The British Royal Family's Favourite Holiday Destinations
From the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's favourite beach getaway to Queen Elizabeth's yearly Christmas retreat, we round up the British royal family's favourite vacation spots
Like all of us, royals need vacations too. And while they spend most of their time travelling for royal tours and diplomatic visits, nothing beats a private holiday with their family, away from the spotlight.
As the holiday season draws near, we take a look at the British royal family’s favourite destinations—including Norfolk, England, where Queen Elizabeth will soon be heading to spend Christmas with her family this year.
Mustique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
An exclusive 1400-acre island, Mustique is part of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. Secluded and private, the island is a favoured vacation spot for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who took a two-week family holiday at the isle’s Villa Antilles just this summer, joined by Kate Middleton’s parents. The Cambridges are also not the only royal guests Mustique has hosted. The late Princess Margaret owned a villa on the island called Les Jolies Eaux, where she spent her honeymoon. The holiday home is now available for rent as part of Mustique’s villa collection.
Other accommodations come in the form of The Cotton House Hotel, a former cotton warehouse refurbished by Parisian architect Tristan Auer. Guests on Mustique can look forward to activities like water sports, horse-riding, golf, spa, and more.
Botswana is a place close to Prince Harry’s heart. The Duke of Sussex is known to take his holidays to the country, which is famous for being the place where he and Meghan Markle fell in love. The royal had also recently visited the country as part of his Africa tour, where he shared about his deep connection for the place, which helped him cope with his grief after Princess Diana’s death. Largely dominated by the Kalahari Desert, other famous landmarks in Botswana include the Okavango Delta—one of the world’s largest inland deltas—and the Makgadikgadi Pan.
The country boasts a thriving diversity of wildlife in its grasslands and savannas, such as the African wild dog, African elephant and blue wildebeest. It also offers several luxury safari lodges and camps for vacationers to enjoy their holiday amidst unspoiled nature.
Aberdeenshire in the north-east coast of Scotland offers beautiful coastlines, seaside towns, rivers, and ancient castles. Home to the Balmoral Castle, this is where Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh spend their summer holidays, every year, joined by members of the royal family. This year, the Cambridges were spotted spending the weekend at Balmoral, while Prince Charles and Camilla joined the Queen on her Sunday church service. When in the countryside, Queen Elizabeth reportedly enjoys having picnics in a log cabin on the estate, as well as fish and chips from a restaurant in the nearby Ballater city (she sends someone to order it to-go).
The British royals are known to be avid skiers, heading to the Alps for their winter holidays. While Courchevel, France and Verbier, Switzerland are popular destinations for ski vacations, Prince Charles has a preference for the discreet luxe resort of Klosters in Switzerland. The royal was known to take the late Princess Diana and his sons William and Harry on holidays there.
He’s such a famous guest that there’s a cable car named in his honour! Combining world-class skiing with an understatedly luxurious collection of restaurants, chalets and hotels, the unassuming mountain village is also a favourite amongst A-list celebrities, politicians, and billionaires.
A long-standing tradition, Queen Elizabeth has spent every Christmas at her Sandringham estate since 1952, and younger members of the royal family travel to the Norfolk residence every year to celebrate the festive season together. On Christmas Day, the royals enjoy a hearty breakfast before accompanying the Queen to church service at the parish church of St Mary Magdalene on Sandringham’s grounds, a monument that dates back to the 16th century.
The 8,000-hectare estate is also known for its glorious gardens, a beautiful country park, and the Royal Stud which houses the royal horses. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been living at the Wood Farm on the estate since his retirement in 2017.