Balmoral Castle

Balmoral CastleImage:Getty Images

Summer is well and truly underway and that means for Queen Elizabeth, her annual summer break to the stunning Balmoral Castle is coming up very soon.

With this in mind, we decided to take a look into the Queen's home away from home, and find out what makes it so special for the Royal Family. Balmoral Castle has always been somewhat of a sanctuary for the Royals, so there must be something special about it.

Join us as we try our best to get a glimpse into the magic of Balmoral Castle.

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Location 

Balmoral Castle is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. This is located in the Northeast of Scotland, meaning the area is mountainous, and filled with some incredible scenery.

No doubt the mystical nature of the area is a huge part of the appeal.

As well as this, the castle is surrounded by Caledonian Pine Forest, adding to the undeniable allure of the terrain located deep into the Scottish highlands.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their children, Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their children, Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

History 

Balmoral House was built in 1930 by Sir William Drummond. Over the years ownership of the estate bounced around due to the turbulent political nature of the time. Following Jacobite ownership, the Castle was eventually acquired by Sir Robert Gordon, a diplomat who made many major changes to the Castle's structure.

Following the death of Gordon in 1847, the house was passed over to Prince Albert, who would own the house, the land, and everyone who worked on the property. Him and Queen Victoria quickly fell in love with Balmoral, and commissioned architects to upgrade the grounds as well as the castle. 

The castle was seriously upgraded, and quickly became a fully fledged granite compound truly fit for royalty. Victoria and Albert both played a large role in the rise of Highland culture. They decorated the castle with tartan, and proved hugely influential in Scottish culture's return to prominence in the hearts and minds of the British public.

Located within the boundaries of Cairngorms National Park, Balmoral Estate stretches to 50,000 acres. The estate is home to farmland, deer, ponies, and cattle. 

 Canadian Governor General Designate Julie Payette meets Queen Elizabeth during a private audience at Balmoral Castle

Canadian Governor General Designate Julie Payette meets Queen Elizabeth during a private audience at Balmoral Castle

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Queen Elizabeth and Balmoral 

When discussing Balmoral Castle, it is impossible to do so without discussing Queen Elizabeth and her relationship with the estate. Queen Elizabeth's love of the Castle is well documented, and it is no surprise that she chooses to spend so much time there during the year.

The Queen regularly hosts quests at the castle. Both the drawing room and the study have been used to host dignitaries and special guests. The green interior of both of the rooms is well documented, and the impressive bookshelf located in the study is a real talking point for guests.

As well as this, it is worth noting the importance of Balmoral's garden. The garden is regularly used for events and garden party's, and is alleged to be Prince Philip's favorite thing about the whole estate.

What really sets Balmoral apart for Queen Elizabeth is the freedom it grants her compared to Buckingham Palace. She can go for long, solitary walks where she doesn't need to worry about the media, and can enjoy a sort of quiet normality.

This privilege also extends to the rest of the Royal Family. Harry and Meghan have spent time at Balmoral in the past, and it is reported that Archie will soon be introduced to the Castle. 

Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis.

Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis.

Can the public visit?

While the area of the Balmoral Estate that the queen resides in is kept private. There are parts of the estate that are open to the public throughout certain times of the year. The grounds, gardens, and gift shop are generally open to the public between April and July.

The estate even offers cottages that are open to the public and available to rent at a hefty price. It is worth noting that the cottages may not be available depending on whether or not the Royals will be using them. 

All in all, Balmoral Castle is estimated to cost about $140 million. 

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