The places in France where British Royals have lived and holidayed

France - from Paris to the Riviera - is a popular destination with the British Royal family

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Historically there have been many links between France and the British Royal family and the Royals remain popular with the French people.

Most recently, newly-crowned King Charles III chose France as his first overseas state trip as monarch (although the trip had to be cancelled due to the pension reform protests) while Paris marked Queen Elizabeth II’s first ever trip abroad.

From a former King who escaped to Paris following abdication to family holidays teaching younger royals how to ski, France has provided a refuge for the British Royal family for many years.

Here are some of the places that members of the British Royal family have lived or holidayed since the 1800s.

Prince Philip – Paris

Paris was home to Prince Philip in his early childhood Credit: Ivan Soto Cobos//Shutterstock

After fleeing Greece in the early 1920s when Prince was just 18 months old, his family settled in Paris.

They first lived in the Bois de Boulogne before moving to Saint-Cloud, in the western suburbs.

It was here that the young Prince started school, before leaving to attend a prep school in England in 1928, aged seven.

Queen Victoria – The French Riviera

Menton was the first destination on the Riviera for Queen Victoria Credit: Boris Stroujko//Shutterstock

Towards the end of Queen Victoria’s life, the French Riviera became a popular destination with the monarch following the death of her beloved husband Albert.

During her first trip in 1882, she stayed in Menton on the Italian border in a villa in the hills lent to her by a friend.

On subsequent visits, she stayed in Cannes, Grasse, Hyères and Nice.

She even had her own hotel built for her in Nice, and there is a statue tribute to her still in the city today near to the building, which is now flats called Le Regina. A café in Falicon, to the north of the city, where she would take tea prepared by her own Indian servant, is still called Au thé de la reine.

On his visit to Nice in 2018, then Prince Charles quoted from one of his ancestor’s last journals in which she wrote: “Alas! My last charming drive in this paradise of nature, which I grieve to leave, as I get more attached to it every year. I shall mind returning to the sunless north, but I am so grateful for all I have enjoyed here.”

Prince and Princess of Wales – The Alps

Courchevel was the location of the Cambridge’s first family ski holiday Credit: nikolpetr//Shutterstock

Prince William and his family holiday frequently in France. Courchevel was the destination of choice for Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s first ski holiday back in 2016.

The couple have also spent time holidaying in France before having children, staying at Chateau d'Autet in Luberon, Provence which is owned by the Queen’s nephew Viscount Linley in 2012.

Princess Diana – Saint-Tropez

Princess Diana holidayed in Saint-Tropez just weeks before her death Credit: proslgn//Shutterstock

Weeks before her death in Paris, Princess Diana holidayed in Saint-Tropez with her sons William and Harry as guests of Mohamed Al Fayed on his yacht.

The trip was described as “heaven” by Prince Harry in his memoir, Spare.

Following the trip in July, Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed returned to the yacht in August 1997 before travelling to Paris, where they both died in a car crash.

Read also: From royalist to republican, readers in France reveal coronation plans

Duke and Duchess of Windsor – 4 route du Champ d’Entraînement, Paris

The house was situated near Bois du Boulogne Credit: Tsuyoshi_Kaneko//Shutterstock

The former King and his American wife Wallis Simpson, for whom he abdicated the throne, lived in Paris following his short reign.

The house, near the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, was provided for the couple by the City of Paris for a nominal rent and the French government exempted them from paying income tax.

It is due to open as a museum in 2024, having also been home to Mohamed Al Fayed, father of Dodi Al Fayed – the partner of Diana, Princess of Wales – who referred to the house as Villa Windsor.

Read also: Charles III coronation: What do the French think of the UK’s new king?

King Charles – Deauville, Normandy

The now King used to visit Deauville for polo matches Credit: JAN KASZUBA//Shutterstock

The now King used to frequent Deauville in Normandy for polo tournaments when he was the Prince of Wales.

Royalty have also frequently visited Normandy for commemorations of the Normandy Landings during the Second World War.

Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Château de Candé

The Château is located near Tours Credit: saiko3p//Shutterstock

France was also the location of Edward VIII’s wedding to Wallis Simpson in 1937.

The couple married following Edward’s abdication, at Château de Candé at Monts near Tours, which brought the castle onto the global stage.

They even etched their names in the library alongside the date of their wedding.

Queen Elizabeth II – All over

Queen Elizabeth II visited the Champs-Élysées more times than any other foreign sovereign Credit: givaga//Shutterstock

France was a popular destination with Queen Elizabeth II – her visit to France in May 1948 also marked her first trip overseas, during which Edith Piaf sang La Vie en Rose for the then Princess and her new husband.

She visited the Champs-Élysées more times than any other foreign sovereign, and her second language was French.

Read more: Queen won hearts in France with first speech in French when she was 22

As well as making six official state visits during her life, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are said to have holidayed frequently in France, including in Normandy, Strasbourg, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, the mediaeval city of Carcassonne and Burgundy.

The Queen attended a commemoration for the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings during her state visit in 2014, which also saw her attend for the first time her own annual official birthday party at the British Ambassador’s Paris Residence.

She also kept horses in Normandy, having sent her prize stallion there for breeding.

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