Top 6 royal childhood residences

As the nations gets ready to celebrate a royal gig 70 years in the making, let’s look back at some of the Queen’s favourite retreats and the places the Royal Family have called home. Open to the public, these historic homes make ideal day trips for royal buffs everywhere. Visit in June and you’ll find them come alive with celebrations as they wave the flag for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

1. Kensington Palace, London

Kensington Palace

Closely associated with the late Diana Princess of Wales, Kensington Palace is now the home of her grandchildren Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte. Enjoy the intimate gardens surrounding the palace, and allow your inner child to be in awe of the arched tree walk, ornamental pond and gorgeous fountains.   

Explore the Royal Family through photography and imagery with Life Through the Royal Lens exhibition. Journey back 200 years with 19th century family portraits from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to never seen before imagery of Diana Princess of Wales. Life Through the Royal Lens runs until the end of October.

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Kensington Palace

2. Sandringham Estate, Norfolk

The Queen’s favourite retreat was also the birthplace of late Princess Diana born in a cottage on the estate. Tour the impressive gardens, tuck into local ingredients with an afternoon tea at the Stables Tearoom, and pop into the museum to see artefacts from Sandringham’s history. Visit during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and enjoy some alfresco dining at a picturesque spot of your choosing with a Platinum Picnic in the Park. Sandringham is only open to the public from April to November so book your tour well in advance.

Head into the Ballroom at Sandringham House for a showcase of the Queen’s love for the countryside retreat. See an audio-visual of the very first televised Christmas Day speech broadcast in 1957, recorded in Sandringham by Queen Elizabeth II. The exhibition will be at the Estate until mid-October.

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Sandringham Estate

3. Buckingham Palace, London

Buckingham Palace

Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were both born at the most well-known royal residence on our list, Buckingham Palace. Notices of Royal births and deaths are still attached to the railings for the public to read, even though you’ll probably get the news on Facebook or Twitter first! Expect a whole host of festivities during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, from military parades and an RAF Red Arrow flyover with Trooping the Colour, to some pomp and pageantry with artistic performers, musicians and dancers for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

Marvel at the grandeur of the Gold State Coach carriage at the Royal Mews this summer - used at every royal coronation since 1812. Or discover Her Majesty’s glimmering jewellery and infamous portraits whilst touring the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace. All are on display until the beginning of October.

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Buckingham Palace

4. Glamis Castle, Angus

With a history dating back to 1034, Glamis Castle has a rich royal legacy. The former childhood home of the Queen is also where her mother, the late Queen Mother and her sister, the late Princess Margaret, were born. Learn about the castle’s lengthy history with a guided tour of the castle or enjoy one of the many nature walks around the grounds.

For a unique experience, try a Forest Bathing session within the Estate – hear from the Head Forester as you relax in the calm of the trees and nature.

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Glamis Castle

5. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

Queen of Scots’ only child, King James VI. See the Scottish crown jewels worn by Mary and James when they were both wee bairns. James was crowned at 13-months-old while Mary was crowned when she was just 9-months-old!

Wander further down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and you’ll find the Palace of Holyroodhouse displaying The Queen’s previous Jubilee get-ups, from her pink silk dress to her glamourous gold outfit.

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Edinburgh Castle

6. Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire

Go further back in history and explore Pembroke Castle, the birthplace of King Henry VII, the first Tudor king. There’s plenty to keep you busy at Pembroke including exhibitions depicting life in medieval times. Wogan Cavern situated beneath the palace is well worth a visit as it's home to special residents of a different sort, pipistrelle bats!

Visit during the Platinum Jubilee for a weekend of celebrations – pick up a delicious Platinum Pudding, enjoy live music and fairground stalls.

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Pembroke Castle

You are encouraged to always check individual websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.

11 May 2022(last updated)