Where Does the Royal Family Go to Vacation in Privacy?

It was no surprise Meghan Markle is snagging headlines ahead of her 37th birthday on August 4. But the news wasn’t about hubby Prince Harry throwing her an over-the-top bash. Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are heading off to have a private vacation away from the spotlight.

On the surface, it may appear the couple is trying to get away from the media circus created by Meghan’s family. (More on that in just a second.) But in reality, the royal family is quite fond of vacationing away from prying eyes. And they have a select few favorite spots they regularly escape to.

Britain's Prince Harry (R) and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle, arrive to attend a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Yui Mok/AFP/Getty Images

A few favorite getaways

When it comes to summer vacation, members of the royal family often escape to Mustique, a private island in the Caribbean. The exclusive paradise used to be a favorite destination for Princess Margaret to hold parties for her abundantly wealthy friends while staying away from the public eye. (Visitors can reportedly rent her 10-acre plot for upwards of $35,000 a week.) Prince William and Kate Middleton are reportedly spending their summer there while off from their royal duties.

Of course, the royal family also has a long history of retreating to the Scottish countryside. Queen Elizabeth visits her favorite holiday home Balmoral every summer, and the rest of the royals typically meet her and Prince Philip there. There are tours of the palace on select dates, but tourists are not allowed when the royal family is there.

When the royals really want to get away, they may also venture down to Africa. In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Kenya when Prince William asked Kate to marry him! And of course, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first trip together as a couple in Botswana.

Although, Harry and Meghan won’t be traveling quite that far to get peace and quiet this time around …

So where are Harry and Meghan vacationing this time?

Vanity Fair reports the Sussexes will be spending their private vacation at the royal family property in the Cotswolds. They are reportedly renting a farmhouse cottage on the Great Tew Estate, which is secluded but also heavily guarded.

“The property is in the middle of woodland and you wouldn’t know it was there,” a local tells Vanity Fair. “It is very remote which is why they like it. It’s like a fortress.”

Meghan Markle puts her hand on Prince Harry's back as they leave the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave the balcony of Buckingham Palace after watching a military fly-past to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force. | Tolga Akmen/ AFP/ Getty Images

Is this just a vacation? Or is it an escape?

While this is the perfect time for Harry and Meghan to take a summer vacation, there is heavy speculation they’re also trying to escape the media frenzy that has followed them around since before their wedding last May. There are also reports Harry is becoming increasingly concerned with how much of a spotlight is being put on his new wife and wishes for the two to have some privacy.

Of course, it’s not hard to see why Prince Harry may be feeling this way. Meghan’s estranged family has taken to bashing her in the media, and her father’s embarrassing interview in July caused royal aids to hold meetings on how to keep Meghan safe. With so much negative attention focused on them, how could the Duke and Duchess of Sussex not want to get away from the limelight for a while?

Besides, if you were a royal who could take a trip to one of these exclusive places, you probably would too.

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