The Building and History
Balmoral is Her Majesty’s castle and main residence in Scotland. Unlike other palaces or castles, Balmoral is privately owned by The Queen and The Royal Family and not by The Crown.
Prince Albert bought the estate in 1852 and soon after it was decided that the original castle was too small so Albert commissioned for a larger Castle to be built. The current Balmoral Castle was drawn up by William Smith but the designs were overseen by Prince Albert himself. He was actively involved in the building and designing of the castle.The castle was finished in 1856.
Original Balmoral Castle.
The whole Balmoral Estate is ginormous. It has around 50,000 acres and has its own Mountains, Valleys, Forests, Pastures, and Gardens. There are 150 building on the estate including The Prince of Wales’ own cottage, Birkhall.
Every summer The Queen decamps to Scotland for multiple weeks where she relaxes. Her Majesty loves Balmoral and it is said to be her favorite home. The Royal Family is allowed to just relax and be like normal people.
Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Her Majesty The Queen,and The Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral
Princess Eugenie, The Queen’s granddaughter, said of Balmoral: “Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time. It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run. It’s the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”
Her Majesty has already been in Scotland since July 20th but has officially taken up residence at Balmoral today (August 6th)! I hope she enjoys this peaceful time to relax with her family!
The Cambridge Conection
The Cambridges have a long history with Balmoral tarting with of course The Duke of Cambridge since he has been going to Blamoral annually basically since he was born.
The Duke of Cambridge’s parents, The Prince of Wales and the then Princess of Wales, spent their honeymoon at Balmoral.
Charles and Diana on their honeymoon
As I mentioned, Prince William has been going up to Balmoral his whole life.
Here he is being carried off the plane by his father when he was almost 2 months old:
Prince William and The Prince of Wales arriving in Scotland
And here he is with both of his parents during a photocall on the estate (P.S. don’t William and Charlotte look so much alike?):
The Prince and Princess of Wales with their baby son at Balmoral
Prince William loves Balmoral and described it as a fun place to be with his cousins.
He once recalled a time The Queen told him and his cousin, Peter Phillips, off: “We were chasing Zara (Phillips) around who was on a go-cart, and Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost. And the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her, and I remember my grandmother being the first person out at Balmoral running across the lawn in her kilt. (She) came charging over and gave us the most almighty bollocking, and that sort of stuck in my mind from that moment on.”
The cottage was given to William by his great-grandmother, The Queen Mother. According to an article by Express: “They enjoyed canoeing and mountain bike riding in the hills, before sharing candlelit dinners in. Even when they were still students, if ever things were getting on top of him (William), the remote country retreat was his favorite escape, with the pair telling friends they spent many of their happiest weekends there together”.
It reportedly has 3 bedrooms. I wonder if William and Kate still use this cottage when they go up to Balmoral or is it now to small for their family?
By October 2007 people already knew that Prince William had gotten back together with Kate Middleton but it was basically confirmed when Kate was spotted out at Balmoral with Prince Charles.
Prince Charles and Kate at Balmoral in 2007
In November 2010, people started to speculate that an engagement announcement was imminent when Prince Charles invited Kate’s parents, Carol and Michael, for a weekend at his private mansion, Birkhall, on the Balmoral Estate. Surely enough, a few days later the news that Prince William and Catherine Middleton were to be married was finally announced.
Michael and Carol Middleton on the Balmoral Estate
After William and Kate’s wedding, they didn’t directly go on their official honeymoon as William had to get back to his RAF job the following week. Instead, they opted for a weekend “somewhere inside the UK”. Many people guessed that they probably spent time at Balmoral and I think it is a plausible theory.
In 2013, it was at Balmoral that Prince Philip met his first great-grandson. William, Kate, and George traveled up to Scotlan whend the little prince was less than 2 month old!
In 2016, Her Majesty was spotted driving both Kate and her mother Carol Middleton around the Estate. It was a fun sight too see as the 90-year old Queen took the wheel!
The Queen driving arounf Kate on the Balmoral Estate
The Queen driving around Carol on the Balmoral Estate
While at Balmoral, The Royal Family, in particular The Queen, attend regular church services at Crathie Kirk Church which is when we usually get pictures of William and Kate in Scotland
Crathie Kirk Church
William and Kate driving to church in Scotland
I hope you all enjoyed this post! I would expect The Cambridges to head up to Balmoral sometime this month asin early September school and nursery start up again for George and Charlotte! And we will all be actively awaiting for pictures and news to surface! In the meantime, make sure to check out my most recent blog posts! Than you all so much!