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The Queen unable to stay at Balmoral

It’s not the start to the summer break that Her Majesty The Queen was expecting this year, as the Monarch is having to spend the start of her annual summer break at Craigowan Lodge rather than Balmoral Castle.

The Queen headed to Balmoral after attending the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, however it is expected that she won’t be able to take up residence in the castle until at least the end of this week. The delay is to make way for tourists who are still touring the castle on Royal Deeside.



Craigowan Lodge, which is about a mile away from Balmoral Castle, is quite up to the job of housing Royals having previously been occupied by Prince Charles and Diana, then the Princess of Wales, after their marriage in 1981. It is thought that The Queen’s stay at Craigowan will allow staff at Balmoral to make the necessary security arrangements after the tourists have departed.

Balmoral Castle has been a continuous home of the British Royal Family since Prince Albert purchased it for Queen Victoria in 1852. The foundation stone of the castle was laid by Victoria herself in September 1853 and it was completed in 1856. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, the Balmoral Estates passed to King Edward VII under the terms of the late Queen’s will. Since that day it has been more than a home to successive generations of The Royal Family.

Her Majesty is expected to spend two months at Balmoral, as is her usual practice each summer, with The Duke of Edinburgh anticipated to join her at a later date, owing to his engagements in Cornwall and Cumbria. It is reported that The Queen’s temporary move to Craigowan is not an unusual thing, with the ever growing need to maximise tourist revenue to ensure the estate pays for itself.

Craigowan Lodge is a seven bedroom stone house about a mile away from the main castle, and was often used as a retreat for Royal couples soon after their wedding. The home is now used to house important guests of Her Majesty The Queen or Prince Charles.

The Queen’s move to the main castle will also see the inspection of the Royal Guard, a ceremony that usually marks the beginning of Her Majesty’s stay at Balmoral.

One can only assume that it is just a slight inconvenience for Her Majesty to stay at Craigowan while there are tourists roaming about Balmoral Castle, but yet knowing the pleasure that these tourists get out of seeing Her Majesty’s Scottish retreat, I am sure it is not really an inconvenience at all.

It seems that it is a week for the Royals in Scotland as The Earl and Countess of Strathearn along with Prince Harry, are attending a number of sporting events at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
photo credit: Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy via photopin cc

  • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

    QUOTE–One can only assume that it is just a slight inconvenience for Her Majesty to stay at Craigowan while there are tourists roaming–UNQUOTE. Can you imagine, living in a sequence of buildings, each as large as a commercial hotel and all fully staffed? For someone who moves around constantly, this would just be part of routine. I wouldn’t favor having go drag my things from place to place all year long; and then having international travel besides. What a job. 🙂

    • Ricky

      Her Majesty is quite used to this schedule, and has been doing it since her accession. Royal staff have the changeover down to a science, and the things The Queen takes to Balmoral are methodically packed up and transferred each year, with the British Army helping with the heavy moving.

      Her staff also take their annual holiday during this time, and have the option of taking either August or September off. Since HM is a bit more informal while on her Scottish break she only needs half her usual staff, which travels with her to Balmoral, Sandringham or Windsor Castle, depending where she is.

      I envy her staff having this arrangement, since where I live (USA) most working people get only one or two weeks of paid vacation per year.

      • RW

        I agree with you Ricky. The schedule move each year /season is built into the royal schedule and her staff do have it down to a science–yes, indeed, they do.

  • june jeung

    I missed lot’s of friends… bird, cat, dogs, lovely pet.

  • BS

    Am I the only one who feels the Queen should have been at Westminster
    Abbey. Our people died for King and Country and i feel passionately that
    the Kings Granddaughter should have been there not the Duchess of
    Cornwall who holds no status to do such an important symbolic act.

  • Katherine

    Her Majesty looks absolutely wonderful. I pray she lives a long and healthy life. Long enough to maintain dignity and integrity on the throne … Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge.

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