Royal residences the Queen and Royal Family own privately – including beloved Balmoral

Queen's Balmoral estate 'changed' to aid 'mobility' says expert

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Several of the Royal Family’s most iconic residences are owned by the Crown Estate, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. But there are several homes dotted around the UK that belong to the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William in a private capacity, many of which are closed to the public.


The Royal Family descends on Norfolk every winter for the Christmas period, and the main private royal residence is Sandringham House.

First purchased as a royal residence by King Edward VII when he was the Prince of Wales, Sandringham House has passed down the generations and has been beloved by many monarchs.

The Queen spends Christmas at Sandringham with other royals and leaves around February 6, the anniversary of her accession and her father King George VI’s death.

Located nearby to Sandringham House is Anmer Hall, the private family home of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

The Cambridges were gifted Anmer Hall by the Queen to mark their wedding in 2011, and they spend their free time there with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The family spent the first coronavirus lockdown at Anmer Hall, and were pictured clapping for carers outside the stunning mansion.

Built in the early 19th Century, Anmer Hall boasts a swimming pool and a tennis court, along with plenty of land to explore the great outdoors.


Princess Anne’s private residence of Gatcombe Park is located in Gloucestershire, and the estate is also home for her daughter Zara Tindall and her family.

Anne was gifted Gatcombe Park by the Queen in the 1970s, and nowadays it is a country residence she shares with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

Prince Charles’ main private residence, Highgrove House, is also located in Gloucestershire, although it is under the possession of his Duchy of Cornwall.

Charles is particularly proud of his gardens at Highgrove and they are open to the public to tour at certain points of the year.

Charles’ residence of Highgrove is a short drive from the private home of his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Ray Mill House was purchased by Camilla in the 1990s following her divorce from her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

The future Queen Consort has retained the home, and she is thought to enjoy escaping to Ray Mill every so often to read and enjoy time on her own.

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The Queen’s Balmoral Estate in Scotland is private property, and it was first purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 19th Century.

The Queen retreats to Scotland every summer to enjoy all the Highlands has to offer, and other royals visit her there.

The monarch’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie once said of the Queen’s affection for Scotland: “I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”

The nearby Birkhall Estate is Prince Charles and Camilla’s private Scottish residence, and it was inherited by Charles when the Queen Mother died in 2002.

Prince William also inherited the Tam-na-Ghar cottage in Scotland when his great-grandmother died, and it was said to be a favourite spot of his and Kate Middleton’s when they were students at St Andrew’s.

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