Summer is here, and for royals the question of where to holiday is a pressing issue. Fortunately the royals have plenty of places to choose from where they either own houses or have wealthy friends are only too happy to put them up.
So where to go?
MUSTIQUE: The paradise island used to be Princess Margaret’s special hidey-hole a sit was owned by her chum Lord Glenconner. Tales of wild parties on the beach during which her gangster friend John Bindon would hang handled beer glasses on his private parts were only the tip, so to speak, of the iceberg. It’s still a refuge for the rich posh, but it’s also been colonised by new money people like the Middletons—successful middle-class families with a taste for the high life. Carole and Mike and the family tend to head out there in January and take Kate and William and the rest of the family with them. Which is just as well, as Will and Kate probably couldn’t afford it these days.
SOUTH OF FRANCE: Viscount Linley’s immaculately restored little hunting lodge in the Provence hills was a marvelous escape pod for stressed-out royals—until Kate got photographed sunbathing topless there, which rather brought the party to an end. The house has now been sold, friends say.
KAZAKHSTAN: Prince Andrew’s business destination of choice, Kazakhstan, has become something of a royal favorite in recent years. Andrew’s connections with the generous elite certainly help, but Prince Harry also got packed off there for a romantic-weekend ski trip with his then-girlfriend Cressida Bonas. They split up soon afterwards.
ROMANIA: Prince Charles’s best kept secret is his network of immaculately maintained properties in Romania. The Prince fell in love with the still largely agrarian country in the 1980s, and has since bought up several endangered farms and villages across the country, which he is dedicated to maintaining and restoring. Jud Covasna is one of the finest—and if he’s not staying there, you can.
AFRICA: Harry adores Africa, and this summer it seems likely he will, as usual, get out there for at least a week or two. There’s no shortage of places to stay; his ex Chelsy Davy comes from Zimbabwe, his best royal friend is Prince Seesio of Swaziland with whom he co-founded the Sentebale charity and he has an extensive network of contacts through Botswana.
BRAZIL: Not usually part of the royal summer vacay, Brazil will likely be added to the list this year as the young royals show their support for Team GB. We are unlikely to see William or Kate making an appearance due to Zika concerns, but Harry is likely to be on hand. No official confirmation from the palace yet, however.
SWITZERLAND: Fergie and Andrew’s new base—a sprawling chalet in the ski town of Verbier, reportedly bought as a nest egg for their kids—is likely to see some off-season royal visitors over the summer. Don’t expect to see Will and Kate rock up, but don’t rule out healthy mountain air and awesome walks for Eugenie, Beatrice, Harry, Freddie Windsor or even Cressida Bonas.
SCOTLAND: It is the ultimate staycation, and as a result the Queen never stirs far from Balmoral during the summer months. Her summer routine at Balmoral is all about walks, visitors, simple Highland fare and picnics whatever the weather (Princess Diana hated it and used to stay in her room, much to HM’s disgust).
The Queen and Philip like to entertain favored guests at a small bothy on the shores of the lake where they do without staff; Philip mans the barbecue and the Queen serves drinks on a tray.