The Real Reason Why Princess Diana Never Liked Balmoral Castle

Princess Diana was whisked into the spotlight at just 19 when she was formally engaged to Prince Charles. She married him at 20 and things went downhill from there. They didn’t have anything close to a happy marriage, but each of them appeared to make the best of a bad situation in the early days.

Princess Diana was now a member of the Royal Family, and that means trips to Balmoral Castle. Diana doesn’t appear to have enjoyed these visits very much.

Balmoral Castle has been in the Royal Family since the 1800s

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Throughout her marriage, Diana never liked Balmoral Castle, which is situated in Scotland. The castle was originally leased in 1848 before being bought by Prince Albert in 1852 for Queen Victoria. The estate has been privately owned by the Royal Family ever since. The Queen and the Royal Family usually opt to spend time there during the summer months.

Princess Diana spoke about how she disliked Balmoral Castle

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Central Press/Getty Images

Princess Diana was reportedly not a fan of Balmoral Castle. She opened up in her biography written by Andrew Morton called Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words. In the 25th anniversary edition, Morton included transcribed words Diana said when she participated in taped recordings with Dr. James Colthurst in the making of her biography. She was the secret source for the work, which made it that much more of a big deal.

Why Diana didn’t like Balmoral

Diana clearly had to be on her best behavior while at Balmoral, which must have been pretty exhausting. She would do her best to do what was expected of her and try and get along with it all. She described the atmosphere at the castle as “negative” and she clearly didn’t enjoy her time there.

“I panic a lot when I go up to Balmoral. It’s my worst time, and I think: ‘How the hell am I going to get out of this?’ The first couple of days I’m frightfully chirpy when I get up there and everything’s wonderful,” Diana said. “By the third day they’re sapping me again. There are so many negative atmospheres. That house sucks one dry.”

Princess Diana enjoyed getting out of the castle when she could

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Serge Lemoine/Getty Images

Diana enjoyed just getting out of the castle and going to London for the day when she had to stay there. She felt like it kept her going at Balmoral even when she didn’t want to. It was like a “replenishment” for her soul.

“But I come back down to London to see someone, and I’ll go back the same day. And it will be like an injection, a replenishment coming into my set-up,” Diana continued. “I say to myself: ‘I am normal, it’s okay to be me, it’s all right, you’re going back to work soon, going to be back in your own home; you go back up there again and try and perform.’ It’s exhausting.”

Princess Diana clearly wasn’t a fan of her time spent at Balmoral Castle. Maybe her reasons for not liking it had something to do with her husband staying there at the same time as well. Their marriage wasn’t strong and Prince Charles was having an infamous affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. The whole thing must have been very difficult for Diana to endure as long as she did.