Imagining what living in a palace feels like is a daytime passion for many. As we step foot into these opulent homes, you can expect grand chandeliers and luxurious artworks, a culmination of inheritance and wealth passed down, and history treasured over generations. While London is honed to be the ultimate city associated with the life of the royal family, but there are many other royal palaces that each country’s respective royal family calls home. Each of these castles reflects the country’s architectural style and history. We take you through some of the most impressive royal residences.
Buckingham Palace, London, England
When it comes to royal residences around the world, Buckingham Palace is the first name that comes to mind. Formally the home of late Queen Elizabeth II and now home to King Charles III and his Queen Consort, the 775-room Palace is situated in the heart of London — and quite frankly needs no explanation. It has been the official London residence of the British sovereign since 1837, and it is the most notable of all the royal residences. Buckingham Palace is off limits to the public for most of the year, but between July and October visitors walk through the gardens and check out 19 of its finest staterooms. The impressive 40-acre garden sets the scene for many summer garden parties. The palace itself is home to private offices and apartments of other working royals.
The Prince’s Palace, Monaco
The Prince’s Palace in Monaco was built as a fortress in 1162. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene live in the Prince’s Palace with their children. However it was Prince Rainier III who is praised for the beauty he added with restoration to the palace. Think walls draped in silk brocade, custom furniture and royal portraits. The Palace is open for public tours from June to October every year.
The Palace of Holyrood, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Palace of Holyrood is yet another royal estate, best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots. The palaces staterooms are regularly used by the royal family, and the areas open to the public include the 14 staterooms and the grounds, where visitors can explore the ruins of Holyrood Abbey. James IV built the palace in the late 1600s, before George V gave it a makeover in the 1900s, adding an elevator and central heating.
Drottningholm Royal Palace, Sweden
With 600 rooms, the Drottningholm Royal Palace has been the Swedish royal residence. But what makes this one of the top royal residences are the five museums and Drottningholm Palace Theater. The palace houses the only 18th-century theatre in the world that still uses its original machinery. The southern rooms are reserved for the royal family, but the rest of the castle grounds are open year-round. Built in the 1600s, Drottningholm Royal Palace is a well-preserved European architectural marvel and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain
Madrid’s Royal Palace is as majestic as it gets and is one of the largest palaces in Western Europe. With 3,418 rooms, it is the official private residence of King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and their family. The beauty is further enhanced by the large courtyard and huge galleries. While the changing of the guards that happen every Wednesday and Saturday is a major attraction, the rooms open to the public include the Throne Room and the Gasparini Chamber. Equally spectacular is the Royal Armoury, which has one of the world’s largest collections of military weapons and armour. Don’t forget to have a look at the Campo del Moro, a garden created by Phillip II in the 19th century and designed to mimic the ones at the Palace of Versailles.
Tokyo Imperial Palace, Japan
The palace has been home to Japanese emperors since 1868, and the construction of this royal residence pays homage to the culture and tradition of Japan. The Imperial Palace sprawls across 1.15 square kilometres. The main building of the place is called Kyūden, while the Matsu-no-Ma is where the emperor conducts meetings. The inside of the palace is only open to the public twice a year for a New Year’s greeting on January 2 and the emperor’s birthday on February 23. The East Gardens are accessible all year round. But a sight that is worth the wait is the view of cherry blossoms in bloom from the foundation.
The Royal Palace, Cambodia
The abode of current King Norodom Sihamoni, The Royal Palace was built back in 1866 by Preah Bat Norodom. Most of the palace is closed to the public but the Throne Room and The Silver Pagoda are open for tours. This treasure in Cambodia celebrates traditional architecture with slanting roofs and a pointed tower that adds immense beauty. The dress code requires one to keep their legs covered till the knee, and arms covered till the elbow.
Huis ten Bosch Palace, Netherlands
A forest hideaway inHuis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague is the official private residence of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima since January 2019. The main building of the palace is open during public events and festivities. Designed by Dutch architect Pieter Post, the construction of the palace began in 1645. Parts of the palace were destroyed in the Second World War, and went through two rounds of restorations between 1950 and 1981. The iconic feature is the blue dome with a sculpture in gold that is almost scintillating. Since the royal family resides here, it is not accessible to the public. If you go for a walk through the Haagse Bos forest, however, you can see the palace from a distance and, if you are very lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of one of the members of the Dutch Royal Family.
Dar al-Makhzen, Morocco
Dar al-Makhzen, located in the Touarga commune of Rabat, is the official residence of the current monarch of Morocco, His Majesty King Mohammed VI. It is surrounded by high walls, spanning an area of 195 acres. It was built in 1864 as a replacement for the former royal palace. The Palace compound also consists of a mosque, royal college, cookery school, small racecourse and a library. Though the ornate main entrance gate is open to viewers, the entry is restricted to selected guests only.
Mysore Palace, India
India’s rich cultural heritage and architecture make it a country full of royal palaces. While the country has a plethora of royal palaces, however, the Mysore Palace is a standout. It was home to the Wadiyar dynasty while they ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. It has since been converted into a museum, complete with a sound-and-light show that illuminates the palace every night.
Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark
The Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, which serves as the Danish royal family’s residence is one of the oldest royal residences of the world. Amalienborg Palacewas designed by Nicolai Eigtved in the 1750s. The courtyard of the palace features a statue of King Frederick V dating back to 1771. Amalienborg is made up of four identical buildings: Christian VII’s Palace, Frederik VIII’s Palace, Christian IX’s Palace and Christian VIII’s Palace. The palace isn’t open to the public, but the changing of the guard can be viewed every day at noon. One mustn’t miss the museum about the Danish monarchy. This is a must-visit for anyone with a taste for royal history.