The royal baby soon to be born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will likely spend a great deal of his or her childhood at London’s Kensington Palace where the Duke and Duchess are due to move soon. Visitors to Britain can experience the world of a royal childhood by exploring the castles, estates and palaces that played an integral part in the lives of royal children through history.
Sandringham Estate holds many memories for the Royal Family. It is a favourite retreat of The Queen, and the late Princess Diana was born in a cottage located in the estate’s extensive grounds. Prince Charles had many childhood adventures at Sandringham House, the much-loved royal retreat, which is a beautiful place to visit. It’s only a short trip from King’s Lynn station, itself around a two-hour train journey from London. www.sandringhamestate.co.uk
Both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were born at Buckingham Palace and it is still where notices of Royal births and deaths are attached to the railings for members of the public to read, despite news likely to appear via social media first! The Palace, located in the heart of London, is open to the public for several weeks in the summer. www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/buckinghampalace
Glamis Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles and was the childhood home of the Queen Mother and the birthplace of her second daughter, Princess Margaret. Built in the late 1300s, and just a 90-minute drive from Edinburgh, the castle still belongs to the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, yet is also open to the public. There are regular scheduled tours, several exhibition rooms and beautiful gardens to visit. www.glamis-castle.co.uk
The childhood home of the late Princess Diana, Althorp House, is now home to an award-winning exhibition depicting the life and work of the late Princess of Wales, which includes her famous wedding dress and childhood letters. Be sure to take a look at the other rooms too, such as the Queen Mary Bedroom; this was the room used by Queen Mary and George V when they visited the estate in 1913. Equidistant of Cambridge and Stratford-Upon-Avon by car (an hour’s journey) Althorp can be reached from both London and Birmingham by train to the nearest station of Northampton, from where you can catch a taxi or bus to the estate (open in summer only). www.spencerofalthorp.com
Windsor has a vibrant royal history, especially where young royals are concerned! Y Bwthyn Bach, also known as The Little House, is a miniature cottage in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge. The Little House was presented to Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) on her sixth birthday and the Queen’s children and grandchildren have played in the house over the decades, although it isn’t open to the public. However, located to the south of Windsor town centre, Windsor Great Park is a well-loved and popular recreational retreat for many families, and has views of Windsor Castle (which you can visit). Windsor is also home to LEGOLAND, where you can see a miniature version of Buckingham Palace, home to The Queen!
The first Tudor King of England, King Henry VII (born Harri Tudor), was born in Pembroke Castle, in south-west Wales in 1457. The castle is a historical landmark and was restored to its original glory in the mid-1900s. A must-see when visiting Wales, its exhibitions and guided tours offer a fascinating insight into Britain’s history. Be sure to enjoy a cup of coffee on your visit; the castle’s café is rumoured to have the best coffee in Pembrokeshire! www.pembroke-castle.co.uk
Edinburgh Castle, perched high on the hill over the Scottish capital, was the birthplace of King James VI in June 1566. As well as an interesting tour of this Royal Palace where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her only child, James, visitors will experience The Honours of Scotland, which are the nation’s crown jewels. www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk
Henry VIII’s three children – Edward, Mary and Elizabeth – spent their childhoods in their nursery at the Old Palace adjoining Hatfield House. Visitors can now walk through the grounds and enjoy the beautiful scenery, as well as see the oak tree that marks the very place young Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne. www.hatfield-house.co.uk
The InterContinental London Park Hotel at 145 Piccadilly, was once Her Majesty the Queen’s childhood residence. Check out the newly-designed Royal Suite, which celebrates the Queen’s signature taste with modern British design. Located between Mayfair and Knightsbridge, and in view of many of London’s stunning landmarks, the InterContinental is the epitome of elegance. Afternoon tea in the Wellington Lounge is a must; you’ll be overlooking the iconic Wellington Arch. And if you want to feel like royalty, what better place to stay than where the Queen once played? www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/london/lonhb/hoteldetail
|Public Relations & Communications Manager – Canada
A young boy gets down on the ground to get a closer look at the tiny version of Buckingham Palace lego attraction., Legoland, Windsor, Berkshire, England.
Althorp, Northamptonshire, England.
Glamis Castle side view in the sunshine with blue skies., Glamis Castle, Tayside, Scotland.
Guide shows a group of tourists the suits of armour and trophies in the Crypt of Glamis Castle., Glamis Castle, Tayside, Scotland.
A family enjoying a walk along the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on a summer’s day. The Long Walk runs south from Windsor Castle for a distance of 3 miles to the 1829 Copper Horse statue to King George III atop Snow Hill where there are impressive views of
Piper bands on parade in the Castle’s torch-lit esplanade during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland.
A foot maze and fountain in the landscaped gardens of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.©VisitBritain- Britain on View
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Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!