England is a big island, which means lots and lots of cliffs looking out over the sea, quaint villages on the ocean, and windswept beaches. Sure, the beaches might be a shade or two colder than the ones you might find in Tahiti or Mexico, but still. Growing up in England means you are technically an islander, which could make for a natural predisposition to spend time at the beach. Even if you are a monarch or a future monarch or are monarch-adjacent. It’s in your blood, that pull to relax at the beach. Indeed, photos of the royal family relaxing at the beach show a very different side of the monarchy. Even if they are on official duty, they tend to look happier, more comfortable. Generally at peace with the world around them.
As the head of the Commonwealth,
Queen Elizabeth has visited some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. She and the rest of the royal family have visited places like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and even some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean including Barbados and Turks and Caicos. Nice work if you can get it.
Most can’t resist the magic of the beach, including the royals. So here’s a look at the queen, Prince Harry, and more royals having some fun in the sun.
Dogs On The Beach Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
You can’t see Queen Elizabeth’s face in this photo from a beach near Sandringham in 1984, but I bet she’s smiling. Walking with her corgis on the beach? What’s better than that?
A Water-Skiing Duke Hulton Deutsch/Corbis Historical/Getty Images
The Duke of Edinburgh went water-skiing in Turkey in 1951 and looked like he had the hang of it.
Margaret In Mustique Anwar Hussein/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, spent much of her time at her home on the island of Mustique in the West Indies. In 1976, she chatted with a friend in the waves wearing a swimsuit in sunglasses and looking incredibly chic.
Her Majesty In Pants Hulton Archive/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images
Here’s a sight you don’t see every day: Queen Elizabeth visiting Ship’s Cove in New Zealand in 1970, wearing pants on the beach.
A Casual Future King Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
In 1983, Prince Charles went for a run on the beach in Australia in swim trunks; that’s even more shocking than Queen Elizabeth in pants.
Prince Charles Down Under Serge Lemoine/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images
In 1974, Prince Charles kept it relatively casual during a visit to a beach in Australia.
Di Hits The Scene Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Princess Diana ushered in a new era of beach-lovers in the royal family. Here she is with husband Prince Charles visiting Australia in 1988.
Lifeguard Lessons Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Princess Diana gave out an award for the best team of lifeguards on Terrigal Beach in Australia in 1988, and didn’t look too upset about the royal engagement.
Playing In The Sand Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images
Princess Diana took her two sons, Princes William and Harry, to Necker Beach in the British Virgin Islands for some time on the beach with her mom Frances Shand-Kydd.
Playing In The Waves PAUL J .RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
In 1993, Princess Diana ruled the waves in Nevis with friends and her sons.
Oui To St. Tropez Michel Dufour/French Select/Getty Images
Princess Beatrice visited St. Tropez with friends in 2003, and looked like she was doing the French Riviera right.
Turning 21 In Style Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Prince William relaxed on the beach near his school of St. Andrew’s University in Scotland in 2003 to celebrate his 21st birthday.
Dignified In The Dunes Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles looked dignified walking along the sand in Grenada in 2009.
Happy To Be There WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
In 2011, Prince Harry visited a kayaking competition on Sizewell Beach in England and looked super happy to be there.
Kate Joins The Beach Crew Anthony Devlin - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images
Kate Middleton joined the royal family in their love of the beach when she visited Australia with Prince William and new baby Prince George in 2014.
Harry Hanging Loose Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
A 2016 visit to the Caribbean island of Grenada saw Prince Harry looking like a true beachgoer.
Beach Date For Mom & Dad Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton visited their alma mater of St. Andrew’s University in Scotland in 2021 to try their hand at land yachting. Looked like a fun date.
A California Girl On The Beach Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were clearly newlyweds when they went on a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2018. And that California girl looked very happy to be sharing the beach with her husband.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared
video footage of son Archie running on the beach in California in a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, and he looked like a real beach baby. A Beach Close To Home
whole Cambridge family went to the beach to celebrate Kate Middleton and Prince William’s 10th wedding anniversary in 2021, but they stuck close to their Norfolk County home.