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Balmoral Castle

From 1848 onwards the royal family stayed at Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands for around six weeks every autumn. They rented the existing castle before purchasing it outright in 1852, but the queen and prince soon decided to build a new, bigger residence. ‘Albert the Creator’ (as Victoria called him) played a leading role in the design of this family home.  


Victoria and Albert shared an idealistic view of Scotland, conditioned by the sentimentalising paintings of Edwin Landseer and novels of Sir Walter Scott, and embraced many Scottish traditions. They considered the Highlands and its people to be untouched by modernity, and envied what they perceived to be a better, simpler way of life, close to nature.


The royal couple admired the rugged scenery around Balmoral – ‘beautiful, so wild & grand’, Victoria enthused – and spent much time outdoors, sketching, walking, picnicking and shooting. They invited artists to Balmoral to record scenes from their life there as well as commissioning works from local painters, and included many Highland subjects in their watercolour albums.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.