Heir B+B

Two Tickets to Paradise

Being a royal may seem like an easy life, but the constant public scrutiny and weighty responsibilities take their toll. Throughout history, monarchs and their families have taken advantage of the summer months to escape their stresses (and in some cases, the plague). This week, to kick off our summer break series, we are highlighting some of the most legendary royal vacation spots.

The Romanovs: Crimea

Before it was annexed by Russia, Crimea was the go-to vacation spot for Russia’s elite. The Romanov family traveled there each summer on their legendary Standardt yacht, and stayed at the Livadia Palace. In between picnics and visits to churches, Tsar Nicholas could check in on his Navy, which was headquartered there.

Nicholas, pictured with his daughters, was able to mix business and pleasure in Crimea. From Russian Beyond.
Livadia Palace, where the Romanovs spent their summers. From Visit Crimea.

Pharaoh Seti I: Pi-Ramesses

Ramesses II moved the capital of Egypt to this city in a diplomatic move. But his predecessor, Seti I had built the larger-than-life palace as a summer home before he died in 1279 BC, proving the need for vacation is as old as human existence itself. One ancient source said, “the palace of this city is similar to the two horizons of heaven.” High praise!

The ruins of Ramesses’ memorial monument located in Seti I’s old summer getaway. From Wikipedia.
The mummy of Seti I, probably as relaxed as he felt as his summer palace. From Mummipedia.

Princess Diana: Barbuda

The adventurous Princess Di traversed the globe for business and pleasure, but the Caribbean was always her go-to for sunny vacations with William and Harry. She especially loved the island of Barbuda, so much so that they named a beach after her! The K Club where she used to stay was caught up in controversy in 2016 when Hollywood royalty Robert DeNiro’s plans for a $250 million resort on Princess Diana Beach upset locals. Despite concerns that it would have a negative effect on the natural beauty of the beach, he is moving ahead with the development plans.

Princess Diana at K Club Barbuda April, 1997 (With images ...
Princess Diana at her happy place, the K Club, on the beach now named for her. From Pinterest.
Princess Diana Beach is just as stunning as the woman it’s named for. From Uncommon Caribbean.

King Charles I and Henrietta Maria: English Countryside

Charles and Henrietta ruled England from 1600 to 1649. Despite their opposing religious views, they had a deep love for one another and an unusually intimate relationship with their seven children. Summer was for family time, and began in May with a two month stay in Greenwich, close to their official home in London. They then moved on to Henrietta’s palace in Surrey known as Oatlands, followed by a parade of hunting lodges and homes of England’s elite. Although deeply in debt, they spared no expense on hunting expeditions, banquets, and theatrical performances.

A charming painting of Oatlands, one of many stops along Charles and Henrietta’s summer pilgrimage. From Regency Dances.
Henrietta and Charles with two of their beloved children. From Wikipedia.

Emperor Qianlong: Beijing Summer Palace

Emperor Qianlong had this palace, still a popular tourist destination, built in 1750. It remained a getaway for the Chinese imperial family until it was destroyed during a war in the 1850s, but was later rebuilt as a residence for the dowager Empress Cixi. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its classical Chinese landscaping and architecture.

It’s not hard to figure out why the Summer Palace is such a popular tourist destination. From Viator.
Emperor Qianlong had fabulous taste. From Wikipedia.

Princess Grace Kelly: Seville

The Hollywood starlet-turned-royal basically already lived in paradise as the princess of glamorous Monaco. But, a staycation just wouldn’t do, and she frequently traveled to the most luxurious spots in Europe. A favorite was Seville in southern Spain, where she stayed at the Hotel Alfonoso XIII.

Style icon Grace Kelly serving a look in Seville in 1966. From Tripadvisor.
The Hotel Alfonso XIII, Grace’s choice of accommodations, holds up. From Marriott.


Bobb, B. (2017, May 25). Happy Birthday, Grace Kelly! Here’s How to Travel Like the Glamorous Princess. Retrieved from https://www.vogue.com/article/grace-kelly-birthday-how-to-travel-like-a-royal

Centre, U. W. (n.d.). Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing. Retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/880/Isaeva, K. (2015, June 05).

Crimean holidays of the Romanov family. Retrieved from https://www.rbth.com/multimedia/2015/06/04/romanovs-in-crimea_96675

Pi-Ramesses. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ramessesthesecond.weebly.com/pi-ramesses.html

Telegraph, T. (2016, December 28). Locals fight Robert De Niro’s resort plans on Barbuda, an island well-loved by Princess Diana. Retrieved from https://nationalpost.com/news/world/locals-fight-robert-de-niros-resort-plans-on-barbuda-an-island-well-loved-by-princess-diana

Whitaker, K. (2011). A royal passion: The turbulent marriage of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. London: Phoenix.

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