From Buckingham Palace to Frogmore House: 12 Extravagant Estates That the Royal Family Calls Home
The British royal family is known for their extravagant estates, from Buckingham Palace to Balmoral Castle—and even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s former residence, Frogmore Cottage, has gotten press since the couple’s Netflix special. With King Charles III’s impending coronation on May 6, just how many homes does the monarchy have? Well, since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, King Charles III now oversees the late monarch’s $42 billion portfolio of assets, reports Forbes, including jewels, art, and the Ascot Racecourse and golf courses. A huge chunk of that massive sum includes a $25 billion real-estate portfolio, which encompasses seven palaces, 10 castles, 12 homes, 56 cottages, and 14 ancient ruins throughout the U.K., Ireland, and Romania. There are many lesser-known residences that the royals own, too, like sprawling estates and modest, tucked-away country retreats. Read on to discover 12 of the most extravagant royal residences—and their estimated values.
The most iconic and important piece of royal real estate is London’s Buckingham Palace, said to be worth an estimated $4.9 billion. One of the world’s most-visited tourist attractions, the famed property has been the official residence of the monarch since 1837. The neoclassical-style palace has a whopping 775 rooms, including 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, and 19 state rooms. It also functions as the monarchy’s administrative headquarters.
Located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Balmoral Castle was Queen Elizabeth’s favorite summer home, and also where she ultimately passed in September 2022. Prince Albert purchased the castle for Queen Victoria in 1952, and it became a go-to summer home for the royal family and the location of the annual royal summer party known as the Ghillies Ball. Spread over 50,000 acres, the estate has 150 buildings and a tried-and-true Scottish design of plaid wallcoverings, ornately carved wooden cabinets, and tartan decor.
The former official residence of Prince William and Kate until the Queen’s passing, Kensington Palace in London has been owned by the British family since 1698 and was the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. Many famous royals have lived here, including Princess Diana during her marriage to the now-King Charles. According to Forbes, it’s said to be worth an estimated $630 million. There are 547 rooms in total, but William and Kate resided in Apartment 1A within the palace—a residence with four floors and 20 rooms. According to the royal family’s official website, other royal residents have included the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent (who live in the palace’s Wren House), the Prince and Princess of Kent, and Princess Eugenie and her husband (who now reside in the palace’s Nottingham Cottage, also Prince Harry and Markle’s first home).
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, located in the English county of Berkshire 25 miles west of Central London. Since their move from Kensington Palace, William and Kate have resided in Windsor Home Park’s Adelaide Cottage, which is about a 10-minute walk from Windsor Castle. Worth an estimated $743 million, the famed site can be visited by the public throughout the year.
The Georgian-style Sandringham Estate was one of Queen Elizabeth’s favored homes and where she held the royal family’s annual Christmas celebration. It now is the private country retreat for King Charles and Camilla. Built in 1771, the Grade II–listed mansion is situated on 20,000 acres of land, 350 of which is a public park. The grand estate has belonged to the British monarchy since 1862, when Queen Victoria bought it as a gift for her son and heir, Prince Albert Edward of Wales. William and Kate also have a home on the property, called Anmer Hall, which they intend to keep.
The Crown has owned Frogmore House, located in Windsor, England, since 1792. The house is currently unoccupied but is the site of many private and office events. The more well-known Frogmore residence may be Frogmore Cottage, the former home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, that shares the same grounds as Frogmore House. Frogmore Cottage was built in 1801 when Queen Charlotte reigned.
St. James’s Palace
St. James’s Palace in London was the official residence of the monarchs for 300 years until the reign of Queen Victoria. It still holds an important role today; it’s where the Garter King of Arms announces the accession of the new monarch. It’s also where Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Alexandra reside when they’re in London. More than 100 charity receptions for charities associated with the royal family are held here annually. According to Forbes, it’s worth roughly 700 million.
Before the accession, King Charles and Camilla lived in London’s Clarence House. It was built between 1825 and 1827, and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip even resided here after they got married in 1947. The Queen Mother also lived here for nearly five decades, and Prince William and Prince Harry briefly stayed here before moving to Kensington Palace. Said to be worth $72 million, the Regency-style house was built by architect John Nash.
King Charles purchased this nine-bedroom Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, England, with his then-wife, the late Princess Diana, in 1980. They renovated the Neoclassical Georgian mansion into a fitting country retreat, as well as planted gardens with rare trees and plants. King Charles spent a day of reflection here after the death of the Queen, and it is now one of his private residences with Camilla, according to the website.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
The $83 million Palace of Holyroodhouse is King Charles’s official residence when he goes to Edinburgh, Scotland, for official royal engagements. There are 14 apartments within the residence, but it is also open to the public year-round. It was originally built in 1503 by King James IV and is probably best known as the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Small but mighty, the Kew Palace on the banks of the River Thames was once the home of Queen Caroline and George II in the 1720s and later George III and Queen Charlotte. It’s the smallest of all the royal palaces, but still said to be worth $70 million. The grounds feature magnificent gardens, royal kitchens that depict Georgian life in the early 1800s, and Queen Charlotte’s rustic cottage.
This Grade II–listed home 3.2 miles south of Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England, has had much chattered surrounding it as of late: King Charles has asked his brother Prince Andrew, Duke of York, to vacate the Royal Lodge, his residence of more than 20 years. Though Charles reportedly offered Prince Andrew Frogmore Cottage, the former senior royal is refusing to downsize.