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The world’s richest royal family is worth £249 billion – here’s where they live

Inside the amazing homes of the world's royalty

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

Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo

We're all familiar with the British royal family and their historic castles, but there are 26 monarchies around the world, from Europe to Asia, Africa and beyond. Many of them have stories just as captivating as those of the House of Windsor and lavish estates to match. From Japan’s  Emperor Naruhito, head of the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world, to Abu Dhabi’s House of Nahyan, the globe’s richest rulers, we peek inside the princely palaces of the world’s most illustrious royal families.

Abu Dhabi's House of Nahyan

<p>@mohamedbinzayed / Instagram</p>

@mohamedbinzayed / Instagram

With an estimated fortune of $300 billion (£240bn), the Al Nahyan dynasty are thought to be the richest family in the world. Headed up by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, MBZ for short, who is President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, the family own 6% of the world’s oil reserves and have investments in everything from Elon Musk’s SpaceX to Manchester City Football Club, as well as property and palaces around the globe.

The presidential palace

<p>@qasralwatantour / Instagram</p>

@qasralwatantour / Instagram

A jewel in the crown of their property portfolio is Qasr Al-Watan, the presidential palace of the UEA, which is located in Abu Dhabi and estimated to be worth $490 million (£385m). Although MBZ and his family do not actually live here, residing instead at the nearby Al-Bateen palace, it remains a working palace complex, hosting state visits and summits. Its gleaming white granite and limestone façade symbolizes peace and was clearly built to last hundreds of years.

The presidential palace

<p>@qasralwatantour / Instagram</p>

@qasralwatantour / Instagram

The palace is triple the size of the Pentagon and was opened to the public in 2019 to give visitors a greater understanding of UAE’s heritage, traditions and values. Central to its interior design is the eight-pointed star, an important symbol in Islam, which features throughout the palace, not least in the Great Hall with its spectacular domed ceiling and intricately decorated marble flooring.

The presidential palace

<p>@qasralwatantour / Instagram</p>

@qasralwatantour / Instagram

The east wing of the palace includes this stunning library with more than 50,000 books on the country’s cultural, social and political history, while Spirit of Collaboration Hall, which hosts international summits, features a 12-ton chandelier, which is made up of 350,000 crystals. Founded in 1971, the UAE has become quite a cultural hub with its own Louvre Abu Dhabi and the long-awaited Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi due to open in 2025.

The real royal home

<p>Google Earth</p>

Google Earth

Very few photographs exist of the Qasr Al Bateen, where the Sheikh and his family live. The palace compound is surrounded by fences, gates and has the most expensive security systems that money can buy. Satellite photos show lush green grounds – no easy feat in a country where the average temperature hits 28 °C (82 °F) – complete with swimming pools and a tennis court. The buildings are modern and built with huge arched windows, columns and shaded colonnades.

London property empire

<p>Geoff Wilkinson / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Geoff Wilkinson / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s not just on home turf that the family has made its mark. The Al Nahyans’ property portfolio extends to foreign shores to the tune of an estimated $7 billion (£5.6m). According to one report, the dynasty owns great swathes of real estate in Knightsbridge, Westminster and Kensington, including the Time Life Building in Mayfair seen here, and is just behind the British royal family’s crown estate in terms of the value of their London assets.

Parisian palace

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

Historic Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The family own palaces all over the world including Château de Baillon, north of Paris, which was once owned by the husband of Madame de Pompadour, the favourite mistress of King Louis XV. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has also lived in the UK, spending a summer studying at Gordonstoun, the boarding school attended by King Charles lll, and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he learned to fly.

Private jet fleet

<p>Romain Gaillard / Poo l / ABACAPRESS.COM</p>

Romain Gaillard / Poo l / ABACAPRESS.COM

No surprise then that the billionaire family’s presidential fleet includes eight impressive planes, including the Airbus A320-200 and three Boeing 787-9. MBZ’s personal collection boasts a $450 million (£358m) Boeing 747 and a $180 million (£143m) Boeing 787, which is decked out in ultimate luxury and provides a home from home for the ruler and his family on their jaunts around the world.

Superyachts

<p>Rob Wilkinson / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Rob Wilkinson / Alamy Stock Photo

The sheikh also enjoys life aboard any of his luxury superyachts, whether it’s his relatively modest $60 million (£48m) berth named Rabdan, or the $500 million (£398m) Azzam, which was built for his father. The 590-foot megayacht is so big you can play golf on it, while his $450 million (£358m) yacht, formerly known as Topaz, seen here, has a dance floor and beach club and was borrowed by Leonardo DiCaprio twice. Talk about friends with benefits!

MORE ROYAL DYNASTIES: Dutch Royal Family

<p>Patrick van Katwijk / Getty Images</p>

Patrick van Katwijk / Getty Images

The current King Willem-Alexander has been monarch of the Netherlands since 2013, after his mother Queen Beatrix abdicated. He has been married to Argentinian-born Queen Máxima since 2002 and the couple have three daughters: Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange and next in line to the throne, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane. The family are seen here at their official residence, the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, in April 2020.

Huis ten Bosch Palace, The Hague

<p>Wesley de Wit / ©RVD</p>

Wesley de Wit / ©RVD

The official home of the Dutch royal family since the former Queen Beatrix took up residence here in 1981, King Willem moved his family into the 17th-century manor house on the outskirts of The Hague in 2018, following major renovations. The former queen lived there for more than 30 years, while her son had previously been living at the nearby but more modest Villa De Eikenhorst in Wassenaar.

Huis ten Bosch Palace, The Hague

<p>Frank van Beek / Pool / Getty Images</p>

Frank van Beek / Pool / Getty Images

The 30,000-square-foot property, which is surrounded by woodland, boasts some stunning rooms. These include the Chinese Room and the Orange Hall, seen here, which is adorned with paintings by Jacob Jordaens, a pupil of Rembrandt. The Orange Hall formed part of the first National Museum of the Netherlands, according to Hola. It has played host to many world leaders, including Barack Obama, who dined here when he attended the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014.

Noordeinde Palace, The Hague

<p>Patrick van Katwijk / Getty Images</p>

Patrick van Katwijk / Getty Images

Like Buckingham Palace, Noordeinde Palace is the king’s place of work. The palace is the property of the State and has been at the centre of various momentous events in the lives of the royal family, including the weddings of the king’s grandmother Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, and that of his brother Prince Constantijn to Princess Laurentien. The palace complex also includes the Royal Stables, while the palace gardens contain the Royal Archives.

Noordeinde Palace, The Hague

<p>©Patrick van Emst / RVD</p>

©Patrick van Emst / RVD

Located slap bang in the middle of the chic Noordeinde shopping district in The Hague, the palace is the former residence of King Willem l, the first king of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but is not open to the public. It is used to conduct daily business, host important meetings and provide a backdrop for the occasional photo shoot with the Dutch royal family, as seen here in 2022.

The Royal Palace, Amsterdam

<p>©Patrick van Katwijk / RVD</p>

©Patrick van Katwijk / RVD

Although formerly used as a residence by King Willem l, the Royal Palace in Amsterdam is now used mainly for entertaining and official functions, such as state visits. Also known as Dam Palace, it is open to the public throughout the year and hosts exhibitions. It was originally built as a city hall in 1648 and used as a residence by Emperor Napoleon’s brother, Louis Bonaparte, who became King of Holland in 1806.

The Royal Palace, Amsterdam

<p>© Erwin Olaf / RVD</p>

© Erwin Olaf / RVD

While King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima certainly look the part in these official photographs taken in the Empire-style halls of the palace, the couple are much more down-to-earth than their illustrious forbears. The popular king was once dubbed “Prince Pils”, due to his love of partying, and caused uproar when he became engaged to Máxima, whose father, Jorge Zorreguieta, was Argentina’s agriculture minister in the 70s, when the country was ruled by a military dictatorship.

Villa Eikenhorst, Wassenaar

<p>© Albert Nieboer / RVD</p>

© Albert Nieboer / RVD

The royal family lived at Villa Eikenhorst on the De Torsten Royal Estates in Wassenaar for 15 years before moving to Huis ten Bosch Palace in 2018. It was designed by Baron JB van Asbeck in the mid-80s for the former Queen Beatrix’s youngest sister, Princess Christina, who lived here until 1996 following her divorce from former day care administrator Jorge Guillermo, a marriage which raised a few eyebrows back in the 70s due to him being both a Cuban exile and catholic.

Drakensteyn Castle, near Utrecht

<p>Bram van de Biezen / AFP via Getty Images</p>

Bram van de Biezen / AFP via Getty Images

The former Queen Beatrix moved into Drakensteyn Castle, near Utrecht, following her abdication in April 2013. She bought the castle, which sits in 49 acres of land, while still Princess Beatrix, in 1959 and lived there with her husband Prince Claus and their three sons until 1981, soon after she became Queen. Her marriage to the aristocratic Claus von Amsberg caused another scandal when they married in 1966 after it emerged he had been a member of the Hitler Youth.

Royal Family of Monaco

<p>© Eric Mathon / @visitepalaisdemonaco / Instagram</p>

© Eric Mathon / @visitepalaisdemonaco / Instagram

Monaco became well known around the world in 1956 after its ruler, Prince Rainier lll, married Hollywood movie star Grace Kelly, who died in a car accident in 1982. The couple had two daughters, Caroline and Stephanie, and their only son, Albert ll, became sovereign on his father’s death in 2005. His wife, former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, gave birth to twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques in 2014.

Prince's Palace of Monaco

<p>@visitepalaisdemonaco / Instagram</p>

@visitepalaisdemonaco / Instagram

Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco has been the official residence of the Grimaldi family for more than 700 years. Located in the medieval old town atop “Le Rocher” (the rock), the Italian Renaissance-inspired palace has undergone several transformations over the centuries, with Prince Rainier and his wife Princess Grace undertaking major improvements that turned the palace into the attraction it is today.

Prince's Palace of Monaco

<p>©Mael Voyer Gadin / @visitepalaisdemonaco / Instagram</p>

©Mael Voyer Gadin / @visitepalaisdemonaco / Instagram

The palace reopened to the public in August 2022 following five years of renovations which revealed previously unseen frescoes, which Hello Monaco reports have been attributed to Genoese masters of the 16th century. A popular tourist destination, the revamped State Apartments include the Throne Room, which boasts magnificent frescoes and chandeliers and was the location for the civil marriage ceremony of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene in July 2011.

Prince's Palace of Monaco

<p>Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images</p>

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Their religious ceremony was held in the main courtyard, with its stunning marble staircase and ornate archways. The courtyard was built by Monaco’s first Prince Honoré ll, who also began the extensive collection of art and tapestries now displayed throughout the palace. Princess Charlene returned to palace life in Spring 2022, following a lengthy recuperation in her native South Africa from an illness attributed to an ongoing ear, nose and throat infection, according to Hello!.

Prince's Palace of Monaco

<p>Bettmann / Getty Images</p>

Bettmann / Getty Images

The palace was also the backdrop to the wedding celebration of Prince Rainier lll and Grace Kelly, who married at St Nicholas Cathedral nearby. The actress died in a car accident in September 1982 on her way back from the family’s country home Roc Agel. Initial speculation that 17-year-old Princess Stephanie had been driving was quickly dismissed and it was concluded that Princess Grace suffered a "cerebral vascular incident" and lost control of the vehicle.

Château de Marchais, France

<p>Jacques Haillot / Getty Images</p>

Jacques Haillot / Getty Images

Known as a playboy in his youth and fathering two children out of wedlock, Prince Albert now prefers the quiet life, even reconnecting with the family castle, Château de Marchais in Laon, northern France. The Prince, seen here with his father and his sister, Princess Caroline, spends several weekends here during the summer and hosts hunting parties in February and September, according to Point de Vue.

Spanish Royal Family

<p>Samuel de Roman / Getty Images</p>

Samuel de Roman / Getty Images

One of Europe’s most low-key monarchies, the Spanish royal family have nonetheless weathered their share of scandals over the years. The current King, Felipe Vl, came to the throne in 2014 following the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I. The king married his wife, Queen Letizia, a former news journalist and divorcee, in 2004 and the couple have two daughters, Leonor, Princess of Asturias and heir to the throne, and Infanta Sofia.

Royal Palace, Madrid

<p>Sabatini / Wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA 2.0</p>

Sabatini / Wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Although the Royal Family no longer live in the Royal Palace in Madrid, it is still well worth a visit. With 3,000 rooms and an area of 1,450,000 square feet, it is the largest palace in Europe and you could spend an entire day marvelling over its lavish rooms and furnishings. There has been a royal building on the site since the 9th century and it is still used for important state functions and ceremonies.

Royal Palace, Madrid

<p>Archive Photos / Stringer / Getty Images</p>

Archive Photos / Stringer / Getty Images

A view of the Throne Room shows no expense spared, with an enormous central chandelier hovering above the ornate space. Also known as the Ambassadors' Room its vault is frescoed with Tiepolo's "The Greatness and Power of the Spanish Monarchy". The history of the royal family is told through the images, leading the viewer's eye to the throne. The furniture, including the throne, was brought from Italy by Giovanni Battista Natali, who was in charge of designing the space.

Zarzuela Palace, Madrid

<p>Jack Abuin / ZUMA Wire / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Jack Abuin / ZUMA Wire / Alamy Stock Photo

The Royal Palace may be the official palace of the Spanish monarchy, but King Felipe Vl and Queen Letizia and their daughters reside at the more low-key Zarzuela Palace, situated in the El Pardo complex just outside Madrid. Commissioned by Felipe lV in 1627 and designed by Juan Gómez de Mora, it was intended to be a hunting lodge. At the end of the 18th century, Carlos lV decorated it with tapestries, porcelain, furniture and ornate clocks.

Zarzuela Palace, Madrid

<p>Angel Diaz / AFP via Getty Images</p>

Angel Diaz / AFP via Getty Images

King Felipe delivered his first Christmas Eve message from Zarzuela in 2014. The new king vowed to usher in a new era of transparency following the scandals that had tarnished his father’s reign. As well as the alleged financial irregularities of his father Juan Carlos l, who relocated to Abu Dhabi in 2020 in the wake of fraud investigations, his then brother-in-law, former handball player Inñaki Urdangarin, was convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2017, according to The Guardian.

Zarzuela Palace, Madrid

<p>Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images</p>

Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

It marked a humiliating fall from grace for the once admired King Juan Carlos l, who, reports the BBC, ascended the throne in 1975, two days after the death of fascist dictator General Franco, and was widely acknowledged for steering Spain to democracy during a difficult period in its history. He is seen here at the Zarzuela Palace with his wife, Princess Sofia, and their children, Princess Elena, Prince Felipe and Princess Cristina in 1969, prior to becoming king.

Marivent Palace, Mallorca

<p>PPE /Thorton / Sipa / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

PPE /Thorton / Sipa / Alamy Stock Photo

The summer residence of the Spanish royal family since 1973, Marivent Palace is located on the island of Mallorca and was commissioned by wealthy engineer and painter John Saridakis in 1923. Built to house his collection of over 100 paintings by artists such as Sorolla and Picasso, the cliffside dwelling has incredible views of the ocean and expansive gardens, featuring 12 bronze statues by Joan Miró, which have been open to the public since 2017.

Marivent Palace, Mallorca

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

Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

Nestled on a 350-square-foot plot and surrounded by lush gardens and pine groves, it has played host to many illustrious guests including Mikhail Gorbachev, Michelle Obama and Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who were photographed with their sons on the steps of the Italianate palace in 1986. These days it is used by former Queen Sofia, who was recently seen attending the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth ll with her husband the former Spanish king.

Japan's Royal Family

<p>Handout / Imperial Household Agency of Japan via Getty Images</p>

Handout / Imperial Household Agency of Japan via Getty Images

Naruhito was sworn in as Japan’s 126th emperor at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in November 2019, following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akhito. Like his father, Naruhito married for love when he wed commoner Empress Masako, who worked in a diplomatic role before their marriage. The couple have one daughter, Princess Aiko, who cannot ascend the throne, as only men in the direct male line of succession are allowed to reign as monarch.

Imperial Palace, Tokyo

<p>Guillermo Olaizola / Shutterstock</p>

Guillermo Olaizola / Shutterstock

Emperor Naruhito and his family moved into the renovated former Fukiage Sento Palace in the grounds of the stunning Imperial Palace, seen here, in September 2021, reports Nippon.com. They had previously resided at the Akasaka Imperial Residence, which was built in 1960 for Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Michiko, who were Crown Prince and Princess at the time.

Imperial Palace, Tokyo

<p>Kazuhiro Nogi /Pool / Getty Images</p>

Kazuhiro Nogi /Pool / Getty Images

If you thought the British Royal Family had the monopoly on pomp and circumstance, think again. Emperor Naruhito formally proclaimed his ascendancy to the country’s Chrysanthemum Throne in an ornate ceremony in the Imperial Palace in 2019. During a series of ancient rituals, wearing a traditional robe and black headdress, he pledged to pray for the happiness of his people from the “Takamikura”, the high curtained throne in the ceremonial hall.

Imperial Palace, Tokyo

<p>Granger Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Granger Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

The imperial couple hosted a court banquet in the Homei-Den State Banquet Hall of the Meiji Palace (seen here during the Taisho period between 1912 and 1926), which was attended by representatives from nearly 200 countries, including members of many royal families such as the then Prince Charles and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Imperial Palace, Tokyo

<p>Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images</p>

Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images

Although the main grounds of the palace complex are generally closed to the public, crowds surged into the Kyūden Totei Plaza on Emperor Akihito’s 85th birthday in December 2018 to wish him well. In a rare emotional address ahead of his abdication, he paid tribute to his people and wife Empress Michiko, the first commoner ever to join the tradition-bound imperial family, who had been at his side for 60 years.

Imperial Palace in Kyoto

<p>Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images</p>

Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images

The former seat of the emperor of Japan, today the Kyoto Imperial Palace and grounds are open to the public and host several important events during the year, including the Aoi Festival, seen here, which dates back 1,400 years. The current Imperial family still use the palace when they are in the region, according to Nippon.com, as well as their summer retreat near the Nasu Mountains in Tochigi Prefecture.

Bhutan's Royal Family

<p>@kingjigmekhesar / Instagram</p>

@kingjigmekhesar / Instagram

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, also known as the Dragon King of Bhutan, came to the throne in December 2008, two years after the abdication of his father, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. There was initial shock when he married commoner Jetsun Pema in October 2011 but she has since been embraced by the remote kingdom of some 750,000 people. The couple welcomed Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck in February 2016, while his brother, Jigme Ugyen Wangchuck, followed in June 2020.

Punakha Dzong

<p>Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0</p>

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

The couple married at Bhutan's historic 17th century Punakha Dzong, also known as “the palace of great bliss” according to the book Treasures of the Thunder Dragon. The majestic structure, constructed between 1637-1638, is the second oldest and largest dzong (or fortified building) in Bhutan and was the backdrop for the King’s historic coronation in 2008. It has been ravaged by fire and earthquakes several times but has since been renovated to the original design.

Lingkana Palace

<p>@jetsunpema / Facebook</p>

@jetsunpema / Facebook

The popular, Oxford-educated king meets representatives from all sections of Bhutanese society in the grounds of his home Lingkana Palace. It was here that his wife, Jetsun Pema, gave birth to both of the couple’s sons. Unlike his father, who has four wives, all sisters he married on the same day according to The World, King Jigme has made it clear that he intends to marry just once.

Lingkana Palace

<p>AFP via Getty Images</p>

AFP via Getty Images

The world was offered a closer glimpse of the palace during the visit to Bhutan of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2016, when the couple passed through this beautifully adorned hallway. Like the present Princess of Wales, Jetsun Pema is known for her grace and style and has been dubbed the “Kate Middleton of the Himalayas” according to Forbes.

Tashichoedzong

<p>DV Travel / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

DV Travel / Alamy Stock Photo

Dating back to 1216 and located next door to the Lingkana Palace, the white and red painted palace of Tashichoedzong has been the seat of Bhutan’s government since 1952 and houses the throne room and the offices of the King. Just 26 when he ascended the throne, the fifth Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan had a hard act to follow. His father won international acclaim, says the BBC, when he relinquished his absolute powers in March 2008 and Bhutan became a constitutional monarchy.

Dechencholing Palace

<p>DV Travel / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

DV Travel / Alamy Stock Photo

As well as these incredible homes, Dechencholing Palace in the capital of Thimphu is home to the wider Bhutan Royal Family. Built in 1953 following the coronation of the third King of Bhutan, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and set among sweeping lawns, ponds and willow trees, the three-storey building has been built in traditional Bhutanese style and was home to the late royal grandmother, who had her own chapel.

The Swedish Royals

<p>Thron Ullberg / The Royal Court of Sweden</p>

Thron Ullberg / The Royal Court of Sweden

Sweden’s longest reigning monarch, King Carl XVl Gustaf celebrates 50 years on the throne in 2023. He is photographed here with his heirs, Crown Princess Victoria (who became Crown Princess Victoria in 1980, when the Succession Act became gender-neutral and was made retroactive) and her 11-year-old daughter Princess Estelle. The King and his wife, Queen Silvia, have two other children, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.

Royal Palace, Stockholm

<p>Pelle T Nilsson / The Royal Court of Sweden</p>

Pelle T Nilsson / The Royal Court of Sweden

Rather like Buckingham Palace, the Royal Palace in Stockholm (which boasts a staggering 1,430 rooms) is the official home and the administrative headquarters of the Swedish Royal Family, where the King conducts his official duties. He may want to keep his head down however, as it has been announced that filming is underway on the Swedish version of Netflix’s series about the British Royal family, The Crown. The Swedish show has a working title of Monarki.

Royal Palace, Stockholm

<p>Anders Wiklund / Pool / Getty Images</p>

Anders Wiklund / Pool / Getty Images

The British Royal Family are not the only ones to enjoy the odd balcony scene, it would appear. Crown Princess Victoria played to the gallery when she and her new husband, Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland, waved to well-wishers after their wedding at The Royal Palace in June 2010. The event was said to be the biggest royal wedding since the marriage of the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Drottningholm Palace, Lovön

<p>Raphael Stecksén / The Royal Court of Sweden</p>

Raphael Stecksén / The Royal Court of Sweden

King Carl XVl Gustaf and Queen Silvia moved from the Royal Palace in Stockholm to nearby Drottningholm Palace in 1981, preferring the more secluded location on the island of Lovön. Inspired by the palaces of France and Italy, the royal family have used the palace since the reign of King Oscar and the palace and grounds were designated a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1991.

Haga Palace, Solna

<p>Håkan Lind / The Royal Court of Sweden</p>

Håkan Lind / The Royal Court of Sweden

Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel moved to Haga Palace in Solna outside Stockholm following their marriage in 2010 and it has become a family home for their two children Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar. It was also the childhood home of her father King Carl XVl Gustaf and his older sisters during the 1930s and 1940s, before his father Prince Gustav Adolf’s death in 1947, following which the family moved to the Royal Palace in central Stockholm.

Haga Palace, Solna

<p>Linda Broström / The Royal Court of Sweden</p>

Linda Broström / The Royal Court of Sweden

The palace recently released some lovely images of Crown Princess Victoria’s children. Prince Oscar turned seven in March 2023, while Princess Estelle, who turned 11 on 23 February 2023, is second in line to the throne after her mother. Several images displayed the contemporary and pared-back style of the neutral interiors renovated for the needs of a busy modern family.

Solliden Palace, Öland

<p>Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images</p>

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

The Swedish royal family spend much of the summer at Solliden on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. The palace was originally built for Crown Princess Victoria in 1906 and inspired by the Italian Villa San Michele on Capri, home of Swedish Royal physician Axel Munthe, who is said to have had a close relationship with the Crown Princess.

Solliden Palace, Öland

<p>Jonas Ekströmer / The Royal Court of Sweden</p>

Jonas Ekströmer / The Royal Court of Sweden

It has no doubt been a welcome refuge for the monarch when the spotlight has become too much. The king reveals in a forthcoming documentary to mark his Golden Jubilee that the secret to the success of his 47-year marriage has been separate bathrooms. Their marriage hasn’t been without challenges, however, and there have been rumours of “wild parties” and even an extramarital affair, according to The Daily Mail.

Zulu Monarchy

<p>Rajesh Jantilal / AFP via Getty Images</p>

Rajesh Jantilal / AFP via Getty Images

King Misuzulu Zulu was crowned King of the Zulu nation in September 2022, following a bitter royal succession dispute. It was the first coronation in more than five decades, following the passing of his father, King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March 2021 of diabetes-related illness. King Misuzulu is the eldest son of the late monarch’s third wife, who he designated as regent in his will, according to The Guardian.

Osuthu Palace, Nongoma

<p>eNCA / Youtube</p>

eNCA / Youtube

With an estimated population of 14 million, the Zulu kingdom boasts seven palaces, six of which are located in the small KwaZulu-Natal town of Nongoma. These include Osuthu Palace, the main residence of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, which is distinctive for the two elephants and tusks which flank its entrance. The late king was a descendant of King Cetshwayo, who led the Zulu nation against the British colonialists in 1879, reports The Guardian.

Osuthu Palace, Nongoma

<p>Phill Magakoe / Pool / AFP via Getty Images</p>

Phill Magakoe / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

Dignitaries including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Charlene, Princess of Monaco (whom's family moved to South Africa when she was 12) attended the memorial service at the royal palace in recognition of the leader who, while having no official government powers, remained a key figure in democratic South Africa. Mourners joined a procession to the palace. The king left behind six wives and at least 28 children.

King Cetshwayo's residence, Ondini

<p>Ariadne Van Zandbergen / Alamy Stock Photo</p>

Ariadne Van Zandbergen / Alamy Stock Photo

Distinct from the lavish surroundings enjoyed by many of the Zulu royal family today, King Cetshwayo, the last king of the independent Zulu nation, lived a simple and traditional life. A reconstruction of his “isigodlo” (chief’s residence) can be seen at the Ondini Cultural Museum near Ulundi. The original structure and much of Ulundi was destroyed by the British before the eventual demise of the Zulu Kingdom in 1883.

Khangelamankengane Royal Palace

<p>AFP via Getty Images</p>

AFP via Getty Images

While the new King (seen here with Zulu regiments at the Khangelamankengane Royal Palace) has been installed on the throne, all is not well. Misuzulu is the first son of Zwelithini’s third wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, who he designated as regent in his will. When she died a month later and Misuzulu was named successor, all hell broke loose. Zwelithini had at least 12 sons and it was not assumed that Misuzulu was next in line. His opponents are still fighting. Sounds like a royal family rivalry!

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