Many royals well-wisher are thinking what Queen is doing at Balmoral
Everyone knows the Queen adores Balmoral and can’t wait to make the 516-mile journey north every summer so she can roam around in the heather without being hassled.
Here are the things you need to know about the Queen’s Scottish bolthole:
- Described by Princess Eugenie as ‘the most beautiful place on earth’, Balmoral is the Queen’s favourite home. She has no official duties there, apart from attending the Braemar Gathering, where she is often seen hooting with laughter at the caber tossing, the tug of war and the sack races.
- Prince Albert bought Balmoral for £32,000 in 1852 (roughly around £4m today), which means it’s privately owned, like Sandringham, and not part of the Crown Estate. The castle is a rebuild of the original property, which Prince Albert considered too small.
- The Queen’s arrival at Balmoral always begins with an inspection of a guard of honour from the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, who make up part of her protection while she’s there (bodyguards with bagpipes – the dream). She also inspects the packed lunches of all the regiments who serve her during her stay by visiting the kitchens to sample their sandwiches. Those that don’t make the grade are sent back. No limp bread and sparse fillings allowed, thank you.
- MORE BAGPIPES. Another Queen Victoria tradition the Queen is into is having a piper play for 15 minutes under her window at 9am every morning. This also takes place at Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Holyroodhouse (but not at Sandringham, because they never have room to put him up, apparently – yes, we’re still wondering about this too) to remind her of the Highlands.
- Lots of people travel with their favourite pillow or tea bags when they go away. The Queen always brings her knighting sword to Balmoral. That sword is better than your pillow.
- The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh usually spend the first week of their Balmoral summer at the much more private Craigowan Lodge, a seven-bedroom guesthouse about a mile from the castle. A mini-break within their major-break.
- If you visit the estate yourself, don’t be surprised if the charming woman you speak to wearing tweeds and a headscarf turns out to be the Queen herself – as some blissfully unaware American tourists once discovered.
- The Queen always hosts the annual Ghillies Ball in the Castle Ballroom. It is entirely possible you might find yourself dancing with the Queen, so brush up on your Dashing White Sergeant.
- Picnics and barbecues on the estate are common, with the Duke of Edinburgh famously brandishing the tongs and being in charge of the sausages, although there are still black-tie dinners at night.
- Margaret Thatcher once sent the Queen a pair of rubber gloves as a Christmas present after being surprised to see her washing up at Balmoral with bare hands.
- There is a lot to get stuck into, from shooting and stalking to salmon fishing – a favourite of the Prince of Wales. Always fond of the great outdoors, the Queen gets out and about on walks on the moors with the dogs and not only goes riding on the 50,000-acre estate, but likes to get behind the wheel of a Land Rover. She has been spotted ferrying the Duchess of Cambridge up to the grouse moor to join the Duke of Cambridge on a shoot. Well, SOMEONE’S got to be the family taxi service.
- The Queen’s Scottish titles include Sovereign of the Order of the Thistle and, even better, Chief of the Chiefs.
- She keeps a Big Mouth Billy Bass on top of the grand piano for LOLZ.
Source: tatler com
Tags: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen, Elizabeth II, Balmoral, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton Catherine Duchess of Cambridge