Over the years, visitors have noticed how laid back the Queen and Prince Philip are while they are there, even making ‘rocket’ force cocktails. Princess Eugenie once said she thought the Queen was ‘the happiest’ at the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Some activities are less relaxed; it is said that the royal family will go hunting during their holidays on the estate.
In addition, the Queen is awakened every morning by a bagpiper who starts playing under her window.
There are also a number of things to organize. Her Majesty hosts the annual Ghillies Ball in the Balmoral Ballroom.
She is also overseeing the Braemar Gathering – a prestigious Highland Games event – although this is not the case this year, as the event was canceled due to the pandemic.
However, Tony Blair described the generally relaxed atmosphere in his autobiography.
The former prime minister said: ‘The Queen asks if you’re done, she piles up the plates and goes to the sink. However, he also said the weekends were “absolutely weird”.
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It is said to be because the then-queen was “struck” by the beauty of the Scottish Highlands during a visit there.
The castle as it stands today, however, is not the same as the one that existed when the last one was first purchased.
The original was demolished after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, considered it “not big enough for the royal family”, according to BalmoralCastle.com.
A new one, built by Aberdeen city architect William Smith, was erected just 100 meters away.
About four years later, Balmoral Castle as it stands today was completed – although some improvements have been made over the years.
The old building was then demolished and the memorial stone laid.
However, the entire Balmoral estate includes much more than the castle.
The site measures approximately 50,000 acres and includes Craigowan Lodge, another of the Queen’s vacation homes.
According to reports, Her Majesty stays there while the main castle is still open to tourists during the summer.
The estate also includes Birkhall – the holiday home of Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall.