The Entrance Facade
The Garden Facade
Earlier Houses: The original 15th century Balmoral Castle was demolished to make way for the current house.
House & Family History: Balmoral Castle is the Scottish home of the royal family. It is a personal property of the monarch and not a crown property (like Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace). Balmoral was the property of Anne Gordon and her descendants until 1798, when the Estate was sold to the 2nd Earl of Fife. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, frequent visitors, decided to purchase a holiday home in the Highlands; Prince Albert bought the Balmoral Estate in 1852 for Queen Victoria. The original 15th century Balmoral Castle was deemed too small and a new castle was built 100 yards to the north of the original castle. Prince Albert helped with the design; it was completed in 1856 and is of local granite in the Scottish Baronial style. Albert and Victoria enjoyed many happy times here and it remained one of Victoria's favorite residences. Balmoral is the summer holiday home of the royal family and is not open to the public when the family is in residence.
Garden & Outbuildings: Prince Albert laid out the original design of the grounds. In the late 20th century the Duke of Edinburgh enlarged the flower and vegetable garden and created the water garden. Balmoral is today a working estate of over 50,000 acres that employs approximately 50 full-time staff and an additional 50 to 100 part-time staff. It is privately owned and funded by HM The Queen.
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Category A
Current Seat / Home of: HM The Queen, Windsor family.
Past Seat / Home of: James Duff, 4th Earl Fife, 19th century. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: The Crown / Royal Family
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: House is owned by HM The Queen, and used as a holiday home by the Royal Family. The Estate is open to the public when the Royal Family is not in residence.