Bertie’s Castles

All the gorgeous palaces, castles, and manor houses past and present…

Bertie was born on the Sandringham Palace estate and spent most of his childhood here, as well as long Christmas holidays throughout his life.  This is where he died at age 56 of lung disease one night in his sleep after a day of hunting. 

Once he became king, Bertie lived in Buckingham Palace during the week.

It was originally called Buckingham House and was built for the Duke of Buckingham.  

Once Queen Victoria became Queen in 1837, this became the official residence of the British monarchs. 

During WWII, a German bomb destroyed the chapel (which was later rebuilt as a royal art gallery).

Bertie, and later Queen Elizabeth II, liked to stay at Windsor Castle during the weekends.  Queen Elizabeth II used Windsor Castle as her fulltime residence once renovations were started on Buckingham Palace in early 2022. 

Windsor Castle was badly damaged by fire in 1992, supposedly from a workman’s heater catching some curtains on fire and burning over 100 rooms.  Queen Elizabeth was devastated, calling it her “Annus Horribilis” (her “horrible year”).

More Castle History

The Palace of Westminster was built in the 11th Century and was the first royal residence for all British kings.  A fire destroyed it in 1512. and the kings then moved to Whitehall Palace.  It was rebuilt for a second time, but another fire destroyed it in 1834. 

The “new” palace is still very impressive and holds the Houses of Parliament (the British government). 

The iconic Tower of London was a royal residence as early as 1066, and also served as a royal prison.  It now holds the royal crown and jewels – and boasts several ghosts. 

It has been said that the ghosts of two handsome young princes roam its corridors.  They were allegedly murdered on the orders of their jealous uncle, who wanted to take the throne for himself.

Many executions have taken place on Tower Hill, including the infamous Queen Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s 2nd wife, the mother of Queen Elizabeth I.

The main residence of monarchs between 1530 and 1698 was Whitehall Palace. It once had a bowling alley, tilt yard, indoor tennis court, and cock fighting pit. It was destroyed by fires in 1691 and 1698, but you can still see the banqueting hall. 

In its heyday, it boasted over 1,500 rooms and was the largest palace in Europe.  King Henry VIII married two of his wives here, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, and also died here.

Hampton Court Palace started out as a residence for Cardinal Wolsey, but King Henry VIII liked it so much he took it for himself! 

This is where King Henry VIII’s beloved 3rd wife, Jane Seymour, died shortly after giving birth to his only son, and where he ordered that his 5th wife, Catherine Howard, be beheaded for adultery. 

They say her ghost can be seen running frantically through a hallway screaming for mercy!  Additionally, that same hallway becomes icy cold at times and the most emergency medical calls occur in that area of the palace!

St. James’s Palace was the major royal residence for monarchs for over 300 years after fire destroyed Whitehall Palace. 

Queen Elizabeth I was in residence here during the Spanish Armada.  Queen Victoria married Prince Albert here.  At times, it has also been the London residence of King Charles III (then Prince Charles) and Anne, Princess Royal.

Princes William and Harry have offices here.  It still boasts many royal events and offices. 

Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace and was raised here with no siblings, friends, or playmates.  She was truly miserable.

When she was a princess of 18, she was awakened early one morning and notified that her uncle, the king, had died, thus making her queen.  One of her daughters, Princess Louise, was a very talented artist and she created the Queen Victoria statue in the park on the grounds. 

More recently, Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry lived here.

Kew Palace was a royal residence for King George II’s three eldest daughters.  It was later used as a summer retreat away from the hustle and bustle of Buckingham Palace and the city.  It was also a special place for hosting intimate garden parties.  This is the palace where King George III was housed during his bouts of madness through the years.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse has been the monarch’s royal residence in Scotland since the 1600’s.  It hosts many official events and functions.

Every summer for one week, Queen Elizabeth II stayed here and conducted official business and ceremonies. 

Mary, Queen of Scots, once called this home from 1561 until her forced abdication in 1567.  She was later beheaded on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I who feared Queen Mary wished to assume her throne and, thus, become Queen of Scotland AND England. 

King James II was born, crowned, and laid to rest here. 

Queen Elizabeth II passed away at her cherished Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022.  Many people say that she was happiest here surrounded by nature and family. 

This was also Queen Victoria’s favorite castle. She spent many lovely years here with her beloved husband, Prince Albert in the mid-1800’s. 

He died fairly young after a brief illness, and Queen Victoria never recovered, shutting herself away for years. She wore black mourning clothes and a miniature crown for the rest of her life.

After the prince’s death, they say she kept his rooms exactly the same and even had hot water and fresh towels brought to them daily!

Princes William and Harry learned of the sudden passing of their mother, Princess Diana, in Paris while they were at Balmoral with Queen Elizabeth II on summer vacation.  She comforted the young princes, and many years later passed away here.