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Step inside Balmoral: King Charles to open residence to public with tour and afternoon tea starting at £100

Step inside Balmoral: King Charles to open residence to public with tour and afternoon tea starting at £100

The King’s Scottish residence will open for the first time this summer for members of the public to explore the royal rooms at Balmoral.

Experienced guides will take small groups around several rooms used by Charles and Queen Camilla, as part of his desire to make the royal residences more accessible to the public.

One source noted that Balmoral has not been built to accommodate large-scale tour guides, unlike other tourist attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

The month-long summer programme is expected to be a trial period, with estate staff taking note of the impact increased footfall has on the historic building, which was bought by Queen Victoria in 1852.

The public will now be able to access the green drawing room where the late Queen Elizabeth II met Liz Truss, the family dining room, the library and the pages’ lobby.

The Queen was last pictured receiving Liz Truss at Balmoral (PA)
The Queen was last pictured receiving Liz Truss at Balmoral (PA)

During former tours, the guided areas were limited to just the ballroom, gardens and the wider grounds.

In a statement on their website, the Balmoral estate said:  “For the first time since the castle was completed in 1855, we have been granted permission to take you on a private tour with our experienced guides.

“They will take you on a historical journey through several of the beautiful rooms within Balmoral Castle.

“You will learn about the origins of the Castle and how it has been loved by generations of the Royal family.

“Travel through time from the purchase of the Balmoral by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, through to present day, where you can see how rooms within the Castle are used today by their Majesty’s the King and Queen and other members of the Royal family.

The Queen holding an infant Prince Andrew in the grounds of Balmoral in November 1960 (PA)
The Queen holding an infant Prince Andrew in the grounds of Balmoral in November 1960 (PA)

“You will see why Balmoral is such a special place - the much loved and celebrated Highland home of the Royal family.”

Tours will take place between 1 July and 4 August, with forty tickets a day available at a price of £100 or £150 if afternoon tea is included.

Located in Aberdeenshire, the castle was long considered the late Queen’s favourite residence and was the location of her death on 8 September 2022.

Since succeeding the throne, the King has made it clear he intends to improve accessibility to the royal residences, with St James’s Palace opening to the public for a limited period of time in 2022 and 2023.

Buckingham Palace has also been made more accessible, and held a number of festive-themed tours over last year’s winter months.