We all have different ideas of what it means to be royal. If you’ve seen the 2001 movie Princess Diaries, for instance, you might assume royal living means being waited on hand and foot and throwing royal sleepovers. While all of that sounds like heaven, royal living doesn’t stop there.
The royals of the world live in palaces with as many rooms as blades of grass in the yard; their homes boast private greenhouses bigger than some city blocks. A glimpse inside these private residences is sure to take your breath away, so breathe deep and buckle up: we’re about to take you on a tour of 20 stunning royal homes…
1. The Royal Palace of Amsterdam (Netherlands): The palace was built in the mid-1600s as a city hall. About 150 years later, King Louis I of Holland, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, moved in and converted it into his palace.
Nowadays, it’s one of the many homes of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his family. When official business is not being conducted there, it’s sometimes open to the public.
2. Dâr-al-Makhzen (Morocco): In the center of Rabat, the palace, built in 1864, is the Moroccan royal family’s primary home. Across the way from the palace, is the King’s own private mosque for worship. These areas are not open to the public, so the interior is not often seen and is left up to the imagination.
3. Mandalay Palace (Myanmar): Originally constructed in the 1800s, what once was the permanent home of the royal monarchy is now just a symbol of independence from the British…
The palace features include intricate thrones, red and gold coloring, a gorgeous clock tower, and gathering halls. Tourists visit from all over the world for a chance to roam and explore this stunning structure!
4. Tokyo Imperial Palace (Japan): The palace is home to the Emperor and his family, the oldest monarchs in the world. Much of the residence was destroyed in World War II, but it was rebuilt in the 1960s. The royal home is surrounded and protected by guards and a moat.
5. Royal Palace of Caserta (Italy): The palace is the former royal residence in southern Italy and was constructed for the Bourbon kings of Naples. What is now a UNESCO World Heritage site was once one of the largest palaces to be built in the 18th century. The property itself is the largest in the world at 2.5 million square feet.
6. The Royal Palace of Laeken (Belgium): This breathtaking palace is the actual home to King Philippe of Belgium’s family. It’s normally closed to visitors, but every spring, they open up the royal greenhouses for people from all over the world.
It is truly a site to see, as the greenhouse is Art Nouveau styled (meaning its got curved lines like you wouldn’t believe), boasts floor-to-ceiling glass pane structures, and is over 270,000 square feet.
7. Soho Farmhouse (England): As newlyweds do, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have purchased themselves a summer home. The home is located on the Great Tew Estate in Cotswolds, England.
The rural area is filled with pastures and peace. The pair has signed a two-year lease and will be in the same neighborhood as David and Victoria Beckham.
8. Drottningholm Palace (Sweden): This palace, built in the 16th century, is the official home to the Swedish royal family, even though many of them only use it as a summer home.
The royal dwelling is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, meaning the United Nations deemed the landmark as having serious cultural significance. The garden and theater are open to the public, but other parts of the palace are off limits.
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9. Mysore Palace (India): One of the most popular tourist spots in India, this palace is home to the royal Wadiyar family. It’s beautifully decorated, and the outside is adorned with thousands of gas lamps that are lit each night.
10. Al Alam Palace (Oman): Located in Muscat, this palace is the official home to the Sultan in the eyes of the public. But Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said spends a great deal of time at his other residencies, as he regularly uses Al Alam as an official meeting place to host other world leaders.
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11. Prince’s Palace of Monaco (Monaco): This palace was originally built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress. It’s been the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert, since the passing of his parents, King Rainier and Princess Grace.
12. Royal Palace of Norway (Norway): The Norwegian royal family call this property home. It’s where they conduct royal gatherings and political work. Surrounding the property is a framed park that is considered one of the most historic parks in the country.
13. Berg Castle (Luxembourg): For centuries, this castle has been the primary home of the Luxembourg royal family. During WWII, it was taken over for a period of time, but the royal family reclaimed and renovated their home in the 1960s. The inside of the castle is adorned with marble walls and columns.
14. The Cambodian Royal Palace (Cambodia): Located in Phnom Penh, the royal palace is the official residence of the royal family and the interior is closed off to tourists. But there are religious shrines and gardens surrounding the property that are open for tourists to explore.
15. Buckingham Palace (England): This is one palace you’ve definitely heard about before. Probably the most famous palace of them all, Buckingham Palace is home to the British royal family.
Many of the famous royal traditions like baby announcements, honorary ceremonies, and political affairs take place here. Even commoners who are being awarded are invited into the palace.
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16. The Royal Palace of Madrid (Spain): Although the royal palace is considered the official residence of the Spanish royal family, King Felipe and his family do not live here. The massive residence is over 1 million square feet and has over 3,000 rooms. The home is often used to host diplomatic guests from other countries, and at times, some of them are open to the public.
17. Palacio Zarzuela (Spain): King Felipe and his family tend to take on a more modern version of “royal,” and reside in a still-extravagant home on the outskirts of Madrid. The home has its own opera-style theater and is the originating point of the Zarzuela complex.
18. Amalienborg Palace (Denmark): Located in the capital city of Copenhagen, the palace consists of four identical buildings. Two are used to house the royal family (with flags marking whether they are home or not), and the other two buildings house guests.
19. St. James’s Palace (England): Built in the mid-1500s, St. James’s Palace is the oldest royal palace in the U.K. A large fire in 1809 destroyed the monarch’s private quarters…
They were never rebuilt, and the building was updated in a 19th-century style. Today, it’s a ceremonial meeting place for the Accession Council — and a real gorgeous site to behold.
20. Palazzina di Stupinigi (Italy): What translates to “the hunting residence of Stupinigi,” is one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy in northern Italy. As the name states, it was built as a royal hunting lodge in the early 18th century. The palace is now protected as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.