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For when the crowns come off—royal vacations worthy of a king.

Royal vacations are the stuff of myth and murmurs. Sarah
Ferguson, Duchess of York, was caught on camera having her toes sucked by her
financial advisor in St.-Tropez. In the days before she died, Princess Diana
was seen in Sardinia lounging on the yacht of a then little-known billionaire
playboy, Dodi Al Fayed. And a fairytale proposal between the future King of
England, Prince William, and his college sweetheart, Kate Middleton, took place
in a remote wilderness lodge facing Mount Kenya.

Royals might have day jobs like no one else’s, but when they
choose to get away from it all, their vacations become iconic—and at times
infamous. Titled aristocracy can pick anywhere in the world for their
playground, but season after season, you will find them in the same sandboxes.

“I’m very fond of Greece,” says Princess Padmaja Mewar, 31,
of Udaipur, India. (The House of Mewar is the world’s oldest dynasty, dating
back 77 generations to A.D. 734.)

“With its own beauty, culture, and heritage, I love it. I
feel different there than I do anywhere else in the world; it’s probably the
only place that I feel I can relax.”

While heads that wear the crown can’t always rest easy, they
do take breaks. Travel + Leisure takes you to the regal island retreats
and elite wilderness resorts where the nobility pack their tiaras away and let
loose.

The summer season sees imperial yachts anchoring off
Europe’s majestic ports of call, like Costa Smeralda on the Italian island of
Sardinia, where Saudi princes own many of the villas that dot the shore and
sloping hills.

In winter, nobles seek the peerless beaches of Mustique, a
three-square-mile Caribbean island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. With only
one small hotel, the island—which was “discovered” by Princess Margaret in the
1960s—is an exclusive club for villa rentals, with weekly rates that rival the
cost of college tuition.

And for wind-whipped, adrenaline-filled Christmas, the
slopes of the Swiss Alps have long provided sovereigns like Prince Charles with
excitement and exclusivity. The short days of winter also leave plenty of time
for après-ski partying with the well-heeled.

While royal destinations might be grander than our simple ditch-the-desk
getaways, the vacations themselves might not be so different after all—filled
with relaxation, adventure, and an opportunity to leave the royal pains of
everyday life behind. —Sarah Rose

Where the Royals Vacation

For when the crowns come off—royal vacations worthy of a king.

Royal vacations are the stuff of myth and murmurs. Sarah
Ferguson, Duchess of York, was caught on camera having her toes sucked by her
financial advisor in St.-Tropez. In the days before she died, Princess Diana
was seen in Sardinia lounging on the yacht of a then little-known billionaire
playboy, Dodi Al Fayed. And a fairytale proposal between the future King of
England, Prince William, and his college sweetheart, Kate Middleton, took place
in a remote wilderness lodge facing Mount Kenya.

Royals might have day jobs like no one else’s, but when they
choose to get away from it all, their vacations become iconic—and at times
infamous. Titled aristocracy can pick anywhere in the world for their
playground, but season after season, you will find them in the same sandboxes.

“I’m very fond of Greece,” says Princess Padmaja Mewar, 31,
of Udaipur, India. (The House of Mewar is the world’s oldest dynasty, dating
back 77 generations to A.D. 734.)

“With its own beauty, culture, and heritage, I love it. I
feel different there than I do anywhere else in the world; it’s probably the
only place that I feel I can relax.”

While heads that wear the crown can’t always rest easy, they
do take breaks. Travel + Leisure takes you to the regal island retreats
and elite wilderness resorts where the nobility pack their tiaras away and let
loose.

The summer season sees imperial yachts anchoring off
Europe’s majestic ports of call, like Costa Smeralda on the Italian island of
Sardinia, where Saudi princes own many of the villas that dot the shore and
sloping hills.

In winter, nobles seek the peerless beaches of Mustique, a
three-square-mile Caribbean island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. With only
one small hotel, the island—which was “discovered” by Princess Margaret in the
1960s—is an exclusive club for villa rentals, with weekly rates that rival the
cost of college tuition.

And for wind-whipped, adrenaline-filled Christmas, the
slopes of the Swiss Alps have long provided sovereigns like Prince Charles with
excitement and exclusivity. The short days of winter also leave plenty of time
for après-ski partying with the well-heeled.

While royal destinations might be grander than our simple ditch-the-desk
getaways, the vacations themselves might not be so different after all—filled
with relaxation, adventure, and an opportunity to leave the royal pains of
everyday life behind. —Sarah Rose

Poseidonion Grand Hotel

Where the Royals Vacation

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