Inside luxurious royal homes from cottage treated to £2.4m refurb to castle that housed 500 staff & life-size doll house | The Sun

WITH his plans to slim down the monarchy, it's likely we'll see a shake-up of who gets to live at the lavish royal residences under King Charles III.

The monarch, 73, will decide which of the family's plush property portfolio will become his full-time home – and who will be allowed to reside in the rest.

Buckingham Palace has been the traditional headquarters of the Royal Family after being acquired by King Charles II in 1761 – but our new head of state is reportedly not a big fan.

Buckingham Palace, in Westminster, was where the late Queen held her annual Christmas broadcasts.

She filmed inside the Regency Room, 1844 Room and the grand White Drawing Room – where a gold piano decorated with oil-painted scenes and cherubs have been seen.

A grand ballroom, which is often opened up to the public, is the definition of opulence – decorated with red rose carpets, gold chandeliers and sprawling paintings.

Buckingham Palace was built by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and has 775 rooms, as well as the largest private garden in London.

The King, however, prefers Clarence House, his residence since 2003, over the vast Westminster estate, which may be used as an 'office' and venue for hosting royal functions going forward.

Each of the luxurious abodes is certainly fit for a King, a prince or a princess – but what are they like inside?

We reveal the exquisite details that set them apart and recap their royal history.

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Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is currently home to Prince William and Kate MiddletonCredit: Corbis – Getty
The royal couple hosted the Obamas in 2016Credit: Getty – Pool
The King's Gallery boasts a stunning painted ceiling and portraits dating back to the 16th CenturyCredit: Rex Features

The nation was given a sneak peek inside Kensington Palace when the Prince and Princess of Wales hosted the Obamas back in 2016.

The royal residence in west London is fitted with cream carpets, floral cushions and elegant fittings including white gold-framed paintings.

Lamps and candles illuminate the living room and Prince George's adorable rocking chair helped to give it a warm feel.

Months of renovations took place at Apartment 1A before the parents-of-three moved in – including knocking through walls to reduce the room count from 30 to 20.

Kensington Palace was bought by the royals for £20,000 in 1689.

One notable room, the King's Gallery, has stunning painted ceilings, rose-red walls and Italian portraits from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Prince and Princess of Wales now use the residence for business, having recently relocated to Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate.

It's not known if, since the Queen's passing, they'll chose to stay there, but Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis started school nearby earlier this month.

Adelaide Cottage

This four-bedroom property was built in 1831, situated on the 655-acre Windsor estate.

The plush property was originally a retreat for Queen Adelaide, the wife of King William IV.

Unlike Frogmore Cottage, it will need no further tax-payer funding for renovations, security or live-in staff.

Adelaide Cottage was modernised in 2015 but retained a golden dolphin and ceiling rope decorations that were recycled from a 19th Century royal yacht.

It has been described as “chastely elegant” and has “a delightful shade at all hours of the day” that will be enjoyed by the Wales’ children.

The home was described as modest and lowkey, with little changing since its erection 200 years ago – and it seems the family are determined to keep it that way. 

Frogmore Cottage

Frogmore Cottage in Windsor was given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as a gift from our late Queen in 2019.

The five-bedroom property underwent a "substantial overhaul", which cost the taxpayer £2.4m, before they moved in. The couple are said to have paid back the money when they moved to California.

It needed new heating, wiring and utilities but according to reports, The Sussexes also kitted it out with some lush features.

The home's believed to include a £4,000 outdoor seating and BBQ area, a baby-friendly yoga studio and a 'gender neutral' grey nursery.

Frogmore Cottage was built by Queen Charlotte for her daughters in the early 1800s.

Harry and Meghan now reside in a plush $14m Montecito mansion.

The Little Cottage

While normal children are given a dolls house to play, the late Queen received a life-size plush playhouse for her sixth birthday.

The structure, which is in the grounds of Prince Andrew's house, Royal Lodge in Windsor, was named Y Bythyn Bach – meaning The Little Cottage.

It was fitted with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom that had hot running water, electricity and a heated towel rail.

Our late Queen had stacks of Beatrix Potter books inside, a mini radio and a tea set to entertain her sister Princess Margaret, who died in 2002.

Highgrove House

Highgrove House is a Georgian Manor based in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

It boasts 347 acres, nine bedrooms and six bathrooms – as well as a nursery wing and quarters for staff.

The estate was bought by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1980 and was remodelled for King Charles III.

While Prince William and Harry were growing up they spent a lot of time there before Princess Diana died.

Now the property is used as a country retreat for King Charles and The Queen Consort, Camilla.

Clarence House

This is believed to be the favoured home of King Charles, who has lived there for 19 years.

Royal fans were given an insight into the interiors of Clarence House back in 2018 when Prince Louis was christened.

A gold-line Chippendale-style sofa, a bronze patterned Axminster rugand portraits of the late Queen could be seen in official photos.

The royal residence has four-storeys – not including the attic or basement – and was previously the home of the Queen Mother and Prince William before he married in 2011.

Balmoral Castle

It was the late Queen's favourite residence and the place where she passed away on September 8.

Set among the mountains and lochs, Balmoral Castle was a stark contrast from the royal's official residence in London.

She once described her Scottish retreat as "a paradise in the Highlands" – and under King Charles could be turned into a museum in tribute to Her Majesty.

The property is comprised of two main blocks and a central courtyard, which also boasts an 80-foot clock tower with turrets.

It was originally purchased by Prince Albert in 1852 but was deemed too small for the Royal Family, so a new one was built on the grounds.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House, which sits on a 20,000 acre estate in Norfolk, was the late Queen's winter retreat.

She would stay there from Christmas until the anniversary of her father King George VI's death on February 6 each year.

It's mainly constructed of red brick with limestone dressings and has nine separated chimney stacks.

Notably, the property has a ballroom and saloon area where dances were held, a drawing room with stunning white marble statues, and a dining room that can comfortably seat 24 people.

Sandringham is considered small by comparison to other royal residences, and often gusts stay in the servants' quarters.

Windsor Castle

Built in the 11th Century, Windsor Castle is the largest-inhabited and longest-occupied castle in the world.

The Berkshire residence had around 500 people living and working there and may become the new home for William and Kate.

Photos from the Sussexes' wedding in 2018 revealed the impressive insides of one part of the property – the Green Drawing Room.

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It featured a grand mirrored fireplace, gold-plated doors, candlesticks, mirrors and blue-and-red patterned carpets.

The late Queen was very fond of the estate and spent much of her life there.

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