Heritage

25 Photos of the Royal Family at Balmoral Castle, Queen Elizabeth's Favorite Home

The royal family has been visiting the Scottish estate for more than a century.
IMAGE BETTMANN / GETTY IMAGES
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Every summer, the Queen spends a weeks-long holiday at Balmoral Castle, a stunning Scottish estate which is said to be the British monarch's favorite residence. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren come to visit her to get away from the public eye, and just be a normal family (well, as normal as possible). Balmoral has been a refuge for the royals for more than a century, ever since Prince Albert bought the property for his wife Queen Victoria in the mid-1800s. Here, we take a look back at the best photos of the royals at the Castle throughout history.

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Photo by HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES.

1868: Prince Albert purchased the estate in 1852 for his wife Queen Victoria. Here she is on the property several years later with five of her children.

Photo by CENTRAL PRESS / GETTY IMAGES.

1927: This picture shows one of the modern Queen's earliest trips to Balmoral. The then-Princess Elizabeth is in the pram being doted on by her friends and family. While her father is on the far left side of the picture, her grandmother Queen Mary can be seen on the right-hand side.

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Photo by CENTRAL PRESS / GETTY IMAGES.

1932: Just a few years later, Elizabeth was photographed with her grandparents again at Balmoral. Here they are taking a carriage ride to Sunday church services.

Photo by CENTRAL PRESS / GETTY IMAGES.

CIRCA 1946: Queen Elizabeth loves her dogs, and her affinity for animals dates back to her earliest days. Here she is with her sister Princess Margaret and a few pups waiting at Ballater Station, near Balmoral Castle, in the 1940s.

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Photo by FOX PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES.

1951: Multiple generations of the royal family came together for a sweet portrait taken on the Balmoral grounds when Princess Anne was just one year old.

Photo by BETTMANN / GETTY IMAGES.

1952: This stunning photo of Elizabeth in the Balmoral gardens with her dog was taken the year she became Queen.

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Photo by LISA SHERIDAN / GETTY IMAGES.

1952: Most people think the royals are the epitome of dignity, but they still know how to have fun. Here, the Queen helps her daughter Princess Anne out the window.

Photo by LISA SHERIDAN / GETTY IMAGES.

1952: A sweet photo of young Prince Charles playing with a toy car on the grounds of Balmoral Castle.

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Photo by FOX PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES.

1955: Queen Elizabeth, Prince George, Princess Anne, and their nurse, Helen Lightbody help at a fundraiser for the building of a new vestry at Craithie Church, which is located near Balmoral.

Photo by MIRRORPIX / GETTY IMAGES.

1959: During his visit to Balmoral (pictured here) Queen Elizabeth II treated then-President Dwight Eisenhower and his wife Mamie to her drop scones, a sweet also known as scotch pancakes. 

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Photo by KEYSTONE / GETTY IMAGES.

1960: Prince Andrew is born, and another portrait is taken on the grounds of Balmoral Castle to commemorate the Queen's growing family.

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Photo by CENTRAL PRESS / GETTY IMAGES.

1967: Balmoral Castle is widely thought to be the monarch's favorite residence, and here she is all smiles. "I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands," described her granddaughter Princess Eugenie in the recent documentary Our Queen At Ninety.

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Photo by HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES.

1972: Describing Balmoral, Eugenie continued, "It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run."

Photo by FOX PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES.

1972: The Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Balmoral.

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Photo by FOX PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES.

1972: On the grounds of Balmoral Castle, a large vegetable garden is reportedly Prince Philip's purview.

Photo by FOX PHOTOS / GETTY IMAGES.

1972: When the Queen's family is at Balmoral, they "act as normal people—to a point," Lord Lichfield, a former photographer for the family, said in 1972. "Lunch is always outdoors and they are outside every day going on expeditions."

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Photo by HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES.

1976: Here's a rare look at the royal study inside Balmoral.

Photo by HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES.

1976: This candid shows another sneak peek of what the royal's residence at Balmoral looks like (or at least what it looked like in 1976).

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Photo by TIM GRAHAM / GETTY IMAGES.

1981: Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer visit Balmoral and stay at Craigowan Lodge on the estate during their engagement.

Photo by PRINCESS DIANA ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES.

1981: Charles and Diana also spent their honeymoon at Balmoral.

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Photo by TIM GRAHAM / GETTY IMAGES.

1983: Princess Diana arrives at Aberdeen airport near Balmoral with Prince William.

Photo by ANWAR HUSSEIN / GETTY IMAGES.

1986: Princess Diana carries a young Prince Harry as they deplane at Aberdeen Airport before heading to Balmoral for a holiday.

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Photo by TIM GRAHAM / GETTY IMAGES.

1997: Prince Charles poses with his two sons by the water at Balmoral.

Photo by JEFF J MITCHELL / GETTY IMAGES.

2006: Prince Charles and Camilla celebrate their first wedding anniversary at Balmoral.

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Photo by DUNCAN MCGLYNN / GETTY IMAGES.

2019: While the Queen is on her weeks-long holiday, many members of the royal family come to visit her, and are often spotted traveling to Sunday church services. Most recently, we saw the Duchess of Cambridge riding with her grandmother-in-law.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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