Inside 30 jaw-dropping homes owned by the royal family, from glittering palaces to haunted lodges | The Sun
FROM glittering palaces to a lavish Californian mansion, the royal family have one of the most enviable property portfolios in the world.
And of course these come with households of staff members ready to wait on the likes of King Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton hand and foot.
We all know the most famous royal residences – like the iconic Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – but there are numerous lesser-known, but still breathtaking properties the royals call home.
Here we share the regal houses that the family owns around the UK and beyond…
1. Buckingham Palace
Easily the most iconic of the royal family’s pads, Buckingham Palace is one of the top tourist attractions for visitors to London.
Buckingham House, as it was previously known, has been owned by the UK’s monarchs since 1761, when King George III bought it for his wife Queen Charlotte as a “comfortable family home” close to St James's Palace.
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The grand home, designed in a neoclassic style, has over 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 92 offices and 188 staff bedrooms.
2. St. James's Palace
While Buckingham Palace may now be the most famous royal home, it was actually St James’s Palace that used to be the main home of the king or queen – until the reign of Queen Victoria.
The Palace is hundreds of years old, having been built mainly between 1531 and 1536 by Henry VIII.
Now it’s the London family residence of Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Alexandra.
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It’s also used for charitable events, and it plays important ceremonial and constitutional functions.
Most notably it holds the Accession Council, which last year proclaimed King Charles as our new monarch.
3. Clarence House
Before they became king and queen, Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles called Clarence House their official London residence.
The extravagant townhouse was built in 1825 and 1827 and was used by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip after they tied the knot in 1947.
The Queen Mother also called it home from 1953 until 2002, along with Prince William and Prince Harry in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
4. Kensington Palace
Located in Kensington Gardens, this jaw-dropping 547-room palace was the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria.
More recently, it was the main residence for the Prince and Princess of Wales, who lived at the lavish Apartment 1A.
The couple's enormous family home is spread over four floors and boasts over 20 rooms – including five reception rooms, three bedrooms, and both a day and night nursery for the children.
We were given a sneak peak inside the family home when they opened the doors to the Obamas back in 2016.
5. Nottingham Cottage, Ivy Cottage and Wren House
The palace has smaller properties on the grounds, including Nottingham Cottage, where Prince Harry and Meghan used to live.
The couple have slammed the home for being too small in their Netflix show, with Meghan saying: "It sounds very regal but Nottingham Cottage was so small."
Harry added: "As far as people were concerned we were living in a palace. [But] we were living in a cottage. On palace grounds.
"Kensington Palace sounds very regal of course, it does say palace in the name. But Nottingham Cottage was small."
Meanwhile, Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank have lived in the three-bedroom Ivy Cottage, and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent lives in Wren Cottage.
6. Frogmore Cottage
Frogmore Cottage is in the Frogmore Estate, boasting 33 acres of private gardens within the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
Harry and Meghan spent £2.4million from taxpayers' money to refurbish the home, which was built in 1801, before they moved in.
The renovation saw Frogmore Cottage get a new designer kitchen and a refitted bathroom.
It took around six months to complete the refurbishment – and the couple said they would repay the amount after they stepped down as working royals.
7. Frogmore House
Famously known as the location of Prince Harry and Meghan’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.
8. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is one of the homes at the heart of the royal family.
For over 900 years, the dwelling has been a private home and also an official royal residence for UK monarchs.
Most recently, Prince Harry and Meghan tied the knot in its St. George’s Chapel, followed by Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in the same location in October 2018.
The Queen loved to spend weekends at the castle, away from London, and was locked down there during Covid.
9. Harry and Meghan's Montecito mansion
Harry and Meghan have lived in several luxury homes both as working Royals and after they quit Britain.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their marital journey together in Frogmore Cottage and now live in a £12million Californian mansion.
The couple bought it for £11.93 million ($14.6 million) in June 2020, but we revealed in May that it had more than doubled in value in only 23 months.
The 18,671 sq ft home in oceanside Montecito boasts nine bedrooms and 19 bathrooms.
Sitting on 7.4 acres with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, their home in the exclusive celebrity enclave boasts a private cinema, gym, spa and wine cellar.
10. Tamarisk House
When Prince William inherited his father King Charles' old titles, they came with a few benefits… including a £1billion property portfolio.
One of the homes now in his control is the stunning Tamarisk House, which is located on St Mary's, in Cornwall's the Isles of Scilly.
Sitting on a quarter of an acre of land, it has now been transformed into a holiday rental cottage and appears to be highly in demand.
According to the BBC, the King used to stay in the idyllic house with his former wife Diana and their children, William and Harry when they visited the area.
Tamarisk is a spacious four-bedroom house featuring an amazing panoramic view of the sea and surrounding areas.
11. Highgrove House
Highgrove is famous beloved by King Charles and Camilla as their country retreat – although Harry and Wills spent a lot of time here with mum Diana as kids.
Located in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, the estate was bought by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1980 and remodelled by Charles.
The Georgian Manor boasts 347 acres, nine bedrooms and six bathrooms – as well as a nursery wing and staff quarters.
Set among mountains and lochs, Balmoral is the royal family's Scottish retreat, which the Queen once referred to as "a paradise in the Highlands".
Set in 50,000 acres of private land, the Queen used to aim to spend two months each year here – among the Highland cattle, herds of deer and ponies.
King Charles carried on the tradition in the 2023 summer, after her death,
Prince Albert purchased the estate in 1852, but the castle was deemed to be too small, and a new one was built in its wake – constructed from granite quarried at Invergelder, on the grounds.
It's comprised of two main blocks and a central courtyard and has an 80-foot clock tower topped with turrets.
13. Palace of Holyroodhouse
Royal fans would be forgiven for assuming that the late Queen's official Scottish residence was her beloved Balmoral.
But in fact, this title officially belonged to the lesser-visited, imposing Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
Her Majesty would only stay at the property for one week a year while hosting its annual garden party.
Having been inherited by King Charles, it's not yet known whether he'll be a more regular visitor.
It was built by James IV between 1501 and 1505 next to the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.
While the sprawling home – which sits on 10 acres of land – is partly open to the public, the spacious upper floor is reserved for the Royals' private apartments.
14. Anmer Hall
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, share a 10-bedroom countryside home with their parents, Prince William and Kate.
Anmer Hall is on the Sandringham Estate and was gifted to the couple by Her Majesty after their wedding in 2011.
Before moving in, the property was refurbished to the tune of £1.5million with new additions including a conservatory, a rerouted driveway and a new interior put together by designer Ben Pentreath.
We've previously been given brief glimpses of the home in videos and video calls – especially during the pandemic.
According to The Week, the interior of the home has purposefully been "kept very private" but has contemporary interiors to match Kate's "accessible style choices".
The Cambridge's 2020 Christmas card was taken at the garden of Anmer Hall and showed them sitting in front of countless piles of logs.
In a video to celebrate the Cambridge's 10 year wedding anniversary, the family were seen playing in the huge garden, which has a swing for the kids.
15. Gatcombe Park
Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire is the home of Princess Anne, after Queen Elizabeth bought it for her and Mark Philips, her first husband.
Their daughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike moved into the property with their three children, Mia, Lena, and Lucas, in 2013 after selling their home in Cheltenham.
Reports indicate that the main house at the Gatcombe estate has five primary bedrooms, four other bedrooms, four reception rooms, a library, a billiard room and a conservatory.
There are several other homes on the 700-acre estate, which also has stables for equestrian Zara's many horses.
The Tindall home comes equipped with its own personal gym, according to Mike.
16. Bagshot Park
When it comes to royal residences, Prince Edward and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, certainly have a great set-up.
The family lives in a sprawling, 120-room mansion in Surrey that's worth a staggering £30million.
Prince Edward recently extended the lease of his sprawling country estate, Bagshot Park, for another 150 years, so they won't be moving anytime soon.
The family has lived in the mansion since 1999, shortly after Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, tied the knot.
Sandringham is where the royal monarch goes for a winter retreat, and every Christmas the Queen used to stay in this Grade II listed manor until the anniversary of her dad King George VI's death – on February 6 – has passed.
Various royals drop into visit over the festive period, although the house is considered small by the Queen's standards – meaning guests often have to stay in the servants' quarters.
18. Royal Lodge
The £30million home of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson is certainly fit for royalty.
The Royal Lodge in Windsor, a Grade II-listed mega-mansion, has belonged to The Duke of York since the Queen Mother died in 2002.
Prince Andrew's royal residence boasts 30 rooms with stunning interiors and plenty of space for entertaining.
Andrew shares the home with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson despite them having divorced in 1996.
It’s so big that their daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were able to hold their wedding receptions at the family home.
Dunfries is a little-known royal house loved by King Charles – who has a £45million plan to save it.
The 18th century home sits on a sprawling piece of Scottish land and is filled with furniture, décor and art from the same era.
It was snapped up by King Charles nearly two decades ago.
And much of that time has been spent restoring the property, and saving it from disrepair.
The whopping 2,000-acre plot of land, which boasts an adventure playground, also plays host to weddings and events, and even education and training, too.
Visitors can also pay £140-a-night to stay in one of the estate B&B's 22 bedrooms, or pop £3 into an honesty box to wander the expansive gardens.
20. Castle of Mey
The Castle of Mey is the little-known Royal castle that was restored by the Queen's mother and loved by King Charles since he was a tot.
And, you can stay in the luxury bed and breakfast on the castle grounds for just £170 a night.
In 2019, he opened up a B&B on the estate – in a converted stables and granary.
There are just ten bedrooms available, including two suites with their own private lounge area, and they start from £170 a night.
The Castle of Mey was once the Queen Mother's – it was the only home she ever owned, and she has been credited for saving it from ruins.
21. Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is steeped in hundreds of years of history.
The Palace – which was home to King Henry VIII – is a popular tourist attraction in London.
It was opened to the public as a museum in 1838 by Queen Victoria and its structure and grounds are cared for by an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces.
22. York Cottage
When you think of Royal residencies, you imagine plush furnishings and grand designs.
But for one home on the Sandringham Estate, it’s a completely different story – as the old and crumbling building is said to be haunted.
York Cottage, one of the houses that makes up the estate in Norfolk, has been part of the Royal family for decades.
While the exact date of the out-building has never been established, King Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales) gave the home to his son and daughter-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of York as a wedding present in 1893.
This is said to be down to the fact that rumours have long been rife that York Cottage’s original resident never left – and his spirit still roams the rooms.
23. Barnwell Manor
Another property currently in the royal portfolio – at least for now – isBarnwell Manor in Northamptonshire.
However, the Queen's cousin has put his incredible £4.8 million mansion up for sale – and it comes with 40 rooms and 2,500 acres of space.
The Duke of Gloucester listed Barnwell Manor just weeks after auctioning over £1million worth of historical items.
His luxurious abode boasts a total of 40 rooms including four reception rooms, six bathrooms, and 2,500 acres of outdoor space.
A first cousin of the late Queen, Prince Richard has now decided to place the stunning eight-bed Tudor manor house on the market for £4.2 million.
24. Craigowan Lodge
Craigowan Lodge is located on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
It is a seven-bedroom stone house approximately one mile from the main castle in Balmoral.
King Charles inherited the lodge in September 2022 following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
It was often used by the Queen in the first few days of her summer holiday.
She used the lodge while Balmoral Castle was being prepared for her extended stay during the summer months.
25. Fort Belvedere
Nestled in the grounds of Windsor Great Park, Fort Belvedere is the former home of the late Queen's uncle King Edward VIII, who signed his abdication papers there in 1936.
But for decades the home – which remains part of the Crown Estate and sits on a 59 acre estate – has slipped under the radar.
It's currently occupied by the billionaire Weston family, who reportedly have a close relationship with the royals and even hosted the late Queen there.
While her Majesty never lived at the property, it's believed it was recently considered as an option for Prince William and Kate Middleton while they were looking to move closer to Windsor.
The Waleses eventually chose the more modest Adelaide Cottage on the same estate.
26. Thatched House Lodge
Thatched House Lodge is a palatial residence dating from the 17th century.
The Grade II listed property oozes elegance and style sat in one of the country's most affluent areas in the grounds of Richmond Park.
Since her wedding in 1963, the property has been the home of Princess Alexandra, who was the cousin of the Queen Elizabeth II,
The property has six reception rooms and six bedrooms, spread across four acres of grounds.
Thatched House Lodge also has a two-bedroom summer house in its grounds along with a gardener's cottage and stables.
27. Dolphin House
Located just 28 miles off the Cornish coast, the island of Tresco has been dubbed 'Mustique without the mosquitoes'- and it used to be owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
While they no longer own the island, the royals still own a property there, Dolphin House, which is part of the Duchy of Cornwall's impressive property portfolio.
The former rectory, which has six bedrooms, has jaw-dropping views of Round Island Lighthouse.
It's not known whether Kate and William stayed at Dolphin House – which is available for holidaymakers to rent for £59 per person per night.
Llwynywermod was bought by the Duchy of Cornwall estate on behalf of the then Prince of Wales in 2007 after he spent 40 years searching for the right property.
The monarch's luxurious home, which is surrounded by 192 acres of countryside, is a former coach house with farm buildings.
King Charles often used it as his base of operations whenever he visited Wales.
But since the Duchy of Cornwall was passed to Prince William, Charles has been paying rent on Llwynywermod, according to The Telegraph.
Buckingham Palace confirmed that the King gave notice to the Duchy earlier this year that he would be giving up the lease which is due to expire later in the summer.
The Telegraph quoted royal sources who said the King remained “passionate” about Wales, but had decided to give up the property because it was “unlikely” he would be able to use it in the same way as before.
It is likely that Llwynywermod will be let out for holidays or on a long-term lease.
28. Y Bwthyn Bach
The late Queen was given the two-storey thatched cottage – called "Y Bwthyn Bach" or "The Little House" – by the people of Wales for her sixth birthday in 1932.
The abode came with electric lighting and running water as well as furniture and even a working phone.
Both Elizabeth and Margaret adored the house and proudly looked after it themselves. It is not open to the public and never has been.
The house was in the grounds of Royal Lodge, Windsor Castle.
29. Hillsborough Castle
King Charles has a string of glittering palaces that he calls home, but he does also have a grand official residence in Northern Ireland, too.
Hillsborough Castle is located in Belfast and boasts around 100 acres of gardens and beautiful interiors.
Despite its name, the impressive dwelling isn’t technically a castle but instead is a large Georgian country home.
It was built in the 18th century for an Irish noble family, but was purchased by the British government in 1922 and now is the official Irish royal residence.
Scotland always held a special place in the late Queen's heart – and it's the same for her son King Charles.
One of his most cherished residences is Birkhall, part of the Royal Family's Balmoral estate, which he inherited when his grandmother the Queen Mother died in 2002.
The property is so close to his heart that he chose it for his and Camilla's honeymoon destination after their wedding in 2005.
The huge house, originally built by the Farquharson clan in 1715, sits on 53,000 acres and has been extended several times by the Royal Family.
It first came into their possession in 1852 when Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, bought it as a gift for his son, the future King Edward VII.
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