Inside Prince Edward's magnificent homes

The royal residences of King Charles' youngest brother

<p>Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images</p>

Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images

The youngest son of the late Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Prince Edward was born 16 years after his oldest brother King Charles lll and has always been the baby of the family. The Duke of Edinburgh is the only one of the Queen’s children who hasn't got divorced and has been happily married to Sophie Rhys-Jones for 24 years. Along with his wife, he’s become one of the most valued members of the British royal family, and has resided in some pretty palatial residences along the way.

Read on and let’s take a closer look …

Who is Prince Edward?

<p>Max Mumby / Getty</p>

Max Mumby / Getty

After a few misjudged scrapes in his early life, Prince Edward has proved himself one of the most steady and reliable members of the royal family, along with his wife, Sophie Rhys-Jones, with whom he has two children. King Charles conferred the title of Duke of Edinburgh on his youngest brother on his 59th birthday in March 2023, in accordance with the wishes of the late Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip.

Where does Prince Edward live?

<p>David Goddard / Getty Images</p>

David Goddard / Getty Images

Prince Edward currently lives in Bagshot Park in Surrey along with his wife, the Duchess of Edinburgh and their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. The Grade ll-listed building has 120 rooms and is said to be worth £30 million ($39m). Around 11 miles south of Windsor, Bagshot Park has been a royal residence for around 200 years and has been home to Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie Wessex, since their wedding in 1999. Nestled in 51 acres of land, the Grade II-listed main house, which is located in Surrey, is beautifully landscaped with pristine gardens and incredible interiors worthy of a royal palace.

Bagshot Park renovations

<p>David Goddard / Getty Images</p>

David Goddard / Getty Images

Before the couple's wedding, the impressive manor underwent extensive renovations, costing more than an estimated £2 million ($2.4m) that was partly funded by the Crown Estate, which owns the house, and partly by Prince Edward himself. It was confirmed in 2021 that the Edinburghs had extended their lease from The Crown Estate for another 150 years at a cost of £5 million ($6.4m).

A luxury private home for Edward

<p>@theroyalfamily / Instagram</p>

@theroyalfamily / Instagram

As a private house, the public rarely gets to see inside the home. But the couple revealed a glimpse of this corner in a video call during the pandemic. The room features some stunning wooden panels that were commissioned by former resident, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, a son of Queen Victoria, and carved in Amritsar in India to showcase Indian design.

Bagshot Park decor

<p>@theroyalfamily / Twitter</p>

@theroyalfamily / Twitter

In another photograph that was posted on the Royal Family’s Twitter account, we get to see a beautifully appointed reception room with green striped upholstered chairs and a matching green carpet. There is a gold-edged mirror above an ornate fireplace and an exquisite sideboard and paintings. The home is said to have 120 rooms, including the Duke’s office, which was seen in another post over lockdown and features a floor-to-ceiling bookcase.

Sophie's kitchen

<p>@theroyalfamily / Instagram</p>

@theroyalfamily / Instagram

The Duchess gave royal fans a rare glimpse of her kitchen too during a call with the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, of which she is a patron, revealing her stylish navy kitchen units and her fine china tea sets, including a teapot, sugar bowl, cups and saucers. Anyone for tea? Yes, please!

As gorgeous and grand as Bagshot Park is, the Prince has resided in a few even more impressive properties throughout his life. Let's go back to the very beginning...

Where was Prince Edward born?

<p>Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Prince Edward was born on 10 March 1964 at Buckingham Palace. It was the first birth that Prince Philip attended. According to reports, the Queen had been reading magazines that stressed the importance of involving fathers in childbirth, and the Prince is said to have held his wife’s hand as his youngest son was born.

Where was Prince Edward baptised?

<p>Pictures Now / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Pictures Now / Alamy Stock Photo

The only one of his siblings not to be christened at Buckingham Palace, Prince Edward was baptised Edward Antony Richard Louis on 2 May 1964 at the private chapel at Windsor Castle. The chapel has changed somewhat since this photograph was taken in 1910, and more recently hosted the christening of Archie Harrison, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aka Prince Harry and Meghan.

Buckingham Palace: Prince Edward's childhood home

<p>Alan Novelli / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Alan Novelli / Alamy Stock Photo

Life was a lot more relaxed in Buckingham Palace by the time Prince Edward arrived. The Queen had been on the throne for 12 years and was more confident in her role as monarch. She seemed a more relaxed mother as a result and more likely to allow Prince Edward and his elder brother Prince Andrew to treat the palace and its grounds as their private playground.

Gilded surroundings

<p>Royal Collection Trust / ©Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll 2021</p>

Royal Collection Trust / ©Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll 2021

There was certainly a lot of ground to cover. Buckingham Palace, which has been the official home of the monarch since 1837, has 775 rooms, which include 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms, along with architect John Nash’s gilded Grand Staircase. We can just imagine the princes chasing each other up and down these stairs! Thank goodness they were carpeted.

Early balcony appearances

<p>Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Living at Buckingham Palace gave Prince Edward an early experience of what it meant to be royal. He made his first balcony appearance when he was just three months old, according to reports, and is seen here, aged two, at the traditional military celebrations for the Trooping the Colour ceremony, with the Queen Mother, four-year-old Viscount Linley and his father Lord Snowden and his own mother, who is clearly enjoying her time with her youngest son.

Prince Edward's childhood home

<p>Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Outside in the grounds, Prince Edward and his brother Prince Andrew­ (Prince Charles and Princess Anne were teenagers by this stage) could run amok in 39 acres of lawns, gardens and meadows. There are around 325 different species of plants and more than 1,000 trees, which means a lot of leaves. No wonder Prince Andrew couldn’t resist burying his two-year-old-brother for this photograph on his sixth birthday in 1966.

Prince Edward at Windsor Castle

<p>Ben Stansall / Getty</p>

Ben Stansall / Getty

When not in London, the family were usually to be found at Windsor Castle, which was thought to be the late Queen's favourite official home. The 1,000-room castle, which is located in Windsor Great Park, just west of London, dates from the 11th century and sprawls over 484,000 square feet. The late Queen's official country residence, Windsor was essentially her place to unwind–and to enjoy special time with her children.

A pampered prince

<p>Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

The adored youngest son of the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Edward had 13 acres of grounds at his disposal at Windsor, although he seemed happy to sit in his pram in this shot. He had an active childhood and is said to have learned to ride his pony, Valkyrie, aged just two. He is also reported to have met first man on the moon Neil Armstrong and told him he wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up.

Where did Prince Edward go to school?

<p>William Lovelace / Daily Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images</p>

William Lovelace / Daily Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

After a couple of years of private tutoring, the Queen’s youngest son attended Gibbs School in Kensington, London, which was known as a 'pre-preparatory school', before being enrolled at Heatherdown Preparatory School near Ascot in September 1972, when this photo of the royal party being greeted by headmaster James Edwards and his wife was taken.

Prince Edward’s Gordonstoun School days

<p>Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images</p>

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Then it was off to Gordonstoun in Scotland, where he eventually became head boy. It was the alma mater of his father Prince Philip and elder brother Prince Charles, who once condemned the school as "Colditz in kilts", Colditz Castle being a German prisoner-of-war camp. Pupils from the £44,000 ($57k)-a-year boarding school observed a three-minute silence in memory of former pupil Prince Philip on the day of his funeral in April 2021.

Spending summers at Balmoral Castle

<p>Byunau Konstantin / Shutterstock</p>

Byunau Konstantin / Shutterstock

After a very demanding school year at Gordonstoun, it was a two-hour drive from Elgin to Balmoral Castle, where the late Queen and her family traditionally spent their summer holidays. For Prince Edward, the Scottish baronial-style castle and its 50,000 acres of land was an extension of life at Gordonstoun, a paradise where he could continue to indulge in outdoorsy pursuits.

The royal family's Scottish home

<p>George Freston / Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images</p>

George Freston / Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was bought for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852 for £32,000 ($41k). The late Queen had been a constant visitor at Balmoral since she was a child and it was a tradition that she continued with her own children. This photo shows her with Prince Philip and their sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward on their Silver Wedding anniversary year in 1972.

Decamping to Sandringham House

<p>David Dixon / [CC SA 2.0]</p>

David Dixon / [CC SA 2.0]

Christmas for Prince Edward, Iike his older siblings, has nearly always and traditionally been celebrated at Sandringham House in Norfolk, which, like Balmoral, is privately owned by the royal family. The late Queen would stay until 6 February, the date of her father King George VI’s death and her ascension to the throne. The house dates to Elizabethan times and was snapped up by Queen Victoria in 1862 as a gift for her son, the future King Edward VII.

A luxury family home

<p>Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images</p>

Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Compared to other regal residences, Sandringham has a somewhat more relaxed feel and has been described as “the most comfortable house in England”. The ground floor is decorated in elegant Edwardian style with a huge fireplace taking centre stage in this reception room, where Prince Edward seems to be showing off his reading skills to his father Prince Philip.

Prince Edward at university

<p>Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images</p>

Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images

Before heading to university, Prince Edward took some time out for a gap year in 1982. He headed to the commonwealth country of New Zealand and spent two terms working as a house tutor and junior master at the Whanganui Collegiate School, located in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of the North Island. After that, he returned to England and attended Cambridge University’s Jesus College, from which he graduated with a degree in history in 1986.

Enlisting in the Royal Marines

<p>Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images</p>

Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty Images

After university, Prince Edward followed family tradition and joined the military, enlisting in the Royal Marines. He’d been a university cadet for three years and had wanted to be a marine since he was ten, but resigned his commission in 1987, just three months into the gruelling 12-month commando training. According to reports, he felt he wouldn’t fit in. But it was the Queen, and not his father, who was Captain General of the Royal Marines, who was most displeased.

A passion for production

<p>PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

After leaving the Royal Marines, Prince Edward set up his own theatre production company, staging the TV show It’s a Royal Knockout, which saw members of the royal family, dressed in Elizabethan costumes, competing alongside celebrities in a series of wacky challenges. It was deemed a public-relations disaster, according to reports, but regardless, the Prince went on to set up Ardent Productions in 1993, an ill-fated production company that was left with assets of just £40.27 when it went into liquidation in 2009.

When did Prince Edward get engaged?

<p>Ken Goff / Getty Images</p>

Ken Goff / Getty Images

Happily, Edward's PR nightmare fate turned right around when he met public relations consultant Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1987, while she was working for Capital Radio. Their first date is said to have been a tennis match followed by dinner at Buckingham Palace. After a five-year romance, Edward proposed during a holiday to the Bahamas with an Asprey and Garrard ring worth an estimated £105,000 ($135k).

When did Prince Edward get married?

<p>Anwar Hussein / Getty Images</p>

Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones on 19 June 1999 in a relatively low-key ceremony at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Seen here looking delighted to be wed, they also picked up new titles; on their wedding day, the Queen bestowed on Edward the title of Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn and Sophie became Countess of Wessex.

Prince Edward’s PR problems

<p>Georges De Keerle / Getty Images</p>

Georges De Keerle / Getty Images

Today, the couple are valued as stable and trustworthy senior royals, but this wasn’t always the case. In the early days of their marriage, Sophie was recorded boasting to the tabloid paper News of the World’s undercover journalist known at the time as the ‘Fake Sheik’ about her PR firm’s royal connections. Around the same time, Edward’s film company had tried to circumvent a ban on filming Prince William at university in St Andrews. They were encouraged to ditch their commercial careers and in 2002 the couple became full-time working royals.

A proud father

<p>Ben Stansall / Getty Images</p>

Ben Stansall / Getty Images

Edward and Sophie welcomed both of their children, Lady Louise Windsor in 2003 and James, Viscount Severn (seen here, in 2007) at Frimley Park NHS Hospital in Surrey. Giving birth to Lady Louise proved a particularly tough experience for Sophie, who reportedly had an emergency caesarean section a month prior to her due date and lost nine pints of blood. The birth of her son was much more straightforward and the family settled into life in their stunning home, Bagshot Park.

A 'normal' royal life

<p>Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images</p>

Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images

The couple have done their utmost to ensure their children have as normal an upbringing as possible, first by giving them courtesy titles rather than Prince or Princess. Neither have they ever relied on nannies. “They have always had a rule that, when working, one of them is at home with the children as far as possible," their friend Penny Mountbatten told the Daily Mail.

What's next for Prince Edward?

<p>Samir Hussein / WireImage / Getty</p>

Samir Hussein / WireImage / Getty

The family were understandably devastated first by the death of Prince Philip in April 2021 and then of the Queen in September 2022. The Duchess is reported to have been a rock to the Queen following the loss of her husband and regularly made the short journey to visit her in Windsor. She and Prince Edward have proved themselves to be well-equipped to play a major role in the new court of King Charles lll, so watch this space!