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Ten of the UK

Ten of the UK's top royal residences

Julie Smith 20 July 2021

The UK is home to an assortment of fantastic royal residences that range from Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Her Majesty The Queen, to Sandringham House in Norfolk which is where the royal family will typically spend Christmas.

We have compiled the top ten royal residences of The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William and compared them on things such as popularity, history, estimated value and admission costs to see which ones would win in a classic game of top trumps.

Each residence has its strengths and weaknesses so tactical play is essential but as you would probably expect Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are the best cards to hold in your deck!

Pick your royal residence cards

For things like popularity (which is based on Google searches), admission fee and estimated value you are looking for the highest number to win the round. For the history category the oldest property takes the round so you’re looking for the lowest number to claim victory. 

The Queen

Royal residences - Buckhingham PalaceRoyal residences - Windsor CastleRoyal residences - Sandringham House
Royal residences - Balmoral CastleRoyal residences - Holyrood HouseRoyal residences - Hillsborough Castle
  • Buckingham Palace - the official London residence of the Queen and the administrative headquarters for the UK Monarchy
  • Windsor Castle - the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and is the place where the Queen spends weekends and time over Easter
  • Sandringham House - the private Norfolk home of Her Majesty and the place where the royal family typically spend Christmas
  • Balmoral Castle - the Scottish holiday home of the royal family and typically where the Queen will spend the summer
  • Holyroodhouse - located at the end of Edinburgh's royal mile the Queen will usually spend a week here during July  
  • Hillsborough Castle - the official Northern Ireland residence of the queen and a royal palace since 1925

Prince Charles


  • Clarence House - the official London residence of the Prince of Wales and previously the home of the Queen Mother
  • Highgrove House - a private country residence of Prince Charles since 1980 and known for its wonderful sprawling gardens

Prince William


  • Kensington Palace - this grand palace is home to various royal apartments including 1A which is the London home of Prince William
  • Anmer Hall - this country home of Prince William was a wedding gift from the Queen and is located on the Sandringham Estate

Which royal palace reigns supreme as the UK's top royal residence?

While creating the colourful card designs we have also pored over the data to find the UK's overall top royal residence across 8 different categories. Buckingham Palace came out on top as the overall winner but Norfolk's Sandringham House also performed well and was the top ranked royal residence outside of London. The results in full are:

  1. Buckingham Palace
  2. Windsor Castle
  3. Kensington Palace
  4. Sandringham House
  5. Balmoral Castle
  6. Highgrove
  7. Clarence House
  8. Holyroodhouse
  9. Anmer Hall
  10. Hillsborough Castle

During our research we  discovered that Buckingham Palace is the most Instagrammable royal residence with more than 1.3 million hashtags and Windsor Castle is the place where The Queen spends the most average nights each year!

Other key facts from the study:

  • Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle jointly receive the most Google searches
  • Highgrove is the royal residence with the highest admission fee
  • Windsor Castle is the oldest inhabited castle in the world

Choose your own royal favourite

Sandringham House in Norfolk

Many of these palaces and private royal residences are open to the public on selected dates during the year so you can visit them for yourself and pick a favourite. Kett Country Cottages are the booking agents for a range of Norfolk cottages and our own personal favourite is of course Sandringham House where you can see how the royal family spends their Christmas.




Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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