Royal Family

King Charles Is Breaking Royal Tradition At Balmoral Castle

The Scottish residence has a storied history.

King Charles III approved tours of Balmoral Castle for the first time.

King Charles will break royal tradition when Balmoral Castle opens to the public this summer.

For the first time, visitors will be able to tour the once-private quarters of the historic residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Tickets, which were available between July 1 and August 4, promptly sold out after being made available, setting guests back £100 ($126) for standard admission, while the more expensive afternoon tea package was priced at £150 ($189.51)

“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,” the official Balmoral site states. “You will learn about the origins of the Castle and how it has been loved by generations of the Royal family.”

Until now, Balmoral tours were restricted to the castle grounds, the surrounding estate gardens, and the ballroom, where King Charles’ watercolor collection is on display.

The History Of Balmoral

The castle was purchased by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, in 1852. He bought the property for £32,000 ($40,500), which equates to roughly £3.7 million ($4.7 million) today, according to the Bank of England.

The 167-room castle is worth an estimated £80 million ($101 million) as of 2023, and sits within the 50,000-acre Balmoral estate, which boasts 150 buildings, including the King’s Craigowan Lodge.

Balmoral Castle. AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

The castle and surrounding estate are a place of solitude for the royal family, as it’s the traditional summer destination for the reigning monarch. Balmoral has also been the site of several royal milestones. In September 2022, for example, Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 in the castle after 70 years on the throne.

Balmoral isn’t the only royal residence welcoming more visitors this summer. After five years of renovations, the East Wing of Buckingham Palace will also be open to guided tours throughout July and August for the first time.