Everyone loves having a cheeky sneak peek inside the real lives of the Royal Family, and it’s just so fascinating because they seem to live in a totally different world to everyone else. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Royal Family is undoubtedly how they live, where they live, and what they live in. Do they live in a beautiful castle or a quaint little cottage? Well, there have been many Royal residences in the past, and there will be many more in the future. So where have our Royals been living all this time?
Balmoral Castle is a huge Scottish castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The site itself is much older than the castle and has officially been within royal possession since 1852. It was acquired by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria and was purchased for an estimated £32,000 (around $40,000), which was worth far more at the time.
The castle itself was commissioned by the royal couple as the primary residence but was considered too small for them. They decided they would build Balmoral Castle, which was completed in 1856 and is the building we see today. While it may be the Scottish vacation home for the Royal family, it is also open to the public. You can pay a fee to see inside and wander the beautiful grounds.
This was the childhood home of Princess Diana and has been the home of the Spencer family for over 500 years. The house was built all the way back in 1688 and still stands proudly today, open to the public during the summer months. The estate is incredible, with 13,000 acres of land that spans three counties: Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, and Norfolk.
The enclosed grounds only include 550 acres of land. Of the nineteen generations of Spencers who lived in this home, Diana was the one who was married to Prince Charles. Some sources have said that when she was a child, she would practice her tap dancing in this vast and lavish estate. Just the pictures make you feel like it’s worthy of a king or queen.
Bagshot Park is the formal home of Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife. This is likely why the grounds and house are not open to the public as a few of the others are. The grounds span cross-country, but the home itself is located within a designated area within Windsor Great Park. It is an impressive building, completed in 1879. But the original house that stood here was constructed between 1631-1633.
We know how much the Royals enjoy adding to their already large estates, as the completion of the new building entailed adding 120 new rooms. Much of the building’s allure comes from the beautiful and imposing Tudor-gothic style architecture that looms impressively over the grounds. The Earl of Wessex currently leases the place from the Crown, his mother and father, the Queen and Prince Philip.
Birkhall was commissioned at the same time as Balmoral as part of Prince Albert’s expansion and renovation project. It is now a summer home for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, who actually spent their honeymoon there back in 2005. This home has been the auxiliary home for many young royals back in the day.
It was inherited by Charles after his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother passed away. The building itself dates back to the 18th century, and a BBC documentary revealed that it’s home to a variety of personal mementos belonging to the Royal Family. This is one of many homes this royal couple has access to. After all, Prince Charles is next in line to the throne.
This incredible Georgian house was initially bought all the way back in 1997 for the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie when they were only 9 and 10 years old. The building dates all the way back to 1740 and was sold for $2.2 million. That might not seem like much when you’re talking about the Royal Family, but apparently, it’s worth around three times that these days.
Although this was only going to be home to two young princesses, it has seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, and five spare rooms for living and entertainment. It is in a prime location and has some fantastic facilities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts and five acres of grounds. No wonder, since it is a property fit for a princess – or two!
Meghan Markle’s home in Toronto
It’s no secret that the world is going a little crazy for Meghan Markle at the moment. It’s no surprise either, since the former actress has literally married a prince and has now had their first baby, Archie. However, before she became a duchess, she had to have a home while they were filming the TV series Suits.
It certainly looked incredible, and is worth over $1 million, with three bedrooms and beautiful furnishings. However, she’s certainly upgraded since marrying Prince Harry, as she now lives in the famed Frogmore Cottage with her little family.
Camilla Parker Bowles’ childhood home
Prince Charles’ Wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, didn’t make quite the transformation that Meghan Markle did. It’s clear when you see her childhood home and how amazing it looks; fit for a royal, of course!
Her home is the height of English countryside chic and is surrounded by some amazingly beautiful acres of land. While this home is worth just under $4 million, it’s of a far more understated beauty than some of the other Royal residences. This home also has a paddock, tennis courts, a swimming pool and much more; perfect for all the necessary Royal activities.
Meghan and Harry’s Sydney vacation home
There is nothing like a Royal vacation. After all, the Royals are required to make international trips, and it’s essential they maintain proper etiquette. Part of their image includes staying in some of the most luxurious places around the world.
This Sydney vacation home has everything a Royal needs, especially as it’s worth an estimated $42 million. There are so many beautiful rooms that include open spaces that lead out into the gorgeous courtyard and gardens. They also get an exclusive view of the stunning Sydney coastline; where better to go on vacation or conduct business?
Hillsborough Castle isn’t just a Royal residence; it is also a place for the government officials of Northern Ireland. However, the building is owned by Queen Elizabeth II as representative of the Crown.
Despite its name, it is not actually a castle, instead, it is more of a Georgian country house. The grounds are vast and well-maintained, and this is the Queen’s official Royal residence in Northern Ireland. It’s also where other members of the Royal Family stay on trips to Northern Ireland.
This is now the official home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their newest addition, baby Archie. Frogmore Cottage is situated on the Frogmore Estate, which itself sits in Home Park, Windsor…
Not very far from Windsor Castle. This magnificent place has extensive gardens and gorgeous walks and is not too far from Windsor city center. The cottage reportedly needed extensive renovating before the couple could move in. We wonder when inside pictures will be shared with the public.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is a tall and vast building in Scotland, with a seriously tumultuous history, with marked moments prevalent in the history books. This was the residence of the infamous Mary, Queen of Scots.
Along with Bonnie Prince Charlie in the time of the Scottish rebellion. It is the official residence of the current Queen when she visits Scotland, and she vacations here every year for a week at the start of summer.
Princess Diana’s vacation home
It’s interesting to see where the Royals vacation and how different it is to regular folk. This grand South African vacation home has everything and was actually owned by the incredibly wealthy and prolific Spencer family.
Diana was said to have visited there often. It is situated just outside of the South African capital, Cape Town, and was said to be worth just under $6 million when it was listed for sale in 2015. The whole estate is suitable for entertaining, with a cinema, staff cottages, tennis courts, sauna, gym, swimming pool, and even its own vineyard.
Kensington Palace is the official London home of several households, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and various other Royals. This has been the official home of the British Royal Family since the 1700s.
It has a whole lot of history seeping through its walls, from Royal scandals to hidden secrets. It also includes several apartments and houses on the grounds for them to live in. It must be so normal for the Royal Family to live so close together, unlike many families who sometimes move state or countries.
While Prince Charles and Camilla own Highgrove house, it’s all about the gardens. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall are most proud of the gardens, which see an estimated 30,000 visitors per year.
The entirety of the estate was purchased back in 1980, which also includes the home farm nearby. The home itself is beautiful, but the Prince ensures that it is as eco-friendly as possible, using everything from energy-saving bulbs to solar lights.
When you’re a member of the British Royal family, it’s basically the law to have a home in as many countries as possible (or just the ones you’re the future king of). Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles reside in this home.
Mainly for when they go to visit the lush, rolling countryside of Wales, unrivaled in its beauty. This place offers a genuinely rural feel, giving the couple their own space in this part of the countryside.
Pippa and Kate Middleton’s apartment
Well, these wealthy ladies had to live somewhere before they were married to even wealthier gentlemen. Of course, it’s well known that Kate and William were courting from a young age and for around a decade. However, she lived in this gorgeous apartment in the Chelsea area of London, a very high-end area for two girls from an influential family.
The apartment is two stories high and has more than enough space to entertain plenty of guests. The decor is a mixture of modern and luxury, highlighting their status within society. Of course, they have moved on, with Kate now living in Kensington Palace and Pippa calling a London mansion home.
James Matthew’s bachelor pad
James Matthews is Pippa Middleton’s now husband, but before he married Pippa and they moved into a family home, he also had a place of his own. He’s incredibly wealthy and lived in a London mansion worth over £40 million which, in US dollars, is about $52 million.
The decor makes it clear just how wealthy he and his family is, and now Pippa is a part of that legacy. Although referred to in the media as an ‘apartment’, his home stands seven stories high and is situated within the Mayfair district of London.
Osborne Cottage is famed for being the home of Princess Beatrice who was the daughter of Queen Victoria the fourth, to be exact. The grounds have a lot of space and this was actually one of the many places that were part of Prince Albert’s famous expansions.
This cottage is small in comparison to most of the other Royal residences, considering that many of them have probably more than triple the required amount of bedrooms. This place actually went on the market for a reasonable middle-class price!
St James’s Palace
St. James’s Palace used to be the most important and central place for royal meetings. However, this all ended during Queen Victoria’s reign. It is situated in the City of Westminster and is an impressive sight to be seen.
Many of the buildings were built in the time of Henry VIII, and have survived in excellent condition that can still be seen today. Today, it is home to a number of official offices, and also used as a place to host charity events.
Zara Phillips’ home
This home is four stories high and has everything a princess would want. Zara Phillips is the cousin to Princes Harry and William, and, while this is no palace, any young woman would be lucky to reside somewhere so luxurious.
With a massive variety of bedrooms and bathrooms, this pad also features a hot tub room, cinema room, and gorgeous modern decor that anyone would be envious of. It has even been said the entire basement area could be used as its own apartment if need be. We wonder how many long-term visitors Zara has had.
Buckingham Palace hasn’t always been the headquarters of the Royal family, but when Queen Victoria succeeded the throne, she chose to live there permanently. The current Queen Elizabeth II does not permanently reside in the famous palace.
But she does often go there on official Royal business and is required to be there on certain formal occasions. Of course, this is one of London’s most famous landmarks. It is next to all the sights London is known for, such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
Clarence House is one of the Royal residences close to St James’s Palace. It is the official London residence of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. It is also open to the public at various intervals during the summer.
Possibly while its high-profile residents are vacationing in one of their other homes. It is in the perfect area for both of these Royals to conduct their duties, close to both Buckingham Palace and Parliament, not to mention all London’s best highlights.
Windsor Castle is the primary private residence for the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. It has incredible grounds, home to Frogmore Cottage and many other cottages. The grounds are also home to an extensive array of staff that help to manage it.
It also has an accessible area the public can visit. However, there are still many areas that are kept private for the Queen so she can have some peace and quiet. Windsor is also close to Eton, a prestigious education center for the Royals, top politicians, and various other influential people.
This is located in Norfolk and is owned by the family as opposed to the Crown. The ownership was obtained in 1862 and this was somewhere Queen Elizabeth II visited on many occasions.
When she was younger she used to go there during the summers and it was a place her father held close to his heart. These days it is said that the Queen still goes to Sandringham to spend the Christmas season and even do a bit of horse riding, if the weather permits.
Take a good look at Luckington Court, the Cotswolds manor house. It may very well be the new home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
That’s right… the Duchess who we can’t stop talking about, Meghan Markle herself, may soon have the pleasure of residing in this beautiful garden, while we she serenely meditates and listens to her Headspace app. She and Harry are so excited to raise young Archie, and this looks like a great place to do it.
Thatched House Lodge
If there’s one word that keeps coming back to us after looking at all the houses in this article, it’s “breathtaking.” This picture is no different. There’s a pleasant feeling you get when you look at this backyard area of the Thatched House Lodge.
As these workers do their job, it’s clear that the lawn is well tended for. A Grade-II listed building which goes back to the 17th century, many Royals have lived there, including Princess Alexandra and the late Sir Angus Ogilvy.
This Georgian country house resides in a village called Anmer which is in Norfolk, England. But the most interesting thing about this place is that it was given as a gift from the Queen herself, to Prince William and Kate Middleton.
There aren’t many people in the world who are as beloved a couple as those two, and their entire family is the definition of “family goals.” This house is the perfect place to build a loving foundation for them.
Although Anne, Princess Royal, doesn’t get talked about as much as Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton, she is no less worthy of living in a beautiful Royal home as well.
Her Gatcombe Park home is in Gloucestershire, England, and it was built in the late 18th century. Also considered to be a Grade II listed home, it was made according to the designs of the talented George Basevi. And yes, we could totally see ourselves falling asleep on that couch.
Is there anything else to say other than the word “wow?” Honestly, when can we move in? Who’s laundry to we have to dry clean to get a tour of this place? Barnwell Manor is not only stunning, but it’s level of grandiosity makes a statement as well.
Another Grade II listed property, it has an “epic” feel to it – and it was formerly the home of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. These days, however, Windsor House Antiques sets up shop there. Seems like a waste, no?
Once Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank tied the knot, they needed somewhere to call home. That ended up being Ivy Cottage, a residence located on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
A short walk from William and Kate’s home in Apartment 1A, it’s a relatively quaint property for someone in the Royal Family. Of course, not being on the monarchy’s payroll, Eugenie has to rely on her own income to pay her way forward. So, it’s no wonder this property is a little on the smaller side of things.
The Royal Lodge
The Royal Lodge has stood on the grounds of Windsor Great Park since the mid-1600s, although it used to look much different than it does now. Various renovation projects have been carried out over the years to help it flourish into the residence it is today.
Plenty of royals have lived there over the years, with one of its most prominent occupants being the Queen Mother. She moved there in the ’50s and remained as a residence until her passing. After she was gone, one of her grandsons replaced her.
In addition to Frogmore Cottage – Harry and Meghan’s newly-renovated property – the Windsor estate is also home to Frogmore House. Established in the 17th century, this residence was once the home of Queen Charlotte and her various daughters during the 1800s.
Nowadays, people don’t tend to live in the property, but it is still used for functions within the monarchy. Back in 2018, it housed the reception after Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Ten years earlier, it provided the same service for the Queen’s grandson, Peter Philips, and his wife, Autumn Kelly.
They might not live there anymore, but before they called Frogmore Cottage their home, Harry and Meghan took up residence at Nottingham Cottage. Located in Kensington Palace, this was initially the former’s bachelor pad, with the latter moving in once their relationship got serious.
Although it offered the pair everything they needed, it was only about 1,300 square feet with just two bedrooms on offer. That size wasn’t ideal given the couple’s desire to start a family, so they jumped ship and headed off to Windsor.
The Welsh House
To keep their kids entertained, a lot of parents buy their kids a playhouse that they set up in the backyard. However, they don’t usually get one that’s this big, or this functional. The Queen was gifted this playhouse when she was only six years old, and it provided her and her sister with hours of fun.
We’re not surprised, given that the property had running water and working electricity. She’d basically received her own house that she could escape to whenever she wanted to hide from her royal responsibilities.
Les Jolies Eaux
Princess Margaret might not be around anymore, but her legacy lives on in the houses she used to own. That includes Les Jolies Eaux, a vacation property located on the island of Mustique.
The royal received this home as a wedding gift in the late ‘50s, with Margaret proving to be a regular visitor there up until her final days. Since the property was passed onto her son, it’s been made available to the public for rental. Of course, a stay here doesn’t come cheap at $28,000 a week.
Castle of Mey
The Castle of Mey didn’t start its life as a royal residence. It was built sometime in the 16th century by George Sinclair, who was the Earl of Caithness at the time. It eventually came under the ownership of the Royal Family in the ‘50s when the Queen Mother bought it for herself.
She’d recently lost her husband, and she wanted somewhere she could use for vacations. Since the Queen Mother’s passing, the home receives annual visits from Prince Charles and Camilla, who stay there during the summer.
Given that William is the future king, it makes sense that he lives somewhere fit for a monarch. It might not have the most glamorous name, but with 20 rooms at his and Kate’s disposal, this is definitely no ordinary apartment.
Apparently, the property used to have even more than that, but extensive renovations were carried out to reduce the room count. Now, things are a lot more spacious here, meaning the kids have plenty of room to run around while their parents carry out their various royal duties.
With so many properties at her disposal, the Queen is never short of anywhere to stay. Of all these places, Balmoral is undoubtedly where the monarch feels most at home. However, she can’t always stay in the castle because it’s open to the public. That’s where Craigowan Lodge comes in handy.
This private, seven-bedroom property sits on the Balmoral estate and provides somewhere for the Queen to go when the rest of the estate is off-limits. That’s handy when she feels like starting her summer vacation a few days early.
Eugenie and Beatrice might not receive the same royal treatment as their cousins, but they still had quite a luxurious life growing up. They had several properties available to them, including their main base of operations at Sunninghill Park.
This was the girls’ home between 1990 and 2004, after which it was sold. The residence hasn’t had the greatest luck over the years, with the property rebuilt in the ‘80s after burning down several decades earlier. It has since been demolished and rebuilt again by the billionaire who bought it.
The Garden Cottage
The Garden Cottage is another property that sits on the grounds of Balmoral, although it was Queen Victoria who got the most use out of this one. Apparently, during the 1800s, the royal would go here to eat her breakfast and write her diaries.
Much like the current monarch, Victoria was also a massive fan of the Scottish estate, and she would regularly write about how peaceful she found the place. It made her feel like she was a world away from all her troubles whenever she stayed there.