LOOK: Queen Elizabeth’s 6 residences, 2 favourite homes

Queen Elizabeth II passed away yesterday at one of her two private residences, Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Picture: AP Photo/Martin Cleaver

Queen Elizabeth II passed away yesterday at one of her two private residences, Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Picture: AP Photo/Martin Cleaver

Published Sep 9, 2022


Buckingham Palace is one of the United Kingdom’s most popular tourist destinations.

People from all over the world visit the property to take in its architectural beauty, watch the changing of the guards, or just photograph themselves outside the home of Queen Elizabeth II.

But this property was only one of the beloved former Monarch’s residences.

Owned by the Royal Family, the palace officially belongs to the ruling monarch, so was the home of the former Queen for almost 71 years. It is not, however, the home she passed away in yesterday.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace. Picture: Alfred Derks/Pixabay

The palace, located in Westminster and the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837, now officially belongs to the UK’s new monarch, King Charles III. It has 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 bedrooms for the Royals and guests, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms.

The building is 108 metres long across the front, 120 metres deep (including the central quadrangle) and 24 metres high.

Today, Buckingham Palace is the administrative headquarters of the ruling Monarch, and although it was used for many traditional events and receptions held by Queen Elizabeth II, the State rooms are open to visitors every summer.

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle. Picture: Siggy Nowak/Pixabay

Well-known to have been the Queen’s favourite home, Balmoral Castle in Scotland is one of two private estates that were owned by the former Monarch. It is the home she spent her summers in since 1937 and was ultimately the one she died in.

The secluded, 11-bedroom estate has been the royal family's home in Scotland for almost 170 years, and is also the place she and Prince Philip got engaged in 1946.

Balmoral Castle was more of a home than a grand residence for Queen Elizabeth II, and she enjoyed spending times picnicking and walking in the gardens there. With 52-bedrooms, turrets, draughty corridors, tartan rugs, and walls mounted with antlers, the property has been known to be overwhelming and even intimidating for many people.

But for the Queen, it was her haven.

There are approximately 150 buildings on the estate, including Birkhall, the former home of Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle. Picture: Steve Bidmead/Pixabay

This property was used as a refuge by the royal family during the Luftwaffe bombing campaigns of the Second World War and survived a fire in 1992. Not only is it a popular tourist attraction but a venue for hosting state visits. It has also been the main residence of Queen Elizabeth II since 2011.

Located in the country of Berkshire, Windsor Castle is also the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It sits on 13 acres (five hectares) of land above the south bank of the River Thames and is made up of two quadrilateral-shaped building complexes, or courts, that are separated by the Round Tower. This tower is visible for many miles.

The castle has more than 1 000 rooms, over 300 fireplaces, and houses a substantial portion of the Royal Collection, including furniture, paintings, and armour. It has almost 45 000 square metres of space and is home to 150 people, including the former Queen’s personal advisor and curator.

Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace: Picture: Wolfgang Claussen/Pixabay

Originally a monastery in 1128, this Edinburgh palace was the Queen's official residence in Scotland, and is the venue of her tradition Holyrood Week event held in the first week of summer.

The property is also known as Holyroodhouse and located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The palace covers more than 8 000 square-metres of floor space and has 289 rooms, 17 of which are open to the public.

Sandringham Estate

Sandringham House: Picture: John Fielding/WikiMedia Commons

This is the second of the former Queen’s beloved private homes, and was often used for entertaining during the holidays. It's well known for hosting the royals' annual walk to Christmas Day services at St. Mary Magdalene church.

It is located in Norfolk, England, and is one of the royal residences of King Charles III.

After the death of King George V, the estate was passed on to Queen Elizabeth II who spent about two months there each winter. In fact, her first televised Christmas message was broadcast from Sandringham in 1957.

In 1977, to mark her Silver Jubilee, the Queen opened the house and grounds to the public for the first time.

Sandringham Estate is also the location of Anmer Hall, Prince William and Kate Middleton's 10-bedroom country home. However, the estate is best known as the home where the Windsors spend each Christmas.

Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle. Picture: Melkhayes/WikiMedia Commons

The only royal residence in Ireland, this property – which is not actually a castle but a Georgian house, features hundreds of acres of stunning land, including meandering waterways, ornamental lawns, peaceful woodlands, and picturesque glens.

Leading members of the Royal Family have regularly visited Northern Ireland since 1922, using Hillsborough as their ceremonial and personal base. The property has also been home to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland since the 1970s.

Queen Elizabeth II had, however, not been to the house for six years. Her last visit was in 2016 when she visited alongside her late husband.