How many royals fit in one castle?

By Christopher Luu
Aug 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Fresh off of their trip to Ibiza, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Archie are already prepping for a getaway to Scotland for their first official trip as a family. For the annual trip to Balmoral, it looks like the entire royal family will be spread around the property. Vanity Fair reports that Meghan and Harry will be staying in the main house along with the queen and Prince Philip, while Prince William and Kate Middleton will be enjoying Tam-na-Ghar, a cottage on the grounds of the queen's expansive estate.

Sources close to the royal family explain that the arrangement is to make the trip easier for everyone. The queen is set to stay at Balmoral for two months and entertain big names such as new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, so having everyone spread out gives them a little bit of breathing room.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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"The Queen has a lot of guests coming and to ease the pressure the Cambridges are likely to stay at the cottage," a source explained. "That could have added benefits for everyone as it means more space in the castle."

The Sussexes and the Cambridges may or may not be visiting at the same time. VF notes that William and Kate generally visit at the end of August with Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Meghan and Harry have more flexible schedule, so having one family unit in the cottage ensures that any overlap that happens still has everyone in comfortable quarters.

Prince Edward, along with the Countess of Wessex and their two children, and Princess Anne are also scheduled to pay a visit to Balmoral, too. When Prince Charles and Camilla come to Scotland, they stay at Birkhall, where the late Queen Mother used to live.

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"It can get quite busy at what they call 'the big house' and it's not especially relaxing even though it’s a holiday," the source added. "There's a daily routine which evolves around meal times, several outfit changes every day, sometimes five, and the Queen likes everything to run like clockwork. The focus is on being outdoors and in the countryside walking, grousing, fishing, and hunting."

Royal historian Hugo Vickers explains that this is one of the queen's favorite times of the year. He says that she's excited to welcome her great-grandchildren to the grounds and expose them to the countryside.

"She loves to teach the little ones to ride and stalk. The queen is very much an outdoors person," he says. "She usually rides every day and her groom comes to Balmoral with her."

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