The Queen will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle this year with Prince Charles and Camilla, but she has a huge amount of properties to choose from should she wish
Image: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The Queen will be spending her Christmas at Windsor Castle.
Her traditional Christmas address is expected to have a more personal touch this year, as she spends her first Christmas without Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh having died earlier this year.
She will spend Christmas day with Prince Charles and Camilla, but won’t be joined by daughter Princess Anne as she is self-isolating after her husband tested positive for the coronavirus.
The usual Christmas plans of spending Christmas with the family at Sandringham in Norfolk have been cancelled as cases of the virus continue to rise in the UK.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be home in Norfolk, joined by other members of the Middleton family.
The Queen has an extensive list of options for places she can choose to spend her Christmas.
The Queen’s property portfolio
As expected, the UK’s head of state has a huge list of lands to her name and this goes beyond just royal palaces like Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Sandringham. The Crown’s property portfolio is worth billions.
However, there is a difference between what the Queen owns herself and what is owned by the Crown.
There is also a vast amount of land to the monarch’s name in the form of the Crown Estate.
The Crown Estate cannot be sold and any revenue gained from it does not go directly to the monarch. It is managed by an independent organisation and any excess revenue is paid to the treasury.
So what properties does the Queen own herself?
Properties owned by the Queen
Sandringham House in Norfolk is owned by the Queen and also has Amner House in the grounds. It was inherited to her from her father.
This is one of two properties that the Queen directly owns, the other is her “paradise in the highlands” at Balmoral.
Balmoral and Sandringham are the two properties with which the Queen can do as she pleases, she can choose to give them away to family members or sell them on if she so chooses.
Balmoral is a particular favourite of the Queen’s so she is unlikely to be selling it on any time soon.
The two luxurious palaces provide a bit of normality in the life of the monarch. According to Hello! wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair said of life at Balmoral: “You think I’m joking, but I’m not. They put the gloves on and stick their hands in the sink.
“The Queen asks if you’ve finished, she stacks the plates up and goes off to the sink.”
Properties owned by the Crown Estate
Surrey Advertiser – Grahame Larter)
According to the Land Registry in 2019, the Crown owns a total of 7,936 plots in England and Wales.
The Crown Estate website explains: “The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch ‘in right of The Crown’, that is, it is owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne.
“But it is not the private property of the monarch – it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.”
Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are just small parts of the Crown Estate that also includes big hitters like Ascot Racecourse, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, The Ritz, Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kew Palace, and Banqueting House to name but a few.
There are also stranger properties like Silverlink Shopping Park in South Tyneside, the John Lewis Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes and Scarborough Castle.
The Mirror has a full rundown of the properties, here.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.