The Azores, Portugal
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Known as “Europe’s Hawaii”, this lush, autonomous archipelago is officially part of Portugal but rests in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, almost 1500 kilometres from Lisbon. The volcanic islands hide incredible waterfalls, deep swimming holes and beautiful migrating birds. It’s where Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson honeymooned after their 1986 wedding.
Courchevel, French Alps
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Given how many royal retreats seem to centre on snow-capped mountains, we’d guess the princes and princesses are skilled skiers. Prince William and Duchess Catherine allegedly took their two eldest children to Courchevel for a family holiday in 2016 (the location was a closely guarded secret) and released a series of incredibly sweet, beanie-clad pics of the kids seeing snow for the first time. Image credit: WPA/Pool/Getty.
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Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte will never have fond memories of spending hours driving to a family holiday down the coast. Instead, their summers have included a stay in Biarritz, a ritzy seafront resort town in the south of France.
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Each summer, Queen Elizabeth II decamps to this sprawling castle in Aberdeenshire and family members drop in periodically to visit and relish in the seclusion. This isn’t the first branch of the royal family to choose a Scottish holiday – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the property in 1952 and it was beloved by the current monarch’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. You can literally vacay like the Queen here, too – several cottages on the property are available for commoners to rent. Image credit: PA Images/Getty.
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The royal brothers seem to adore whisking their paramours away to Africa: Prince Harry reportedly wooed his fiancé Meghan Markle on a trip to Botswana to celebrate her 36th birthday. But the prince has a long-standing love of the country, having visited several times with his father and brother in the past.
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When the slopes are calling, members of the Crown head to this dreamy Swiss ski resort near the country’s western border. Prince Charles has often been spotted around the village and Prince William and Kate Middleton (as she was then known) were seen here in the very early days of their courtship.
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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall retreat to their fancy farmhouse, Llwynwermod, both when touring Wales and when they need time out. When the royal couple isn’t pottering throughout the surrounding parkland, members of the public can rent the three-bedroom home for their own rural hideaway. It’s listed dog friendly, in case you have your own pack of corgis with you. Image credit: Pool/Getty.
Lake Rutundu, Kenya
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Rumour has it Prince William popped the question in a rather rustic wood cabin in this east African country. Though its location near both Lake Rutundu and Lake Alice is stunning, don’t expect the royal treatment during a stay: the huts are self-catering, the lights are solar only and mobile reception is patchy.
North Island, The Seychelles
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jetted to this tropical escape not long after their nuptials in 2011. It’s believed they stayed in an exxy, 11-villa resort, renowned for its seclusion, for around 10 days.
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Princess Diana used to take her boys on winter jaunts to this ski resort – donning early ‘90s neon ski gear, naturally. Its ski area is shared with Zurs and Warth-Schrocken and offers almost 180 kilometres of slopes suitable for mostly intermediate skiers. Image credit: Getty.
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When Prince Charles visited Perth in 1979 and took a plunge at glorious Cottosloe Beach, he was papped with Australian model, Jane Priest, in a photo that was splashed around the world. The last time he and the Duchess were here, for the Commonwealth Games, they snuck off to a friend’s house in rural NSW, thought to be somewhere near Gundagai, for a little R’n’R. Image credit: Mirrorpix/Getty.
Mustique, St Vincent and the Grenadines
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Palms swaying gently on the secluded beaches of a private island: that’s more the vibe of a “royal holiday”. This tiny Caribbean island was a favourite getaway of the late Princess Margaret, so much so she built a home here in the 1960s. Her former residence, Les Jolies Eaux, is a five-bedroom villa designed by Oliver Messel that’s now available for rent and comes with dedicated staff. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also regular visitors, spending several holidays snorkelling, horse-riding and attending cocktails parties at Cotton House Hotel.
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Not so much a holiday spot but where newlyweds Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip lived for several years while he was stationed in the navy, this balmy island holds a special place in Her Majesty’s heart. She spent the majority of her time at Villa Guardamangia, a secluded, formerly grand sandstone structure with water views. Image credit: PA Images/Getty.
Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Several generations of the royal family have visited this West Indies island, including Princess Diana and Prince Harry, and there’s chatter that Harry and Meghan will sojourn here during their honeymoon. It’s a hive of ecotourism, including a program that tags and monitors the local sea turtle population.