With the official birthdays of The Queen and Prince Philip taking place over the weekend, we at Door2Tour thought we'd keep the flag of patriotism flying by taking a look at some of the many Palaces and Houses across the UK that have been home to a variety of Monarchs throughout the years. Take a look at our helpful guide below and if you've visited any on a Door2Tour coach holiday
, do let us know what they are like…
This is the much-loved country retreat of The Queen and has been the private home of four generations of British Monarchs since 1862. Sandringham is possibly one of the most famous stately homes in Norfolk and is surrounded by stunning gardens and woodland, some of which is open to the public to view every day of the year. The Gardens were open to the public by King Edward VII in 1908 and the Museum by King George V in 1930. It was only in 1977, the Queen's Silver Jubilee, that Sandringham House was available for the public to view. You'll find extraordinary collections of Royal vehicles, rare ceramics, photographs and memorabilia in the Museum. There is plenty to see and do around the Estate that you'll need a good four hours or more to fit it all in!
No Isle of Wight coach holiday
would be complete without a trip to explore Osborne House, the seaside palace where Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their nine children lived. Let Osborne House transport you back in time where you can experience family life the Victorian way by taking a tour of the Nursery and private rooms of Victoria and Albert. Marvel at the magnificence of the Royal Apartments that include the Drawing and Dining Rooms. If the British weather behaves itself and you are lucky enough to experience a rain-free day, take time to explore the extensive grounds and see if you can find the miniature Swiss Cottage that was built to teach Queen Victoria's children the art of household management.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Located in Edinburgh, at the end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of The Queen for when she is visiting Scotland
. It was once a Monastery in 1128 and was also home to Mary, Queen of Scots between 1561 and 1567. King George V and Queen Mary held the first garden party in the grounds of Holyroodhouse, a tradition that is maintained even now. Today the Palace is used for many State Ceremonies and official entertaining. When the Queen is visiting Scotland during Holyrood Week (end of June to the start of July), she will carry out a wide range of official duties as well as entertaining around 8,000 guests.
Since 1837, Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain's Sovereigns and remains the administrative headquarters of the Monarch today. There are 775 rooms at Buckingham Palace including: 19 State Rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms and 92 offices. The State Rooms are open to visitors every year during the summer months. The Palace is used as a venue for Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, all of which are carried out by the Royal Family.
This fine Royal home is located on The Mall in London and is attached to St James's Palace. It was built between 1825 and 1827 for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence who lived there as King William IV from 1830 until 1837. Most will recognise Clarence House as being the home of The Queen Mother from 1953 until 2002 but many may not know that Princess Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh also lived here temporarily following their marriage in 1947. Nowadays, Clarence House is the official residence for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Members of the public are able to visit Clarence House during the summer months each year where you can enjoy a guided tour of the five rooms and adjoining spaces on the ground floor. Did you know that Clarence House is the last remaining great London house to be maintained in the purpose for which it was built?
St James's Palace
This is the senior Palace of the Sovereign and has a long history as a Royal Residence, being home for several members of the Royal Family throughout the years. Presently, the Palace contains the London residences of the Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal and Princess Alexandria. The State Apartments at St James's Palace are sometimes used for entertaining during in-coming State Visits as well as other ceremonial and formal occasions. The Royal Family tend to host receptions for a number of charities adding up to 100 in a year. Unfortunately, St James's Palace is not open to the public.
This was a favourite residence of Sovereigns until 1760. Kensington Palace was also the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. It was also the former home of Princess Margaret, Diana, Princess of Wales and Princess Alice. Many members of the Royal Family now live in Kensington Palace including The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. The newly transformed Kensington Palace has undergone a two-year £12 million refurbishment with new gardens, shops, café and terrace for visitors to explore. Historic parts of the Palace are open to the Public.
Have you visited any of the palaces mentioned above? If so, what would you consider to be the best parts of your trip and do you have any tips for the first-time visitor?