Does Queen Elizabeth Live at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace?

The British Royal Family lives a pretty lavish lifestyle. They have an abundance of jewels, cars, and of course–castles. Every time Queen Elizabeth II or members of her family are in the news, references to their estates like Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle, and Buckingham Palace are always reported. We also know that the queen and her husband, Prince Philip adore visiting their country estate Sandrigum House, especially during the holiday season.

However, we do know that the queen spends much of her time in London where she conducts her business, so does she live at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace?

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool /Getty Images

Does Queen Elizabeth live at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace?

The quick and dirty answer is that Queen Elizabeth lives at both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, but both estates serve very different purposes. When she’s in London– the queen spends her time at her official London residence, Buckingham Palace. However, on the weekends, the queen and her hubby can be found lounging about Windsor Castle which is their official country residence. The castle is located in Windsor, Berkshire, England.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the residence and administrative headquarters of the British Royal Family. Built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham– the palace was initially just a townhouse. However, in 1761 King George II purchased the residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte. It would become the monarch’s official residence in 1837.

In the 20th century –the three wings were constructed around the courtyard, and the infamous balcony was added. The palace has over 52 bedrooms and rooms.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is much older than Buckingham Palace and is actually nearly 1,000 years old. Way back in the day –William the Conqueror chose the location for the castle as a fortress, and he built the original castle in the 1070s. Windsor Castle was rebuilt in the 1170s by Henry II who replaced the wood with stone. The rest of the estate was built up by various monarchs across the centuries.

Though the queen often visits the castle on the weekends, it becomes her official residence from March to April over Easter– known as Easter Court. She also likes to use the castle when she hosts overseas monarchs and presidents.

How many houses does Queen Elizabeth have?

Officially, Queen Elizabeth II has six residences –each of them serving different purposes whether they are for royal or personal living. Along with Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, she also has Holyrood Palace –her official Scottish Residence, Balmoral Castle her plush summer home located in Scotland, Sandringham Estate –her holiday residence and Hillsborough Castle her official Irish Residence.

Does the queen own Buckingham Palace?

Though Buckingham Palace is The Crown’s headquarters it’s not officially owned by the queen. Instead, the palace along with several other royal residences are part of a trust under the Crown Estate. The trust also holds Windsor Castle. However, the queen does own a few of her homes outright including, Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House. When Prince Charles becomes king, many of these properties will be passed on to him.

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