As there are lots of people interested in royalty I was wondering if others would have good tips for future travels or visits. The first is Kathleen from Belgium. She is the owner of All About Royal Families, a blog full of royal information and travel destinations. She and her husband Dirk love travelling.
Which Belgian palace/castle should you really have seen?
With flying colours, Brussels’ royal palace tops the list. Normally you can get in there for free in summer. Unfortunately in the summer of 2023 there are renovation works. Apart from that, Walburg Castle in Sint-Niklaas (I am biased, of course) is also a nice place. The castle itself cannot be visited but at the ground floor there is a café and in summer there is a lovely terrace with the best view in town. In October 1914 – during World War I – King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians stayed here for one night while fleeing from Antwerp to De Panne.
Worldwide, what do you think is the most beautiful royal palace/castle?
My most beautiful royal palace/castle is and remains the Orangery Palace in Potsdam (Germany). We visited this then with a guide and a small group so we could see everything very well. We had to put on one of those plastic slippers over our shoes to avoid damaging the parquet and maybe that’s also part of the special experience.
What do you enjoy most when you visit a palace/castle?
I really enjoy visiting palaces and castles that are richly decorated and contain a lot of furniture. On that point, I was a bit left wanting in Versailles and in the castle of Hingene (Belgium). The (royal) history of the palace/castle is also an added value.
What do you dislike most?
I most dislike crowds. The older I get, the less I can tolerate crowds. Long queues.
What is the funniest and/or craziest thing you have ever experienced?
The funniest was once again in Germany when we went to visit one of the palaces of Ludwig II of Bavaria and had to pay extra to take photos inside. We were then given a tape with “Press” on it, though.
For your holidays or a day out, have you ever been inspired by the royals?
Most of our engagements revolve around royal destinations, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Brussels, there must always be some royal link. Sometimes those links are visible, other times unexpected.
What’s still on your wish list?
I sometimes think my wish list is too big to see all the palaces/castles. Sometimes we let ourselves inspire on the travels Empress Elisabeth of Austria undertook. I think if we have done it all, we will have seen a good part of Europe. Besides that, we’d like to cross over to Mexico and Cuba. But India, China and Japan are also incredibly interesting in terms of royalty. So many plans just too little time and money.