Could Queen Elizabeth Be in Danger of Losing Her Beloved Balmoral Castle?

Queen Elizabeth II is well known for her love of travel. And the long-reigning monarch has multiple estates besides her home base of Buckingham Palace. However, there is a new movement that might affect one of the queen’s favorite properties.

Balmoral Castle is Queen Elizabeth’s estate in Scotland

Queen Elizabeth attending an event at Westminster Abbey
Queen Elizabeth II | Kirsty Wigglesworth – Pool/Getty Images

Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is reportedly Queen Elizabeth’s favorite home, and it’s where the queen spends her summer holiday. Prince Albert purchased the estate for his wife, Queen Victoria, in 1852. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip even commemorated their 25th anniversary with a trip to Balmoral Castle.

“I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands,” said Princess Eugenie, the queen’s granddaughter, in the documentary Our Queen At Ninety. “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.”

What makes the Highlands property so appealing? According to Lord Lichfield, a former photographer for the royal family, it is where the royals get to “act as normal people.” 

Balmoral is 50,000 acres with 150 buildings on the estate. It contains mountains, forests, pastures, gardens, and valleys. The land is used for many things: deer stalking, grouse shooting, forestry, and farming, to name a few.

What new movement could affect Scotland?

It’s no secret that the United Kingdom has been experiencing some serious upheaval over the past several years. According to a new referendum, Scotland could be the next area affected by dramatic changes.

Scotland has 25 percent of Europe’s total offshore wind and tidal resources and around 60 percent of the U.K.’s onshore wind capacity, which could make the country a serious contender in the arena of clean energy and conservation.

Many people want Scotland to break away from the rest of the United Kingdom and start to work toward becoming a pioneer in clean energy production. While it could be years before Scotland makes any major changes in this regard, the movement has gained enough traction among supporters for many royal fans to start to become seriously concerned. 

Will the queen lose Balmoral?

Royal supporters have been worried that if the referendum goes through, the queen would lose her beloved Balmoral estate. Still, this is very unlikely because the queen’s ownership of the estate is separate from her position as monarch of the Commonwealth. 

If the referendum does go through and Scotland withdraws from the United Kingdom, it is possible that some of the farming practices at Balmoral could change to more environmentally friendly ones. But, ultimately, because one of the missions of Balmoral is to preserve and enhance the local area, it seems likely the queen would work with Scotland to ensure green practices.

For now, the royal family is in no danger of losing their beloved family retreat, and they will probably continue to enjoy many more holiday seasons at the lush, beautiful estate.

[Correction: An earlier version referred to Balmoral as Sandringham.]