Royal Residences: 7 Stunning Properties That the British Royal Family Lives in
From Buckingham Palace to Sandringham House, here are the royal abodes that Queen Elizabeth II and other prominent members of the British monarchy currently reside in
As part of the British monarchy, the royal family has plenty of estates and properties to their name. These abodes are spread across the United Kingdom (UK), and many of them serve as official royal residences to the family.
Whether it's a Crown-owned castle or a privately-owned estate, these palatial properties are both stunning and historically significant. Here, we explore some of the most popular living quarters that members of the British monarchy currently reside in.
One of the most iconic landmarks of the UK, Buckingham Palace is the official residence and headquarters for the monarch Photo: DEA/W.BUSS/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II receiving military guests in the great room at Buckingham Palace in 2020 Image: Courtesy of The Royal Family/@theroyalfamily
The official royal residence and administrative headquarters of Queen Elizabeth II since her crowning in 1953, Buckingham Palace is an iconic landmark and one of the most well-known abodes of the monarchy. The building contains 775 rooms, which includes 19 staterooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
Prior to the pandemic, the queen spent most of her weekdays living within her private quarters within the palace. Whenever the sovereign is at home, her royal flag is flown above the palace. Buckingham Palace is also the official London residence of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, as well as Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, the queen has been living in Windsor Castle as part of quarantine measures. The castle is also where the late Prince Philip spent his last days and where he is currently buried.
The queen, who is 95 years old this year, is currently residing in the castle and will do so for the foreseeable future, with some of her recent public appearances scheduled within the estate; she recently received Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, at the estate this month and in June, she welcomed American president Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden to Windsor Castle during their stay in the UK for the G7 Summit.
Before the pandemic, Windsor Castle is noted to be the official country residence of the monarch and is known to be her favoured weekend home. A mix between a fortification, palace grounds and a small town, the current castle layout was reconstructed after a fire in 1992. The residence is the largest occupied castle in the world and boasts over 1,000 rooms spread across 484,000sqft. Within the castle walls also lies the 15th-century St George's Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle held their wedding in 2018.
St. James’s Palace
As the oldest royal estate in the UK, the St. James's Palace served as the principal residence of the monarch until Queen Victoria’s reign, when the monarch moved to Buckingham Palace in 1837. It continues to be an important setting for significant royal events, and is where the British monarchy continue to host charitable events associated to members of the royal family.
The Council Chamber within St James's Palace is also the location where Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, snapped their official engagement photograph.
First constructed during King Henry VIII's reign in the 1530s, the palace is currently the royal residence of Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, whom she married in July last year. The large estate is also the residence and office for Princess Alexandra as well as the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, whenever they are in London.
Sandringham House is one of the two private homes owned by the queen, with the other being Balmoral Castle. It is her private family property that she inherited from her father, King George VI, upon his death. The house is listed as a Grade 2-star property in the UK, a category given to important buildings in the country that have strong historical and architectural significance.
The country house is where the queen’s father and her grandfather, King George V, died. The monarch often spends the anniversary of her father’s death as well as Christmas in the estate. Mainly constructed out of red brick with limestone dressings, the notable facade of the main house is distinctive even when viewed from afar.
The official London residence of Prince Charles and his wife Camillia, Duchess of Cornwall, Clarence House is a four-storey building attached to St James's Palace. The house was also the official residence of Prince William and Prince Harry until their marriages in 2011 and 2018 respectively.
With over two centuries of history, Clarence House has been repeatedly refurbished and remodelled to suit its occupants’ tastes. When Prince Charles moved into the residence in 2002, he introduced new colour schemes to most rooms whilst adding new textiles and art pieces from the Royal Collection and his personal art collection.
This four-storey residence contains 20 rooms and underwent extensive renovations before the royal couple moved in. Apartment 8, which belonged to Prince William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, currently serves as the official office for the couple and their staff. The Kensington Palace is also home to Prince Richard and Prince Michael and their families.
South of Windsor Castle lies Frogmore Cottage. First constructed in 1801, the estate notably served as the home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they were living in the UK. Prior to the couple stepping down from their royal duties and moving to America, the residence underwent extensive renovations and was converted into a four-bedroom property with a nursery for their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
After the family moved out, Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, moved in at the end of 2020 in anticipation of the birth of her child. After a brief stay, the couple and their newborn child have recently moved out and into Princess Eugenie's childhood home, the Royal Lodge in Windsor.