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Royal Family: Step inside Balmoral: UK royals to open castle for public after 170 years

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For the first time in 170 years, the UK royal family is opening Balmoral Castle to the public on monday and is offering extensive tours of the castle.
Visitors will be allowed to take a guided tour of several rooms in the Aberdeenshire castle, such as the entrance hall, red corridor, main and family dining rooms, page’s lobby, library, and drawing room.
The general public will have the chance to see the additions made by King Charles since he became monarch, including his decision to change the drawing room carpets back to Hunting Stewart tartan – the original style chosen by Queen Victoria.
Tickets for the guided tours are priced at £100 or £150 with afternoon tea. It was sold out within 24 hours of going on sale, with 40 people a day allowed to visit from 1 July to 4 August.
James Hamilton-Goddard, visitor enterprise manager for the estate, said: “It’s a magnificent place, I think the king wants people to see the castle.”
“The public who managed to get a ticket will come away [having seen] the royal family’s holiday home, that’s exactly what it is, it feels very homely.”
The royal summer retreat has been a royal residence since it was bought by Prince Albert in 1852 for a reported £32,000. It is often cited as Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite residence and this is where she died in 2022.
Balmoral’s walls are decorated with paintings – selected by Charles – by the Victorian artist Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, a favorite of his great-great-great grandmother, Victoria.
Landseer is renowned for crafting the lions at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square and was invited to Balmoral every summer to teach Victoria and Albert to paint.
The castle’s library, once Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s breakfast and lunch room, now serves as the king’s study.
Other items on display include the chauffeur’s whistle, used in previous years to call the driver. Visitors can also see the dinner gong, crafted from materials salvaged from HMS Temeraire, which was used to summon guests at Balmoral.
The public has previously only been able to visit Balmoral’s ballroom and the grounds of the castle. The opening takes place before the king and queen arrive at Balmoral for their summer break.





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