Almost as captivating as the kings and queens of the ages have been the royal residences that housed these regal and eminent monarchs and their families. 

Part of the very history of royal kingdoms around the world are stories of ancient castles and keeps, opulent palaces and vast imperial compounds. 

Many of the royal residences that still exist can trace a rich history back many generations, sometimes hundreds of years. 

But with all this history, where do the modern royals choose to make their home? 

The various monarchs of the world may be required to attend official events and ministerial duties at royal headquarters, but what about the weekend boltholes and hideaways they love to escape to? And how do these ancient homes with their traditional decor suit the tastes of today’s young royals? 

Here are some of the grand and luxurious homes of modern royals from the last century, along with the stories of their famous regal residents. 

Frogmore House

Frogmore House may have made headlines in recent years as the home of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, but this luxurious home has a rich history of royal residents. 

From Queen Charlotte in the late 18th century to the mother of Queen Victoria, the Duchess of Kent, along with Princess Helena and her husband Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, many royals of the last century have lived or spent a great deal of their time at this charming and picturesque royal residence. 

It was at times the former home of such eminent members of the British Royal Family as King George V, Queen Mary, King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, mother of the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Despite these regal past residents, it was due for renovations and upgrades to the luxurious and modern standards of contemporary royals before it would become the home of Prince Harry and his new family.  

With a royal home of such grand proportions, the renovations ran to millions of pounds, and were believed to include some thoroughly modern updates such as vegan materials and organic paint.  

While the interiors may have required extensive upgrades to meet modern standards, there’s no denying the classic beauty of the architecture of Frogmore House and its tranquil grounds, which include a beautiful lake to the front of the property. 

This exquisite royal residence is deemed to be of such aesthetic value and historic interest that it is a popular tourist attraction, with parts of the house and grounds open to the public, allowing people from all over the world the chance to catch a glimpse of life within one of England’s most beautiful royal residences. 

Fort Belvedere

While the modern royals may flit between the London palace and their country estates, there’s a lesser-known Manor House that is as historic as it is beautiful. 

Postcard of Fort Belvedere in the early 1900s
Postcard of Fort Belvedere in the early 1900s – See page for author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Belvedere is a spectacular country house situated in the grounds of the Windsor Estate. It was used as the base for a famous Playboy Prince – Prince Edward, who was Prince of Wales until he became king in 1936. 

This lavish manor house was the setting for some of the prince’s famous weekend house parties, attended by the Who’s Who of society in the early twentieth century. It’s also believed to be the place where the famous English prince courted the woman he would marry and eventually give up his throne for – Wallace Simpson. 

Perhaps the most legendary claim of this royal home is that it was where King Edward signed the papers that would make his abdication official – one of the most momentous occasions in the history of modern royalty. 

The property is an imposing Gothic Revival manor house, enjoying the finest English countryside both within its grounds and in the views of the surrounding parklands of Windsor Great Park. 

During its time as the home of the Prince of Wales, a number of improvements and additions were designed and carried out by the young prince, including a swimming pool, and tennis courts. 

While Fort Belvedere has fallen out of favour and even royal ownership over the last few decades, there are suggestions that the history and location of this historic royal home could become the next residence for the new Prince of Wales, Prince William, and his family. 

Clarence House

Like many royal residences, Clarence House has a rich history of notable residents that dates back centuries. Yet, it’s the current occupants that have really put this elegant English home on the map, as it is the home base of choice for King Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort.

Clarence House is located in London, and the title of house belies its palatial proportions and its historic role within the British Royal Family over the last two hundred years. The fact that the king of England, who owns some of the finest properties in the nation, chooses to make this his home gives some indication of the luxurious refinement and spacious royal living that this historic house affords. 

Situated just a stone’s throw from the king and queen’s official administrative headquarters, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House is attached to St James Palace and overlooks both Green Park and St James Park and their picturesque lakes and surroundings. 

While many of the royal quarters are not open to the public, visitors to the king’s residence report that there’s a delightful sense of spaciousness, in particular a feeling that the grounds are an integral part of the interiors. This may explain the fondness King Charles III holds for this property, given his reputation as a keen environmentalist and lover of nature. 

There’s a rich tradition of heritage with many of the great royal families around the world. Along with family wealth and royal lineage, many modern royals have also inherited some great and historic residences, from castles to palaces and stunning country houses. 

Yet, ancient tradition and historical styling aren’t always to the taste of the new generations of royals, so it’s only natural that modern royals will want to put their stamp on their own homes

With the luxurious upgrades and modernisation of royal properties, these legendary buildings and estates enter a new phase of their royal history, and give the world an inspiring glimpse of luxurious royal living in the modern world.