7 royal holiday homes loved by the Queen, Prince William and Kate, and more

The royals have the ultimate staycation retreats

The royal family are lucky enough to own several lavish residences across the UK, including their own private holiday homes that they visit during their downtime.

MORE: Where do the royals spend their summer holidays?

While the Queen spends summer at Balmoral Castle each year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge often like to travel further afield with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, with a go-to retreat in Mustique. Meanwhile, Prince Charles has several properties across the UK that are ideal for a summer staycation. Let's explore some of the most idyllic royal holiday homes…

Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Said to be one of Her Majesty's favourite places in the world, Balmoral Castle is where the Queen usually spends her summer break. Balmoral has long been a favourite retreat for the royal family, dating back to 1842, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited the Highlands. The magnificent estate, set amid mountains, lochs and glens, held a special place for Victoria, so much so that in 1852 her husband Albert bought it for her. The original house was deemed "small but pretty", which led to the commission of Balmoral Castle. Unlike other properties such as Buckingham Palace, it is privately owned.

RELATED: Inside the Queen's Scottish residence Balmoral Castle

Prince William and Kate Middleton's Mustique villa

Though not exclusively owned by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the pair are known to frequent Villa Antilles, a five-bedroom colonial style abode owned by Prince William's friend Andrew Dunn. According to The Sun, it costs a whopping £27,000 per week and boasts a 60ft infinity pool, private staff and stunning sea views out to the neighbouring islands of Bequia and Saint Vincent.

Craigowan Lodge, Balmoral Estate, Scotland

Craigowan Lodge is a seven-bedroom house located on the Balmoral estate, and is typically where the Queen stays for the first couple of weeks of her summer holiday, while the main castle is still open to the public.

MORE: The Queen closes doors to visitors as she spends first summer holiday alone

Birkhall, Balmoral Estate, Scotland

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also enjoy spending their summer holidays on the Balmoral estate, where they stay at their 18th century property, Birkhall. The Prince of Wales inherited Birkhall from his grandmother when she died in 2002, and he and Camilla even spent their honeymoon there in 2005, so no doubt have fond memories of the home. The royal couple stayed at the property for much of the coronavirus lockdown, after Prince Charles contracted COVID-19 in March 2020.

Castle of Mey, Caithness, Scotland

Prince Charles has a second Scottish retreat in Caithness on the north coast of Scotland. The Castle of Mey was bought by the Queen Mother in 1952 after the death of her husband, King George Vi, and was inherited by Charles after her death in 2002. The Queen Mother visited the castle every August and October until she was 101, while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed there in August 2018 with Prince Charles and Camilla. In May 2020, Prince Charles opened a new ten-bedroom bed and breakfast in the grounds of the castle, the Granary Lodge.

Llwynywermod in Llandovery, Wales

Llwynywermod Estate is the Welsh residence of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. The couple stay at the beautifully-restored farmhouse during their annual summer tour of Wales, and bought the residence in March 2007 following Charles' 40-year search for the perfect Welsh property. The two barn conversions on the grounds are available to rent when not in use by the royals.

RELATED: Inside Prince Charles and Camilla's private home in Wales

Sandringham House, Norfolk, England

Sandringham is the Queen's country estate, where she visits for the Christmas holidays each year. The house has been the private home to four generations of sovereigns since 1862, and was inherited by the Queen in 1952. Her Majesty travels to Sandringham shortly before Christmas, and stays there until February every year, after privately marking the anniversary of her father's death.

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