The Royal Family's Favorite Vacation Destinations to Inspire Your Next Summer Getaway

From the Scottish highlands to the Caribbean islands, the royals know just where to go for an escape

royal vacation spots
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Fox Photos/Getty
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royal vacation spots
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth. Fox Photos/Getty

Queen Elizabeth traditionally spends August at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, which has served as a private retreat for the British royal family for more than 150 years. In the highlands, the royals like to entertain friends, hold dances, picnic and go on shooting parties — all the while battling the nibbling little flies that stalk the heather-covered mountain sides.

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Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have their own home on the Queen's Balmoral Estate in Scotland. The heir inherited Birkhall from his grandmother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the couple often spends time there in the late summer.

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royal vacation spots
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Sussex Royals/Instagram

When they want to escape, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry often head to Africa — a continent where they both have longstanding ties. The couple visited Botswana early in their relationship (after just two dates in London!) in the summer of 2016.

They returned to the country in 2017 to celebrate Meghan's 36th birthday and later shared a never-before-seen photo from their trip on their now-defunct Instagram account, which showed them assisting with conservation efforts with elephants.

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royal vacation spots
Princess Margaret. Anwar Hussein/Getty

After Colin Tennant gave land on the Caribbean island of Mustique to Princess Margaret as a wedding gift in 1960, she built her own private villa called Les Jolies Eaux. The royal visited often and hosted family, including big sister Queen Elizabeth.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have also fallen for the island's quiet charm, bringing their three children on vacation to the tropical paradise.

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Isles of Scilly

royal vacation spots
Tresco, Isles of Scilly. Chris Gorman/Getty

When Kate Middleton and Prince William are looking for a family getaway with their three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — that doesn't require them to travel too far, they head to the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall. There, the family of five can ride bikes and play in the water.

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Necker Island

royal vacation spots
Princess Diana. Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty

Princess Diana enjoyed visiting the Caribbean, sometimes visiting Necker Island, a private island owned by businessman Richard Branson, in the British Virgin Islands.

Prince Harry has also vacationed on the island as an adult with Branson's children.

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royal vacation spots
Princess Diana. Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Princess Diana and Prince Charles took young Princes William and Harry on holiday to Mallorca in 1987, where they joined the Spanish royal family. Diana returned the following year and was spotted enjoying a boat ride in a multicolored bikini.

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Royal vacation spots
Prince William. Chris Jackson/Getty

Like Prince Harry, Prince William has close ties to Africa. He has often visited Kenya as Royal Patron of Tusk and President of United For Wildlife. And in October 2010, it's where he got down on one knee and popped the question to Kate Middleton.

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royal vacation spots
Nicaragua. Epics/Getty

Nicaragua will always hold a special place in the hearts of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank — it's where he proposed!

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The Azores

royal vacation spots
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson spent their honeymoon in this island cluster west of Portugal — and were all smiles upon their return.

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