The late Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at her Scottish residence, Balmoral, near Aberdeen on September 8, 2022. We look at the magic of why we love the historic residence.
We look at the Queen's former home away from home and find out what makes Balmoral Castle for the Royal Family.
Join us as we take a look at what has always been somewhat of a sanctuary for the Royals.
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.
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. He 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.
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 chose to spend so much time there during the year.
The Queen regularly hosted guests 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 parties and is alleged to have been Prince Philip's favorite thing about the whole estate.
What really set Balmoral apart for Queen Elizabeth is the freedom it granted her compared to Buckingham Palace. She could go for long, solitary walks where she didn't need to worry about the media, and could even enjoy a sort of quiet normality.
This privilege also extended to the rest of the Royal Family. Harry and Meghan have spent time at Balmoral in the past.
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 shops 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.
* Originally published in July 2019, updated in Oct 2022.