A Peek Into the Private Home and Family Life of Queen Elizabeth II

Shannon Quinn - September 16, 2022
Adelaide Cottage. Credit: People Magazine

The Queen Was Even Closer to Her Grandkids At Adelaide Cottage

The Prince and Princess of Wales decided to downsize their living arrangement. From 20 rooms in Kensington Palace down to just a 4-bedroom house called Adelaide Cottage. They did not want any servants to live in the house with them. The couple wanted their children to have more of a normal life in the suburbs.

A painting of the cottage from 1839. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Adelaide Cottage is located on the grounds of Windsor Castle, close to St. George’s Chapel. It’s roughly 25 miles from central London. Adelaide Cottage was originally built for Queen Adelaide, the wife of King William IV, in 1831. They used building materials from the Royal Lodge, according to the Royal Collection. Since the Queen moved to Windsor Castle in 2020, this meant that they were practically living in the same home. At least, it was the same property, even if Adelaide Cottage is its own private residence. (via Architectural Digest)

Nottingham Cottage. Credit: House and Garden UK

The Queen Visited Megan and Harry When They Lived in Nottingham Cottage, then Frogmore Cottage

Following their engagement announcement in 2017, the former Suits star moved into Prince Harry’s home, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remained in the 1,300-square-foot two-bedroom home until shortly before the 2019 birth of their son, Archie. When it came time to relocate, the pair decided to head back to the site of their wedding, Windsor Castle, and live on the grounds’ Frogmore Cottage. The home, which was a wedding gift from the Queen, wasn’t quite ready for the family of three. Turning the five-unit property into a single-family house required a renovation that cost more than $3 million. The cottage now has 10 bedrooms, a nursery, a gym, and a yoga studio.

Frogmore Cottage in 1872, because modern photos are nearly impossible to get. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Then, in early 2020, Harry and Meghan made the shocking decision to move across the pond. After a brief stint in Canada and then Los Angeles, the pair ultimately settled in a $14.7 million estate in the upscale enclave of Montecito, California. The couple paid back the $3 million spent to renovate Frogmore Cottage, though they are still able to use the home when they visit the U.K. In fact, they returned for the first time in June, when they returned to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and hosted a first birthday party for Lilibet in the garden. (via Architectural Digest)

The Crown Estate owns commercial real estate in London. Credit: DW

The Crown Estate Owns Multiple Properties

Regent Street is one of London’s best-known thoroughfares. For nearly a mile, it is lined with well-known shops, bars and restaurants. As commercial real estate goes, it is about as prime as it gets. Remarkably, practically every square inch of the street is owned by a single company: The Crown Estate. This is clearly not just any old enterprise. As well as vast tracts of central London, The Crown Estate owns property all across the UK, from castles and cottages to agricultural land and forests plus retail parks and shopping centers.

The Queen owned billions of dollars in real estate. Credit: Shutterstock

It owns more than half the UK’s entire seashore, giving it hugely valuable auction rights for offshore commercial activity, such as wind farms. Administering real estate worth at least $17.8 billion, it is one of Europe’s largest property groups. The question of who exactly owns the real estate empire is not a straightforward one, though. “The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch ‘in right of the Crown,’. It is owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne,” the company explains. “But it is not the private property of the monarch — it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.” (via DW)

Charles and Camilla lived in Clarence House together. Credit: Express Co UK

King Charles III and His Wife Camilla Lived in the Queen’s Former Home, Clarence House in London

Clarence House is a royal residence in the City of Westminster, London. It was built in 1825-1827, adjacent to St James’s Palace, for the Duke of Clarence, the future king William IV. King Charles III and the Queen Consort, Camilla, have mainly resided at Clarence House in London since their wedding in 2005. The property was once home to Charles’s grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Prior to the couple moving in, the home underwent extensive renovations and was refurbished with new artwork, textiles, and a new color scheme.

Camilla entertaining in Clarence house. Credit: Express Co UK

Following the Queen’s death, over 100 employees of Clarence house received a notice that they may lose their jobs. This is most likely because King Charles III will be moving to Buckingham Palace. This was highly criticized, because the staff was still in their period of mourning. It was called “nothing short of heartless”. It’s also strange to lay everyone off, because the Prince of Wales will be moving to the residence, and may need help himself. (via The Guardian)

Buckingham Palace became the new home of King Charles III, because every monarch must live there. Credit: Shutterstock

Now That He Is King, Charles Will Move Into Buckingham Palace

It is tradition for the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom to live in Buckingham Palace. With its 775 rooms, it is the biggest residential prize, official home to the reigning monarch and their spouse. A few days after Queen Elizabeth’s death, King Charles III and Queen Camilla held their first audiences in the building’s glamorous 1844 Room.

These soldiers are renamed The King’s Guard, because of the Queen’s passing. Credit: Shutterstock

At the moment, there are renovations happening at Buckingham Palace that are not expected to be complete until 2027. So there is a chance that King Charles III will continue living in his other residence with Queen Camilla until the property is done. However, he will still be expected to spend a large amount of time in the palace in order to complete his duties as the King. (via Architectural Digest)