Summer vacation is also a cherished tradition for many royal families – some spend their time privately, others also show up in public. However, the corona pandemic does not leave the royal vacation untouched – like all other citizens, the families plan around. An overview:
UK: Queen Elizabeth II (94) normally spends the summer at her castle at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands. But she and her now 99-year-old man Prince Philip have been shielded from the outside world because of the corona pandemic at Windsor Castle since mid-March. Because of their age, they are considered to be particularly at risk.
Will she still go to her country house this year? The palace did not want to comment on the subject upon request. But if you believe the British tabloid press, the Queen will hardly be deterred. Riding, hiking, going for a walk with dogs, picnicking: In Balmoral she was "happiest" once said the Queen granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, in a documentary on the monarch's 90th birthday. Balmoral is a “magical place” where the Queen can really relax, said Countess Sophie, Prince Edward's wife, in the same documentary.
Prince Philip also seems to be in his element there: decades ago, he had himself filmed while handling fishing rods and grilling. The couple usually stays for several weeks until well into September. The other members of the Royals come to visit one after the other. At least that could be difficult.
SWEDEN: Crown Princess Victoria (43) was in for a festive summer: first the ten-year wedding anniversary with Prince Daniel in mid-June, then her birthday on July 14. Larger celebrations had to be canceled for the Swedish heir to the throne both times due to corona. "If there is one thing I could wish for for a birthday," she said in an Instagram video, "it is that we do everything we can to keep going and keep our distance."
Victoria, however, spent the special day as usual at Solliden Castle in Öland, where the royal family will spend most of the summer, according to the court. One will be missing: Princess Madeleine (38). Victoria's younger sister lives with her husband Christopher O'Neill (46) and their three children together in the US state of Florida, where the corona situation is currently anything but good. Madeleine would have liked to come to Sweden as usual in the summer, spokeswoman Margareta Thorgren told the Swedish newspaper «Expressen». Because of the pandemic and the corona restrictions that apply in the United States, nothing will come of it this time.
NORWAY: Elsewhere in Scandinavia, the Royals celebrate their birthday in summer: Norway's Crown Prince Haakon turned 47 on Monday. Just in time for the heir to the throne, Haakon, his wife Mette-Marit (46) and the two children Ingrid Alexandra (16) and Sverre Magnus (14) were photographed for new family photos, which also include the two dogs Milly Kakao and Muffins Kråkebolle were allowed to.
The pictures were taken on the island of Dvergsøya in the Kristiansand fjord, where Haakon wanted to celebrate his birthday in private, according to the newspaper “Dagbladet”. The family has been spending most of their vacation there for several summers, and according to Dagbladet, they will not travel abroad during this summer vacation. Why the region around Kristiansand again and again? Quite simply: The city in southern Norway is Mette-Marit's hometown.
DENMARK: Crown Prince Frederik (52) spends the first weeks of school holidays as every year only a few kilometers from the German-Danish border: together with his wife Crown Princess Mary (48) and the four children together, the Danish heir to the throne is at Graasten Castle ( Gravenstein) around 20 kilometers northeast of Flensburg. Queen Margrethe II (80) will travel to the royal family's summer residence there on July 21, according to the royal family's calendar. In Corona times, the monarch does not take a trip to a summer residence in France, which Margrethe once bought together with her prince Henrik, who died in 2018.
BELGIUM: The Belgian royal family is extremely closed about the royal travel plans. In principle, there is no report on the private life of the royal family, said a spokesman. Just so much: Queen Mathilde and King Philippe will spend part of the holiday with their children – Crown Princess Elisabeth (18), Prince Gabriel (16) and Emmanuel (14), and Princess Eléonore (12). And: Of course, the official requirements regarding corona virus would be met. The royal family has been traveling together several times in the past few weeks. At the end of June we first went on a bike tour through the province of Limburg, then into the Ardennes – including a family photo with the former monarchs King Albert and Queen Paola in the mountains.
NETHERLANDS: The suitcases were already packed when the Dutch royal family made a last mandatory appearance on Friday: the traditional photo shoot at the beginning of the summer vacation. Color-coordinated in sky blue and white and visibly relaxed, King Willem-Alexander (53), Queen Máxima (49) and the three princesses Amalia (16), Alexia (15) and Ariane (13) presented themselves to the photographer in the garden of their Den Haager Palace.
This year, the photocall also ended a special period for the Orange family. The Corona crisis was not easy for the princesses, admitted their parents. For months they were not allowed to go to school, but had to learn independently. "It was not easy," said Máxima. In the end, they would have got used to it. "The certificates were very good." Father Willem-Alexander was still joking: he never thought that his daughters would "miss school". The farm is silent about where the family will now spend their summer holidays. But a long-distance trip to the Argentine family of Máxima, for example, seems impossible in Corona times.
Royal observers are sure that the Oranje family will spend their summer vacation in their villa in Greece as in 2019. After all, Willem-Alexander bought a new speedboat at the beginning of the Corona crisis – which caused some of his countrymen's frowns.
Willem-Alexander broke with the family tradition of spending holidays in Italy. In Tuscany, his mother, Princess Beatrix, still has a villa in Chianti. Only a few weeks ago, unknown persons had entered the house in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. Nothing was stolen and none of the Oranje family were present at the time of the break-in – but in Holland people were concerned about family safety.
MONACO: The Principality of Monaco generally retains private insights. Where Prince Albert II (62), Charlène (42) and the twins Gabriella and Jacques (5) are on vacation this summer was not disclosed. However, an entry by the princess on Instagram suggests that the family is more at home in the realms of the world – and sportily: in a photo that Charlène published, you can see a sunset and the sea, a person on a water bike is heading towards the Horizons.
The princess is currently training for her foundation's charity waterwheel race in September. The participants want to cover the distance between the port city of Calvi on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica and the yacht club of Monaco, as Charlène explained in an interview with “Corse Matin”. The city-state of Monaco is located directly on the Mediterranean coast. In the neighboring country, the French were called because of the coronavirus pandemic to limit themselves to national travel destinations this summer.