A holiday at Balmoral
Balmoral (the name comes from the Scottish Gaelic: bàile mhoral, which means “majestic castle or town”) is a large estate house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, owned by Queen Elizabeth II. It is near the village of Crathie, 14 Kms west of Ballater and 80 Kms west of Aberdeen.
Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British royal family since 1852, when the estate and the original castle were bought by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Soon afterwards, the house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned. The architect was William Smith of Aberdeen, and his designs were amended by Prince Albert.
The castle is an example of Scottish baronial architecture. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter.
The Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the royal family, and now covers an area of approximately 20,000 hectares. It is a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies.
Balmoral is a private property and, unlike the monarch’s official residences, it is not the property of the Crown. It originally was purchased personally by Prince Albert, rather than the queen, meaning that no revenues from the estate go to Parliament or to the public purse, as would otherwise be the case for property owned outright by the monarch. Along with Sandringham House in Norfolk, ownership of Balmoral was inherited by Edward VIII on his accession in 1936. When he abdicated later the same year, however, he retained ownership of them. A financial settlement was devised, under which Balmoral and Sandringham were purchased by Edward’s brother and successor to the Crown, George VI.
Currently, the estate is still owned by the monarch, but is managed by trustees.
An illustration of the castle features on the reverse of £100 notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
shortly thereafter: poco dopo
grouse moors: brughiere
farmland: terra da coltivare
unlike: a differenza di
revenues: entrate, guadagni
as otherwise would be the case: come, d’altro canto, sarebbe stato il caso se….
outright: in assoluto
Video of Queen and Prince Phillip at Balmoral: