The late Queen Elizabeth II’s love for her home at Balmoral, on Royal Deeside, was well known.
The Queen spent most of the summer in the 50,000-acre rural county of Aberdeenshire, often with her beloved late husband Prince Philip and her family.
Surrounded by rural scenery, Balmoral Castle is where she spent a happy vacation, from her first visit with her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary as a young child, to the last months of her life.
The Queen had several royal parties in her outdoor gardens there and enjoyed watching the Braemar Highland Games (traditional Scottish games) with other members of the royal family.
She and Prince Philip also spent much of his final years at Balmoral, where they stayed together during the coronavirus lockdown and spent their 73rd wedding anniversary there in November 2020.
Balmoral has been a residence of the British royal family since 1852, when Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, purchased the county and its original castle from the Farquharson family. Then the house turned out to be very small and the current Balmoral Castle was built.
The castle itself is an example of Scottish baronial architecture, and is classified by the Historic Environment of Scotland as a Class A listed building. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle was demolished shortly thereafter. It remains the Queen’s private property and is not part of the Crown Estate.
It is a county that contains agricultural facilities, grouse swamps, forests, and farmland, as well as herds of deer, highland cows, and ponies.
The royal family was at Balmoral when Princess Diana died, on August 31, 1997, and she became the center of attention after that.
On the Sunday morning after Princess Diana’s death, the Queen and Princes Charles, William and Harry attended mass at the chapel in nearby Krathie Kirk.
Here is a collection of historical photos of the Queen and her family at Balmoral over the years: