How to Vacation Like a Royal: Where Kate, William, Harry and the Queen Spend their Summer Holidays

From France to Scotland, the royals have an enviable itinerary

Photo: AP

A private plane to a French chateau, cycling training, the stifling heat of Africa and drizzly afternoons amid the moorland heather of Scotland: If you’re considering vacationing like the royals, you’ll want to weigh your options!

For Prince William, Princess Kate and their children George and Charlotte, summer vacation meant a glamorous trip to the south of France, where they recently flew via private jet and stayed at the 16th-century Chateau La Rocque in the village of Pouydraguin. The castle is owned by multimillionaire media boss Michael Green, while the jet was provided by the family of the late Duke of Westminster (whose son and now heir Hugh is a godfather to Prince George).

But while luxury travel is one way to while away the summer days, the royals can also be found engaging in less regal pursuits, including barbecuing on the river in August drizzle and being nibbled by the notorious midges in the highlands of Scotland.

Their French vacation behind them, William has been for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, while Kate is minding the children most days. In Norfolk near their country home, the seaside of Hunstanton and other beaches are favorite outings for the royal mom.

Before the end of the summer, William and Kate are expected to head to Balmoral in Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth will be based until early October. Last September the couple spent a week there, helping the Queen mark the day when she broke the record for the longest reign on September 9.

In fact, every member of the family will have spent some time there at some point during the summer, as it’s almost “a royal command” to do so, insiders say.

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But before the wider family started descending (Prince Andrew and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are thought to be there this week), the Queen enjoyed several days at the quieter, more intimate Craigowen Lodge on the estate. It is one of her favorite homes, along with Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate, and a place she likes to stay alone or with her husband Prince Philip.

For his part, while the Queen headed north, Philip initially went in the opposite direction to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight off the coast of southern England, to take in the sailing at the annual regatta.

But not everyone is taking a leisurely approach. Royal daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex is spending some of her summer putting in some training for a bike ride on September 19 from Scotland to London (more than 450 miles) to benefit the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Appeal.

Training since February, the mom of Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn goes out three times a week and can now ride 70 miles in a day. The training is “peppered with looking after the children,” says a royal source.

The regimen has “been harder than I thought,” Sophie, 51, told the told the Royal Family’s website. “There have definitely been moments when I’ve thought, ‘What on earth have I decided to do?’ ”

Meanwhile, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are at Birkhall, the home the prince inherited from his grandmother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, on the royals’ highland estate in Scotland. They’re expected at some public engagements like the recent Ballater games, where they met victims of the winter floods in the area.

Taking the longest-distance trip? Prince Harry, who is back in his beloved Africa, this time to help transport 500 elephants across Malawi. Called a “private working trip” by his office, he will no doubt enjoy some downtime – and he did manage to squeeze in the wedding of cousin George McCorquodale in South Africa earlier this month.

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