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An oil painting of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales are returning to the Palace in an open carriage pulled by two grey horses; in the garden, on the left, the Prince of Wales is conversing to a couple in

Their history, form and function

Balmoral

'The Highland Fête at Balmoral', Egron Lundgren, c.1859 (RCIN 919484) ©

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made their first visit to Scotland in 1842. Six years later they purchased the lease of Balmoral, a Deeside estate, and set about rebuilding the castle which was completed in 1856. Work on the grounds began in 1855 and Prince Albert was actively involved, especially as he found the Scottish landscape to be ‘very German-looking’. New avenues, roads, plantations and banks were added but the gardens proper were not on the same scale as other royal residences.

Discover the stories behind Balmoral's gardens in the Royal Collection by clicking on the items below.