As monarch, King Charles’ schedule is bursting with royal engagements. From hosting heads of state to meeting representatives of different charities and organisations, no two days for His Majesty ever look the same.
As a result, it’s no surprise that, on the odd occasion, he likes to kick back and relax by heading on a holiday. While he may regard Highgrove House as his home in the country, he has several properties across the globe – some of which can even be rented out, meaning that we can all holiday like a King.
From the sandy shores of Tresco to the slopes of Klosters, why not make your next trip fit for royalty? Here, OK! has rounded up some of Charles’ favourite holiday spots…
This Greek island is close to the hearts of King Charles and Queen Camilla – and for good reason. It’s the birthplace of the King’s father, the late Prince Philip, who at just 18 months old left the island in a cot made from an orange box after the Greek royal family was exiled in 1922.
The King and Queen reportedly stay at the sprawling Rothschild Villa, also known as the Kensington Summer Palace, in the remote area of Kerasia. Set in a vast estate of ancient pines, waterfalls and rich vegetation on a rocky outcrop above a white pebble beach, the pale pink house is so remote there’s only one traditional taverna nearby. A pavilion and outdoor pool look over the Ionian Sea to Albania.
The King has said Greece is in his blood and that he has “long had a fascination for her ancient culture and history”.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly
With tropical vegetation, turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, the “Cornish Caribbean”, as the five inhabited Isles of Scilly are known, is a firm favourite of the monarch. The isle of Tresco belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall and the King stays at Dolphin House, a large old granite rectory with spectacular views of the coastline.
When he’s not holidaying there, guests can rent it and live like a royal. Tresco Abbey Gardens and several quality restaurants are on its doorstep. The island is best explored on foot or bike, as cars are banned. The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children also holiday on Tresco.
A short helicopter ride away on the mainland is the monarch’s official Cornish residence, the 16th-century Restormel Manor in the Fowey Valley. It has an indoor pool and a sustainable plant nursery.
Visit tresco.co.uk; For Restormel Manor bookings, see duchyofcornwallholidaycottages.co.uk
Loved by many in the royal family, this resort in the Swiss Alps is a magnet for the King, who has two ski lifts there named after him. He stays at the luxurious Chalet Eugenia, which features a swimming pool and home cinema and has direct access to the slopes.
In his younger years, the monarch often invited friends on ski trips and was once pictured wearing a fake nose, moustache and glasses to tease the press.
Sadly, tragedy struck in 1988 when he narrowly escaped the avalanche that killed his friend Major Hugh Lindsay.
The King’s annual Klosters trip was cancelled this year, for the first time in 45 years, ahead of the coronation.
To book, visit ski-boutique.co.uk
Just like the Clintons and the Clooneys, the King likes to unwind in Wales. According to Llangoed Hall managing director Calum Milne, he hires the entire 23-bedroom hotel in the Wye Valley for a week each year to relax and take in the beauty of the Black Mountains, views of which can be enjoyed from the sprawling estate.
The Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park provides plenty of walks and hiking trails, while activities including clay pigeon shooting and horse riding can be arranged – indulging the King’s passion for country sports.
It’s not just our monarch who has made it a home from home, either. Fictional royalty visited the estate in ITV’s aristocratic drama Downton Abbey.
To book, visit llangoedhall.co.uk
Transylvania may sound more suited to prince of darkness Dracula than a British monarch, but King Charles’ great-great- great-grandmother was a Transylvanian-Hungarian countess.
Kálnoky Castle in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is his retreat in the Transylvanian village of Zalánpatak and has been restored using traditional methods and materials. Rooms are to let, too, so guests can make the most of the mineral-water pool on sunny days and horse-drawn sleigh rides, complete with bells, blankets and mulled wine, in winter.
For a fully rustic vibe there’s no WiFi or TV, which suits the nature-loving King, who was seen hiking here ahead of last year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
To book, visit zalan.transylvaniancastle.com
British Columbia, Canada
The royals’ love for this Commonwealth country hasn’t wavered over the years. During their 2009 tour of Canada, the King, then Prince of Wales, and Queen stayed at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, which has accommodated both royalty and Hollywood royalty during its 115-year history.
Queen Elizabeth ll stayed there in every decade of her reign. The hotel was named in honour of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. Book the Royal Suite with its views of Victoria Harbour and Parliament buildings and soak regally in the oversized marble tub while enjoying the King’s favourite hotel beverage of Darjeeling tea with milk and honey.
To book, visit fairmont.com/empress-victoria
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