to give the palace to Elizabeth’s chief minister, Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, who built the breath-taking Jacobean home that is now on the property. Only parts of the original palace remain on the grounds.
Y Bwthyn Bach or “The Little Cottage” was gifted to then Princess Elizabeth by the Welsh people in 1932. The miniature thatched cottage has remained on the same grounds as the Royal Lodge since then, serving as the official royal playhouse for generations.
The Dumfries House dates back to 1754, when William Crichton-Dalrymple sketched out plans for a Palladian-style home with lavish interiors filled with colourful and handcrafted Chippendale furniture. Regarded as one of the most significant properties within the Commonwealth, shockwaves ran through Great Britain when news hit it was in the verge of sale, propelling Prince Charles and one of his foundations to raise funds to save the Dumfries. Today, the stately home is open for people to explore its original 18th-century furnishings and incredible interiors.
Originally built for the garden keepers of Richmond Park, the Thatched House Lodge served as a grace-and-favour residence for the royal household until 1927. High political figures such Wing Commander Sir Louis Greig and even President Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed in the home in the following years but, eventually, it would become the permanent residence of Sir Angus Ogilvy and Princess Alexandra in 1963. Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin, lives quietly within the six-bedroom home and often spends her time tending to the horses in the property’s stables.
The most famous and visited of all the royal properties, Buckingham Palace has remained the official London residence of the United Kingdom’s monarchs since 1837. Designed in a neoclassical style, the palace has a whopping 775 rooms, including 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, and 19 state rooms.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles currently reside in the Crown-owned official London residence. Built in 1825 and 1827, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip lived in the townhouse after their marriage in 1947. It was also the London home of the Queen Mother from 1953 until 2002. Prince William and Prince Harry also lived here until moving into their own private residences at Kensington Palace in 2011 and 2012.
The London palace was the former residence of the monarchs of England until the reign of Queen Victoria. St. James’s Palace holds an important role in the monarchy as it is the place where the Garter King of Arms formally announces the accession of the new king or queen from the palace’s Proclamation Gallery after the death of a monarch. It’s also the London residence of Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Alexandra. The palace even hosts charity receptions associated with members of the royal family.
The birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria, the 547-room palace is the London home and office to a number of royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Since the middle of 2017, Apartment 1A has been the main residence for Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s family, which has four floors and 20 rooms. Kensington Palace was also the former home of Princess Diana as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
These smaller properties on the grounds of Kensington Palace have been popular homes in the royal family for years. Nottingham Cottage was the former home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle before they moved into Frogmore Cottage. Prince William and Catherine Middleton also resided in the cottage before moving into Apartment 1A. Ivy Cottage is currently the first home of Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank. Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, lives at Wren House with his wife, Katherine Worsley.
For over 900 years, the Crown-owned Windsor Castle has acted as both a private home and an official royal residence for the United Kingdom’s monarchs. Inside the property is the famous St. George’s Chapel, the location where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in May 2018 and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbanks married in October 2018. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spend weekends at Windsor Castle away from the bustle of London. The Queen also stays at the castle for a month over Easter during a period known as Easter Court.
Famously known as the location of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s evening wedding reception, Frogmore House has been a Crown-owned official residence in Home Park since 1792. The estate was originally bought by George III as a gift for his wife, Queen Charlotte, and has remained in the royal family ever since. While the house has been unoccupied since 1872, the royal family often hosts private and official events at the residence.
The former home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Frogmore Cottage shares the same grounds as Frogmore House. The cottage was built in 1801 under the direction of Queen Charlotte. The home is only a half mile away from Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married.
Three miles south of Windsor Castle, the Royal Lodge was the country home of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Mother continued to use the lodge as one of her country retreats until her death in 2002. After extensive renovations, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, moved in the 30-room home in 2004 and continues to live there with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
This 19,000-acre estate is a private residence of the royal family near Norfolk, England. The Queen inherited the property from her family in 1952, with Prince Philip taking charge for the home’s management and upkeep. The royal family usually celebrates Christmas at Sandringham House and attends religious services at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, which is located on the grounds.
The 10-bedroom Georgian home was gifted to Prince William and Catherine Middleton by the Queen after their wedding. Located on the Sandringham Estate, the couple lived in the country home full-time until they moved to Kensington Palace.
The Crown-owned official residence of the Queen when she’s in Scotland began as a monastery in 1128. Holyroodhouse hosts several national events in Scotland including Holyrood Week, when the Queen celebrates Scottish culture by visiting different regions within the country. The palace is open to the public year-round, who can visit the Holyrood Abbey, the Palace Gardens, and the State Apartments.
Located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Balmoral Castle serves as the Queen’s summer home and sits on 50,000-acres with 150 buildings. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert originally purchased the castle in 1852, and it’s remained one of the royal family’s favourite vacation spots.
Technically on the grounds of the Balmoral estate, Craigowan Lodge is a more rustic stone cottage about a mile from the main castle. Prince Charles and Princess Diana would often opt to stay in the seven-bedroom house during their visits to the Scottish countryside. However, nowadays the Queen spends the first few days of their yearly summer holiday there before the tourist visiting season is over at Balmoral.
A part of the Balmoral Castle estate, Birkhall was bought by Queen Victoria for her son Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1849. The former home of the Queen Mother, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall currently stay at the home when visiting Scotland.
The official Northern Ireland residence of the Queen and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle is set on 100 acres of gardens and trimmed lawns. Other members of the British royal family also stay at the castle when they visit the country.
The private family home of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles is most famous for its beautiful gardens, which members of the public can tour on select dates throughout the year. The home’s central location to London, Wales, and other parts of Britain made it appealing to Prince Charles, who bought the home in 1980. Highgrove House was initially used as a weekend home for Prince of Wales and Princess Diana after their marriage in 1981.
Located in Llandovery, Wales, Llwynywermod is the Welsh home of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The couple often stays at the property in the summer during their annual tour of Wales. The 215-acre estate was refurbished in 2007 by local Welsh craftsmen and features energy-efficient appliances, low-energy lighting, and natural sheep’s wool insulation.
Gatcombe Park is the Gloucester residence of Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence. The country house and farm were purchased by Queen Elizabeth in 1976 for Anne. Her daughter, Zara Tindall, moved her family to the estate in 2013.
This 57-room royal residence is the current Surrey home of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. After its reconstruction in 1879, the property was owned by Queen Victoria’s third son, Prince Arthur. The 87 acres of Bagshot Park’s gardens and grounds are listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.