What Will Happen to Balmoral Castle When Queen Elizabeth Dies?

When it comes to property, the royal family has an impressive portfolio of assets. But, not every palace and castle is privately owned by the family. Both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are part of the Crown Estate and not Queen Elizabeth’s private property. That said, Her Majesty does have a few royal abodes, such as Balmoral Castle, in her name.

As the royal family headquarters, Buckingham Palace will continue to serve as the monarch’s main office and venue for diplomatic meetings, State Dinners, and more once Prince Charles ascends the throne (although, he plans to make a few changes to the monarch’s official London residence). And, Windsor Castle could also continue to serve as the monarch’s weekend home. But, what will become of Balmoral Castle? Who will inherit the iconic royal vacation home once Queen Elizabeth dies? Find out, ahead.

Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle is the queen’s summer home. | Robert Plattner/Oneworld Picture/UIG via Getty Images

Balmoral Castle

The queen might own Balmoral Castle, but she’s not the only one who gets to enjoy the Scottish abode. Every summer, Her Majesty spends time at the family’s vacation home and is often joined by several of her family members, too. The tradition of Balmoral Castle is a special one and something that Prince Charles will likely continue once his mother passes (after all, he already has a house on the Balmoral Estate).

That said, since Balmoral Castle is a private residence, ownership of the historic estate will likely be inherited by one of Her Majesty’s family members. Will Queen Elizabeth leave her beloved vacation home to her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles? It’s possible.

Will Queen Elizabeth leave Balmoral Castle to Prince Charles?

In the royal family, it’s tradition to pass the castle down to a previous owner’s (the monarch) successor. When King George VI died, he passed the property on to his eldest daughter and heir, Queen Elizabeth II. And, when Queen Elizabeth II dies, it is likely she will do the same for her son and successor, Prince Charles. Prince Charles will probably pass the castle onto Prince William and Prince William will likely pass it on to Prince George.

What will happen to Balmoral Castle when Queen Elizabeth dies?

Just because Balmoral Castle belongs to the monarch, doesn’t mean he or she is the only one allowed to enjoy it. Every summer, the monarch invites members of the family to visit Balmoral Castle (some — like Prince Charles — even have their own homes on the estate) for a summer vacation. Prince William and Prince Harry grew up playing with their cousins on its impressive acreage and now, their children will likely do the same.

In addition, some members of the royal family might stay on the estate — especially Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles — when visiting the area on a royal tour.

What will happen to Buckingham Palace when Queen Elizabeth dies?

As the royal family’s headquarters, Buckingham Palace has a significant role in the monarchy. And, despite Prince Charles’ refusal to move there (the future king plans to stay at Clarence House, his current London residence), he does plan to conduct business out of the London residence. In addition, he wants to open the palace to the public for longer periods of time (right now, it’s only open for a few months during summer). And, he has plans for a special exhibition in honor of his mother’s historic reign.


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