It is being reported that Balmoral Castle could become Her Majesty The Queen’s second home in the event of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh. Should Prince Philip die before her, it is being reported that Queen Elizabeth has expressed a wish to spend more time at her Highland retreat.
The Sunday Times have reported that plans have been explored for The Queen to spend her time between Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle though nothing is set in stone just yet owing to Prince Philip being in robust good health and still undertaking official duties.
A source told The Sunday Times, “There is a feeling that if The Duke of Edinburgh passed away her preference would be to spend more time in Scotland. The discussion has been that if he goes before her, that would be her wish. She loves Scotland, it has always been a great comfort to her, where she is happiest and most relaxed. She’s a different person up there. At Balmoral she feels she doesn’t have to be a caricature of a queen. Everyone will play it by ear but the feeling is the Scottish plan will be what she wants to do.”
Currently, The Queen spends around six months of the year at Buckingham Palace, from October to mid December, early February to Easter and May and June. It is believed that The Queen feels “location is immaterial” and that she can function just as effectively as a Monarch at Balmoral Castle as she does at Buckingham Palace.
The source continued, “Her Court operates anywhere- when she moves to a different residence, everyone moves with her. The Queen is very aware that you can be head of state anywhere these days. She knows you can look through a red box, have an audience and host a reception anywhere.”
Balmoral Castle was bought by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852 and has been the Scottish home of The Royal Family ever since.
Though its a retreat for The Queen, while she is at Balmoral Her Majesty does still host visiting statesmen and Prime Ministers every September.