Sure, there might be downsides to being a royal — just ask Prince Harry — but consider how and where they get to live. Royals have access to a multitude of huge homes with countless luxurious trappings, the sort of places most normal people would be afraid to even sneeze in. Let’s take a look at the modern-day royal palaces and mansions and dream about what it must be like to live in one of them.
Where do Kate and William live?
Prince William will be King one day, so you’d better believe he and his family live in a nice house. Wrong!
They live in two nice houses. One residence, the one nearer to the royal childrens’ school, is Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. The other one is an actual palace: Kensington Palace in London. It has a lot of royal history attached to it.
The Sunken Garden
One of the palace’s features that must be very important to William now is the Sunken Garden. This was one of the favorite places of his late mother, Princess Diana: as of 2021 it holds a statue of her as well as a variety of her favorite flowers.
It’s open to the public, so fans of the late princess can go and remember her there if they wish.
The Kensington Gardens
The Diana statue isn’t the only thing people can visit in the Kensington Palace Gardens, which actually spans 270 acres. Monarchs have added their own bits to it as they’ve come and gone over the centuries.
Perhaps Catherine, Princess of Wales — usually just Kate — her hubby William, or indeed another future King, Prince George will also leave their marks on it in the future?
What about inside the house itself? Obviously members of the public aren’t allowed to actually visit William and Kate’s home, but we know some details about what the royals have in there.
Their part of the palace reportedly has four floors in all; it boasts no fewer than 20 rooms, including a gymnasium, five reception rooms, and two nurseries.
Let’s list all King Charles III’s homes
When you’re King, you’re expected to have multiple places of residence. What’s the alternative, stay in a hotel sometimes?
Pfft. One of King Charles III’s many homes is the beautiful Clarence House in London, a mansion that dates back to the 19th century and has housed many high-up royals over the course of its history.
History of Clarence House
Charles and Queen Consort Camilla have actually lived in Clarence House since 2003; prior to that Charles’ beloved grandma the Queen Mother lived there. And before that, it was actually the home of her daughter and Charles’ mother, the future Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles’ sister Princess Anne was even born there. So you can definitely see why the couple consider the place a home.
Inside Clarence House
Believe it or not, Clarence House is actually small compared to some other royal residences. It only has — shock horror — five bedrooms!
But it’s also packed with displays showing off fine pieces of art and irreplaceable antiques that Charles likes. And the actual building is worth $72 million according to Forbes magazine, making it a house truly fit for a King.
Charles’ desire to keep Clarence House as his “main” residence, even though he could move into Buckingham Palace now, is well-known. A country house expert named Jeremy Musson told Architectural Digest magazine in the days following the Elizabeth’s death, “The King absolutely loves [Clarence House]."
"I suspect that Buckingham Palace might be more economically used mostly for official functions and perhaps even more of it will be opened to the public, especially since the King is a stickler for streamlining the monarchy.”
Highgrove House in the Cotswolds is Charles and Camilla’s country home. It’s bigger than Clarence House, boasting a reported nine bedrooms and six bathrooms, and it’s also home to a passion project of the King’s.
Charles put a lot of work into creating organic gardens around the property, getting started back in 1980; they look spectacular today.
As for the interior, back in 1981 it was designed by Dudley Poplak, the same man who did up Kensington Palace for Charles and Diana. But after the couple divorced Charles had famed interior decorator Robert KIme refurbish the place.
And over the years the future monarch also added environmentally friendly solar panels and a sewage filter to Highgrove.
Secrets of Highgrove
The inside of Highgrove doesn’t appear to be as ostentatious as some of the other royal properties. Kime wanted it to look comfortable and modest, and it is.
But, it has some amenities that could only belong to royals. Reportedly Highgrove hides a state-of-the-art panic room that contains, among other things, vials of blood and a fully stocked armory.
Despite this dedication to security, normal people are still allowed to wander around the Highgrove gardens near the house and take in the lovely views there.
They can also drop into a tea room or a gift shop, and all the money spent there ends up going to a charitable fund that supports sports, arts and, of course, the natural world.
The most famous palace of them all
Now that Charles is King he has the option of moving into what’s arguably the most famous working palace in the world: Buckingham Palace. But it’s currently undergoing very expensive refurbishments that most likely won’t be finished until 2027.
After that, though, Charles will have to decide how to best use the space.
Turning down Buckingham Palace
As noted above, rumor has it Charles doesn’t actually want to live there. Two months before the coronation an anonymous insider told The Sunday Times newspaper, “He doesn’t see it as a viable future home or a house that’s fit for purpose in the modern world."
"He feels that its upkeep, both from a cost and environmental perspective, is not sustainable.”
Opening up the space
So the new King might end up turning it into a sort of public palace instead, with people able to go inside and admire all its splendor. That would probably be a popular move!
After all, the interiors of Buckingham Palace are famously beautiful, not to mention spacious. There are a whopping 775 rooms in the building!
The rooms are packed full of artworks and mementos of royals past. Want to see the chairs Elizabeth used for her 1953 coronation?
One is in the Throne Room and one in the Garter Throne Room: yep, there are two throne rooms. Or perhaps you’d like to see a famous wooden floor that features the monogramcontains the cypher of King George IV? You’ll want the Music Room for that.
The future of Buckingham Palace
It’s hard to believe that a monarch wouldn’t want to live in Buckingham Palace, but most people would probably agree Charles has a point about the amount of upkeep the place needs. Plus, not everyone likes there being gold and marble everywhere they look!
Perhaps in the future it’ll serve as a sort of vast museum that anyone can visit if they wish to learn about the royals.
Where does Prince Andrew live?
Prince Andrew may be disgraced now and not a working royal any more, but he still lives in a royal property. He and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York — a.k.a.
Sarah Ferguson or just “Fergie” — actually live together in the million-dollar Royal Lodge at Windsor. These days you’ll never know if Andrew’s there or not, though, because after his downfall the flagpole that used to bear his flag was removed.
The Royal Lodge controversy
The Royal Lodge has a lot of royal family history attached to it. Back in 2002 it was the place the Queen Mother died in; that’s something she probably would have been pleased about, since it was a favorite residence of hers.
Now though, it’s getting a new and less-poignant chapter added to its story. Reportedly, Charles is trying to throw Andrew and Fergie out of there, although they absolutely do not want to leave.
Loss of status
According to a source who spoke to newspaper The Independent in February 2023, Fergie was determined to raise the money needed to stay in the lodge.
The anonymous person said, “She and the girls [Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie] want to do all they can to keep Andrew where he is, as it is seen as a significant loss of status for him to lose his home.”
Elizabeth’s childhood home
The Royal Lodge was also once a childhood home of Elizabeth, where she and her family reportedly enjoyed a more informal and carefree life than they got in the royal palaces.
Maybe that’s why Prince Andrew wants to keep it so badly — although the 30 rooms and indoor swimming pool probably factor in as well.
Where does Princess Eugenie live?
Andrew and Fergie’s daughter Eugenie lives near them in another Windsor property, Frogmore Cottage. And if you’re wondering, yes, it is called that because lots of frogs come with the place!
Queen Victoria wrote of the “immense number of little frogs” at the cottage in her diary on June 28, 1875. The famously unamused Queen called them “quite disgusting.”
Eugenie has turned the place into a family home now that she’s a mother. And fans of the princess got an exciting glimpse of what she’d done thanks to a photograph from her initiative The Anti-Slavery Collective.
In the background of the photo a little bit of Eugenie’s home decor was visible, including a cushion dedicated to her baby son, August.
But before Eugenie and her family moved in, Frogmore Cottage was the residence of Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. And they had to leave under dramatic circumstances.
According to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Charles asked them to vacate the property just after Harry’s tell-all book Spare came out.
Where does Prince Edward live?
The youngest brother of Charles lives with his family at one of the most massive royal residences of them all, Bagshot Park. It’s not as well-known as some of the other royal-owned mansions, but it’s absolutely stunning all the same.
The Grade II-listed building has 120 rooms, plus there’s a private lake and plenty of stables for the horses.
Closed to the public
Unlike, say, Buckingham Palace, you can’t go inside Bagshot Park. It’s a private residence and there’s no way a regular person can get into the estate to take photos, alas.
But thanks to on-camera appearances that Edward and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh have made over the years, we do have some clues as to what the house looks like on the inside.
Edward once demonstrated what a small part of the house looked like while on a recorded Zoom call to open the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol. There was a very big bookcase behind him and it was packed with not only books, but also photographs and what appeared to be a few childrens’ toys.
There was also a horse model on there: all the royal family love horses.
Inside Bagshot Park
And Sophie has also done some interviews from the house and let us all know how it’s decorated. An BBC interview she gave back in 2021 shows us a clean white room with a green carpet and accents of green to match.
There were some ornate gold-and-white lamps positioned on sideboards, and an antique-looking clock by her side.
Where does Princess Anne live?
Anne and her daughter Zara Tindall live with their respective husbands at a place called Gatcombe Park. And guess what else happens there?
If you guessed horse-riding, you are correct! The famously horse-mad branch of the royal family holds the Festival of British Eventing every year at their estate every August, and other smaller horse events during the rest of the year.
Inside Gatcombe Park
And there are horses inside, too! Well, sort of: if you look closely at this image of Zara’s husband Mike Tindall doing an interview from the house, you can see a framed picture behind him of what appears to be a building surrounded by jumping horses.
The other pictures are of dogs, possibly even some the royal family owned at one point.
Anne herself has likewise shown the world some of the pictures she keeps in her private residence. This shot from a 2016 interview shows some photographs of people behind Anne.
Perhaps they are lesser-seen shots of members of her family, maybe even her famous mother? She’s also got some expensive-looking ornaments on her shelves and a very well-stocked bookcase.