Let it snow: royals in a winter wonderland

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The British royal family have long continued the tradition of going on annual family ski trips. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
The British royal family have long continued the tradition of going on annual family ski trips. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

It’s snow season in Europe – which means members of the British royal family are likely to be gearing up to hit the powdery white slopes.

For decades the Windsors have graced picturesque mountain locations where they’ve enjoyed ski holidays in luxury chalets and resorts, occasionally allowing the ever-present paparazzi to snap them in their ski gear. We take a look at some of their memorable trips through the years.


Princess Diana took her sons, Princes William and Harry, on their very first ski trip in 1991. Diana taught her boys the ropes of skiing the slopes in Lech, Austria, which boasts more than 305km of hills to enjoy.

William and Harry “picked up skiing incredibly quickly [and] were fearless”, says Diana’s former protection officer, Ken Wharfe.

diana and boys
Princess Diana took her sons, Prince William (left) and Prince Harry, on their first ski trip in 1991 to Austria. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Harry (then 10) was so eager to ski, he became frustrated with the ski instructor’s tedious lessons, according to Wharfe.

“He just wanted to go fast, so he skied solo down a mountain and ended up in some mud and flowers,” Wharfe recalls.

“We had to go and dig him out! After that, we reminded him to stay with the group.”


Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, have enjoyed ski trips with their daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, for years. In 1995 the Yorks joined Andrew’s brother Prince Charles and his family on holiday in Klosters, Switzerland. 

couples ski
Snow day (from left): Prince Charles, Diana, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew enjoy a couples' skiing date in 1995 at Klosters, Switzerland. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Verbier, an icy village located in southwestern Switzerland, is said to be Andrew’s location of choice. The place is also special to Eugenie, as it’s where she met her husband, Jack Brooksbank, in 2010.

Cousins (from left) Harry, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and William bonded on the joint family ski trip to Klosters in 1995. (PHOTO: Getty Images)


After Diana’s death, Charles continued the annual tradition by going on father-son ski trips. The trio especially enjoyed Klosters, which is Charles’ favourite resort.

father and sons
Charles with Harry (left) and William at Klosters in 1994. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Before his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, Charles bonded with Wills and Harry (then 23 and 21) at the Alpine resort village.

Charles has visited Klosters so often there’s a Prince of Wales cable car named after him. 

father and sons
The father-son trio enjoyed one final vacation together in 2005 before Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles later that year. (PHOTO: Getty Images)


Andrew enjoyed a trip to Verbier with ex-wife Sarah and Beatrice, where they stayed in the Chalet Helora. 

The prince bought the seven-bedroom property in 2014. 

Andrew goes skiing in Verbier, Switzerland, in 2007. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The chalet, which was bought for £18 million (then R324m), is reportedly being sold to cover the prince's legal fees. Andrew is facing a civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Roberts Guiffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with him while she was still a teenager.


William and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, took their eldest kids, Prince George (then two) and Princess Charlotte (then 10 months), on their first ski trip to the French Alps. 

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband, William, enjoyed their first skiing trip as a family with eldest kids Princess Charlotte and Prince George in the French Alps in 2016. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The trip was tightly guarded and the family flew mostly under the radar when they stayed at the upmarket Courchevel resort, although the Cambridges posed for photos before having a snowball fight.


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