The 25 best photos of the royal family on vacation, from Balmoral to the Caribbean

Mark Large/ Pool/ Getty ImagesThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte after touching down in Canada in October 2016.
  • The royal family has many official engagements to attend to each year, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sneak in some vacation time every now and then.
  • With the world at their fingertips, the Queen and the rest of the family have indulged in the best of the best.
  • From country walks and fishing in Balmoral, skiing in the alps, to sightseeing on the other side of the world, their holidays are pretty varied.
  • According to The Sun, Kate Middleton and Prince William have jetted off to Mustique for Prince George’s birthday on Monday – so we may be treated to some royal vacation photos pretty soon.
  • Until then, INSIDER has rounded up the best photos from the royals’ vacations over the years.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

The British royal family are a busy bunch, but that’s not to say they don’t make time for a vacation every now and then.

Whether the Queen is roaming the grounds of her Balmoral estate or William and Kate are taking the kids on a skiing trip, their getaways usually look picture-perfect.

According to The Sun, this year William and Kate have chosen to vacation on the Caribbean island of Mustique with their children to celebrate Prince George’s birthday next week.

Read more:
15 times royal kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and baby Archie upstaged their famous parents

A royal source told the publication: “It is incredibly private and incredibly discreet but not remote. They know and trust the staff who work there and they are creatures of habit.

“Kate used to go there, the Middletons used to go there,” the source added. “The family love it.”

If the reports are true, royal fans may be treated to some new swoon-worthy vacation photos soon.

Until then, INSIDER has compiled the best photos of the royal family vacationing over the years – and they might give you some inspiration for your next trip.

Balmoral Castle in Scotland is the holiday home of choice for the Queen and Prince Philip — they even celebrated their silver wedding anniversary there in November 1972.

PA Images via Getty Images

While their choice of accommodation is a little larger than what the average person can afford…

PA Images via Getty Images

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are pictured with two of their children, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, at Balmoral Castle in 1972.

… their choice of activities are similar. The Queen and Prince Philip went fishing during that same trip.

Fox Photos/ Getty Images.

Sometimes, they travel a little further afield. The Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, owned a holiday home in Mustique in the West Indies. The Queen visited her there in 1977.

Anwar Hussein/ Getty Images.

Prince Charles married Princess Diana on July 29, 1981. They spent their honeymoon aboard the Royal Yacht on an 11-day cruise of the Mediterranean…

Tim Graham/ Getty Images.

… before arriving at Balmoral to continue the celebrations with the rest of the family.

Anwar Hussein/ WireImage/ Getty Images

The couple loved their skiing holidays. Here they are with the Duke and Duchess of York on the slopes in Klosters, Switzerland, in February 1987.

Tim Graham/ Getty Images.

It’s not uncommon for royals from different countries to get together for vacation. This 1990 shot shows Charles and Diana on board Kind Juan Carlos of Spain’s royal yacht with both the Greek and Spanish royal families in the Balearic Islands.

Tim Graham/ Getty Images.

Diana passed her love for skiing onto Prince William and Harry. They visited Lech, Austria, for a skiing trip in March 1994.

Kent Gavin/ Mirropix/ Getty Images.

But the boys had plenty of vacations with their father, too. In 1997, they embarked on an outdoor adventure at Muick Falls, Scotland.

Tim Graham/ Getty Images.

In 2000, Prince William spent part of his gap year in Patagonia, where he volunteered by helping to build wooden walkways in local villages, as well as by teaching English to schoolchildren.

Tim Graham Picture Library/ Getty Images.

Three years later, it was Prince Harry’s turn. The royal spent part of his gap year in Australia, where he posed with a koala in Sydney…

Phil Noble/ PA Images via Getty Images

… and rode horses in Queensland.

Gareth Copley/ PA Images via Getty Images.

He spent a romantic getaway in Antigua with then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy in 2007. In this photo, the pair share a sweet moment as they watch the ICC Cricket World Cup Super Eight match between England and Australia in St John’s.

Shaun Botterill/ Getty Images.

In July 2011, newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoyed a trip to “Honeymoon Island” in Blatchford Lake, Canada.

Samir Hussein/ WireImage/ Getty Images

Prince Charles embarked on a tour of Australia and New Zealand with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. In this photo, Charles shows off his dance moves for fans in Christchurch.

Chris Jackson/ Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Camilla sampled the local food at a farmers market in Fielding.

Pool/ Getty Images.

Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoyed a family vacation to the French Alps with their son, Prince George, and daughter, Princess Charlotte, in March 2016.

The couple embraced their playful side, and got involved in a snowball fight for the camera.

John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesPrince William and Kate Middleton enjoy a short private skiing break on March 3, 2016 in the French Alps, France.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took a trip to Botswana in August 2017, three months before their engagement. The pair made a visit to the non-profit charity Elephants Without Borders, to help equip elephants with satellite collars to protect them from poachers. They shared this never-seen-before photo to their Instagram account in April 2019.


The royal family traditionally spend the Christmas holiday at Sandringham House in Norfolk. Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry attended a service at St Mary’s Church near the estate on Christmas Day 2018.

Stephen Pong/ Getty Images

Prince Charles and Camilla embarked on a whirlwind tour of the Caribbean in March 2019. Although it was a work visit, they had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery…

Chris Jackson/ Getty Images

Read more:
17 photos show Prince Charles and Camilla living their best lives in the Caribbean

… not to mention a mojito (or two).

Chris Jackson/ Pool/ Getty Images

The fact they’re royal doesn’t stop them from playing tourists when the right occasion calls for it. They even posed for photos with this John Lennon statue.

Yander Zamora/ Anadolu/ Getty Images

All in all, when it comes to vacations — whether it be a fun day of sightseeing, or kicking back with a drink — they’re just like the rest of us.

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