Royal Residences of Queen Elisabeth II
Great Britain is awash with palaces, castles and stately homes, but contrary to popular belief, the Queen Elisabeth does not live in them all, or indeed even own them all.
Many of Great Britain's castles and stately homes are privately owned, with the Queen only living in one stately home and two castles, although most British palaces do have a royal resident of some lineage residing in them.
Buckingham Palace, fondly known as ' Buck House' to most Britons, is synonomous with the Queen of England and is indeed her primary, official residence, although her considered home is actually eighteen miles away at Windsor Castle.
Her other castle residence is that of Balmoral Castle, in Scotland which is one of her private residences.
The Queen also has another Scottish residence, Holyrood Palace, situated in Scotland's capital Edinburgh.
Her one and only stately home residence, is Sandringham House, another private residence situated in Norfolk.
So officially Queen Elisabeth II lives in two palaces, two castles and one stately home, with three of them official royal residences and two of them private royal residences.
However, as Queen of the Realm, she is more than entitled to knock on any ones door in the land and be given safe passage, although she probably would'nt !
The flag pictured at the top, right of this article is the Royal Standard, flown atop any building that the Queen is in residence, so the folk of Britain always know when their monarch is at home.
( Image courtesy of Stuart Yeats, wikimedia commons)
Balmoral Castle is situated in Royal Deeside, Aberdenshire in Scotland and is one of only two privately owned royal residences of the Queen.
Originally built in 1390 by Sir William Drummond for King Robert II, the castle was formerly rented by and then brought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a holiday home in 1848 and remodelled into what we see today..
Since then the castle, which is now part of a fully working 64,000 acre estate, is one of the royal family's favourite retreats, with the family taking regular, annual, Summer holidays there.
( image courtesy of Dilif, wikimedia commons)
Situated on The Mall in the City of Westminster and known as Buck House throughout the land, Buckingham Palace has been the official royal residence of the British monarchy since the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
Originally built in 1703 from a design by William Winde for the Duke of Buckingham, the house first became a royal residence in 1761 when King George III had architects John Nash and Edward Blore remodel the building for his wife Queen Charlotte.
Today the palace is a massive 828,818 sq ft ( 77,000 sq mt) and the primary official residence of Queen Elisabeth.
The palace is used for royal duties, royal functions, as a residence for visiting heads of state, the world famous, daily changing of the guard ceremony and a rallying point for the British public in times of national rejoicing and crisis.
PALACE OF HOLYROOD.
( image courtesy of Finlay McWalter, wikimedia commons)
The great palace at Holyrood, situated on the Royal Mile in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh is the Queen's official residence when in Scotland.
Originally built in 1128 by David King of Scots, the palace has officially been a royal residence since King James IV in 1501.
Today the Queen spends one week a year there on official public duties as well as using it as an official royal residence for other members of the royal family and visiting public heads of state.
The rest of the year the palace is open to the public.
( image courtesy of RXUYDC, wikimedia commons)
This 20,000 acre estate situated in the coastal village of Sandringham in Norfolk is the Queen's only stately home and used by both her and other royals as a holiday home.
Originally built in 1771 by architect Cornish Henley, the house was brought by Queen Victoria in 1862 as a home for her son King Edward VII and his wife Princess Alexandra.
The house has received many renovations over the years and is one of only two royal privately owned residences of the Queen.
It is here at Sandringham that the Royal family all gather for their traditional, annual Christmas holiday.
( image courtesy of Dilif, wikimedia commons)
Reputed to be the Queen's favourite home, Winsor Castle situated in royal Berkshire, is the world's largest inhabited castle and Britain's oldest continually inhabited castle.
Originally built between 1066 and 1087 during the reign of William the Conqueror, the castle has been renovated and remodelled by every British monarch since.
One of three official royal residences in Great Britain, the 45,00 sq m ( 480,000 sq ft) castle is also home to St Georges Chapel, which houses the tombs of several former British monarchs and royals.
Since the accession of Queen Elisabeth in 1952, Windsor Castle has been the official weekend retreat for the royal family.
As the castle is state owned, it is open to the public, and one can visit St Georges Chapel and the Queen Mother's Dolls House amongst many other things, and in the castle's grounds, one can explore Windsor Great Park with it's Long Walk that leads to the statue of the Copper Horse and visit the Royal Farm and shop.
The castle is also situated just minutes from the small town of Eton, home to a famous public school that has been the seat of learning for many British and foreign royals and nobility.
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