These are the royal palaces to visit at least once

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Photo credit: Kensington Palace. Arthur Tilley - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kensington Palace. Arthur Tilley - Getty Images

June’s wonderful Platinum Jubilee celebrations reignited our love of the royals. And in this very special year, we can’t think of a better time to tour Britain’s finest royal palaces and enjoy another dose of the elegance and pageantry associated with the Royal Family.

This year, Good Housekeeping is inviting you to get behind-the-scenes insight with our fantastic tours accompanied by former royal correspondent Jennie Bond and royal commentator Robert Hardman. As you step inside the grand State Apartments that have hosted world leaders and dignitaries, you’ll get the inside stories from the people who have knowledge of the family and can share their personal anecdotes.

GO ON A ROYAL PALACE TOUR WITH JENNIE BOND

Buckingham Palace may have been the focus of the Jubilee celebrations, but there are many other palaces that rival its grandeur. Today, the Queen spends more of her time at Windsor Castle, the largest occupied castle in the world.

And Kensington Palace is home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, along with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

We’ve rounded up a collection of fabulous royal palaces in London and beyond…

1. Buckingham Palace

The most iconic and internationally famous of the royal family’s residences, Buckingham Palace tops any list of London’s must-visit palaces.

Photo credit: Jorg Greuel - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jorg Greuel - Getty Images

It remains the official London residence of the Queen and has been at the centre of royal history for the past few decades – as the place where she delivers her Christmas addresses and a focal point for celebrations, as well as moments of national grief, such as in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death.

HOTELS NEAR BUCKINGHAM PALACE

2. Eltham Palace

Slightly off the beaten path, Eltham Palace is a fascinating example of Art Deco design, having been refurbished from a Tudor manor that was home to Henry VIII during his childhood into a 1930s mansion by millionaire couple Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 20th century.

Photo credit: Prisma by Dukas - Getty Images
Photo credit: Prisma by Dukas - Getty Images

The result is an amazing blend of medieval grandeur and stylish modernist Swedish design, with unusual touches such as a specially heated room for their pet lemur. The house and 19-acre gardens are now open to the public thanks to the English Heritage, which refurbished and re-opened it in 1999. Step inside to view period dresses, hats and accessories in Virginia’s reconstructed walk-in wardrobe.

HOTELS NEAR ELTHAM PALACE

3. Windsor Castle

Another absolutely iconic royal location, Windsor Castle hosted the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 and is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

Photo credit: jvoisey - Getty Images
Photo credit: jvoisey - Getty Images

More than 900 years old, it has 1,000 rooms and is a favoured residence of the Queen. She spent a significant portion of her childhood there, while historically it was home to a fair few myths and legends – including supposedly being haunted by the ghosts of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

On a Good Housekeeping tour of royal palaces in October 2022, you’ll venture inside the castle walls for a champagne reception and private tour of the State Apartments when they're closed to the public.

FIND OUT MORE

4. Hampton Court Palace

Originally built by Cardinal Wolesley, a favourite of Henry VIII, the courtier handed Hampton Court Palace over to the King when he fell out of favour and it became one of Henry’s preferred residences.

Photo credit: Eurasia / robertharding - Getty Images
Photo credit: Eurasia / robertharding - Getty Images

He enlarged it during his 16th-century reign and it was further extended by King William III in the 1600s, with a Baroque-style wing added to the existing Tudor palace. It's now uninhabited and open to the public, who can wander its long, elegant corridors, impressive chapel and immaculate grounds – with its famous maze.

You can visit Hampton Court Palace and hear its fascinating stories on Good Housekeeping's royal palaces tour with royal expert, Robert Hardman.

FIND OUT MORE

5. Kensington Palace

Home to Kate and William, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Kensington Palace is loved by the younger generations of royals, with its convenient location, stunning Jacobean and Baroque architecture and beautiful grounds.

Photo credit: SangHyunPaek - Getty Images
Photo credit: SangHyunPaek - Getty Images

These include the Sunken Garden, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle posed for a photo to mark their engagement. This was also Diana Princess of Wales' favourite garden and was re-planted with white flowers in her memory.

HOTELS NEAR KENSINGTON PALACE

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