Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince George. (Reuters)
Prince William, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince George will spend their summer vacation at the Queen’s Scotland estate of Balmoral, US Weekly reports.
The royals will likely head to the Scottish castle soon after Prince George’s first birthday on July 22, which will be spent at the Cambridge’s apartment in Kensington Palace. Queen Elizabeth is even expected to attend the tiny prince’s party at Kensington, though the monarch has made it a summertime tradition to gather the royal family at Balmoral.
Balmoral Castle. (Fotolia)
Queen Elizabeth can be seen with a young Princes William and Harry, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Zara Phillips at Balmoral Castle in the below BBC video from the early 1990s.
US Weekly reports that young royals often spend time at Balmoral learning to ride or shoot, though George is still too young for those activities.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Anne are also expected to vacation at Balmoral this summer. The family often starts the day together with a large breakfast, followed by a picnic lunch, afternoon tea and formal dinner at night.
The Daily Mail reports that Clooney and his fiance, Amal Alamuddin, will wed in September and, after touring the property together, have decided that Highclere would be the perfect venue for the nuptials. Rates for renting Highclere start at $25,000 and include the services of an award-winning chef.
George Clooney, Hugh Bonneville and John Goodman at ‘The Monuments Men’ premiere. (WENN.com)
Clooney starred with Downton‘s Lord Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville, in The Monuments Men and reportedly turned to his co-star to arrange a tour of Highclere.
“George became close friends with Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Robert Crawley, when they did Monuments Men together last year,” says the Daily Mail’s source. “When he saw his bride-to-be’s reaction to the spectacular Victorian castle, set on 1,000 acres of parkland, he began making some discrete inquires about having their wedding performed there.”
Highclere Castle is the real-life home of the eighth Lord and Lady Carnarvon when it’s not acting as Downton Abbey in the hit ITV/PBS television series. It has been the home of the Carnarvon family since 1679.
If you’re in the market for a new vacation home and don’t mind that the home’s previous occupant was the undead king of vampires, you’re in luck! Britain’s The Daily Mail reports Dracula’s Transylvania castle is up for sale.
Bran Castle, one of eastern Europe’s most popular tourist attractions with 560,000 visitors each year, is being sold by the current owner, a Romanian archduke, for $86 million CDN.
“Archduke Dominic and his family care very much for the castle and it’s in far better shape now than it was when run by the government,” Mark Meyer, lawyer at the New York-based firm handling the sale, told The Daily Mail. “If someone comes in with a reasonable offer, we will look at who they are, what they are proposing and will seriously entertain the idea.”
Some believe Dracula author Bram Stoker based the Gothic castle in his 1897 novel on Bran Castle and the attraction markets itself as the home of Dracula, though more recent evidence suggests Stoker had another Transylvania castle in mind when writing his novel. There are also no major connections between Wallachian ruler Vlad the Impaler, thought to be the inspiration for Stoker’s Count Dracula, and Bran Castle, though Vlad did travel through the area on occasion.
Prince William shocked passengers on his weekend flight from Memphis to Dallas by flying coach.
The future king had been in the U.S. celebrating the wedding of his friend Guy Pelly along with his brother, Prince Harry and cousins, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.
U.S. television reporter Eli Ross, a fellow passenger on the short flight to Dallas, spotted the Prince sitting in a window-seat among the other passengers. He quickly snapped a photo and posted it to his Twitter account where it soon went viral, with many commending Wills for his budget-friendly mode of transportation.
Prince William caught another commercial flight in Dallas for the flight back home to London. The royal also flew commercial when travelling to Memphis for the wedding, connecting via Chicago.
Since Prince William and Kate Middleton wed in April 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have embarked on a number of official and personal trips abroad. From their first royal tour of Canada to their second honeymoon in the Maldives and their journey with baby son Prince George on the just-completed 2014 tour of New Zealand and Australia, Prince William and Kate have travelled to some of the most iconic destinations on Earth.
Australia: Prince William, Duchess Kate and baby Prince George, completed their 2014 tour of Oceania with a visit to Australia. While here, the royal family visited some of the country’s most iconic tourist sites, like Uluru, the Blue Mountains and the Sydney Opera House, while Prince George delighted royal watchers with an Easter Sunday trip to Taronga Zoo.
Mustique: In February 2014, Duchess Kate took baby Prince George on his first international — if unofficial — trip for the annual Middleton family getaway in Mustique, though Prince William had to stay behind in England. The prince was unable to attend this year as he was enrolled in a 10 week program on agriculture at Cambridge University. Hello Magazine published the first photo of Duchess Kate and Prince George’s sun escape.
Dalvay-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island: While the July 2011 Canadian tour of Prince William and Kate began in Ottawa, it was in Prince Edward Island that the couple really relaxed and showed off their true personalities during the events of the day. They joked with each other while competing in a dragon boat race, embraced Canada’s First Nations culture during a traditional Mi’kmaq smudging ceremony and devoured lobsters and clams on the beach. Prince William also captivated the crowds with a helicopter ‘water bird’ landing emergency exercise.
Skoki Lodge, Banff, Alberta: After making a surprise visit to the wildfire ravaged town of Slave Lake, Alta., Prince William and Kate boarded a helicopter and were flown to Banff National Park where they stayed for a night of private time during their Canadian tour. Skoki Lodge hosted the Royals in their Riverside Cabin. Wills and Kate ate from the same menu as all guests, choosing to dine on beef, baked vegetables and B.C. wine. They also went on a private walk, without security, from their cabin along the local hiking trails.
Los Angeles, California: Prince William and Kate arrived in California from Canada in July 2011 to promote British trade and investment in the United States. The highlight of their West Coast trip was the BAFTA Brits to Watch gala at the historic Belasco Theater. The Duke and Duchess defined glamour at the event, choosing to dress in a dashing tux and flowing lilac Alexander McQueen dress, respectively. Celebrity attendees like Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks were left in awe of the stunning Royal couple.
(Courtesy Mike Myers/North Island Seychelles)
Seychelles: Prince William and Kate honeymooned on the Seychelles’ North Island in May 2011. The private island has 11 guest villas and the newlyweds reportedly rented the entire island at a cost of $711,459.36 for a completely secluded getaway. Here, Wills and Kate enjoyed posh accommodations and exciting activities like sea kayaking, scuba diving and boating.
(Courtesy Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel)
Maldives: Prince William and Kate made a return to the Indian Ocean for their second honeymoon in the Maldives in March 2014. The royal pair arrived on a British Airways flight and stayed at a private five-star resort on the northern Noonu atoll called Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel. The resort has 45 villas, a spa, gourmet restaurants and plenty of opportunity for water sports and diving. The property had just opened in November 2013. Prince George was left behind with his nanny in England for this trip.
Singapore: Prince William and Kate celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 with a tour of Singapore. The royal pair stayed at the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented. They also toured botanic gardens during their stay and viewed an orchid named for Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana.
Solomon Islands: Prince William and Kate continued their 2012 Diamond Jubilee tour in the Solomon Islands. The islands embraced the royals, decorating them with traditional garlands after they arrived and giving them traditional dress to wear. After a busy day of engagements with the locals, the royal couple were transported for an evening to a remote island resort in a traditional war canoe.