Official Sixtieth Birthday photograph of HRH The Prince of Wales by Hugo Burnand (b. 1963)Royal Collection Trust, UK
The ancient majesty of many of the world's figurehead royal families survives mainly in the architecture of their palaces and homes. Scroll on, use the arrows, and click-and-drag to explore some of these haughty households from Sweden, Scotland, and more...
Drottningholm Palace, Sweden
Drottningholm Palace has been a residence of the Swedish royal family since 1580. While today it's a popular tourist location, the west wing of the palace is retained for the private use of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.
For many years, the palace was actually abandoned and fell into ruin. The palace, along with its baroque gardens, was restored in the early 20th century to its former grandeur. Here we're stood in the grand staircase, with sculptures by Nicolaes Millich.
Balmoral Castle, Scotland
Balmoral Castle is said to be Queen Elizabeth II's favourite residence. Unlike Buckingham Palace, which is owned by the Crown, Balmoral is a private house. It has passed down the Windsor family since it was bought by Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria I, in 1848.
The Balmoral estate lies within the Cairngorms National Park, taking in a variety of landscapes, from lochs, to mountains. The working estate includes grouse moors, forestry, and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies.
Huis ten Bosch Palace, The Netherlands
The Huis ten Bosch, the 'House in the Woods', in The Hague, is one of three official residences of the Dutch monarch. The Huis is set amongst the tranquil surroundings of the Haagse Bos, one of the oldest forests in the entire country.
Inside, it's a little more busy. This is the Oranjezaal, the Orange Hall, a ballroom at the centre of the palace. The 31 paintings that cover the walls and ceiling are together considered one of the greatest works of Dutch art, but sadly this room isn't open to the public!
Royal Palace, Cambodia
On the western bank of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers sits the Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Cambodia. The site comprises a number of buildings, at its centre is The Throne Hall, used for coronations, weddings, and official meetings.
The current monarch, King Norodom Sihamoni, lives in the Khemarin Palace, just past these gates. The Cambodian monarch is actually elected, but don't hold out hope. You'd have to be a male descendant of King Ang Duong, and the only voters are the Royal Council of the Throne.
Sandringham House, England
Like Balmoral, the country estate of Sandringham is privately owned by the Windsor family. The Queen and her family usually stay here from Christmas until February, after which they depart for official duties.
The wider estate encompasses over 8000 hectares, including seven entire villages. Much of the land is used for shooting parties and rearing livestock. Here, the Queen also keeps her stables and kennels.
ChenonceauCastle of Chenonceau