Located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Balmoral Castle is one of two personal and private residences owned by The Royal Family, unlike the Royal Palaces, that belong to the Crown.
The Royal Family first became interested in Balmoral in 1847 when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Ardverikie on the edge of Loch Laggan in the west Highlands of Scotland. Their time there was marred by terrible weather - Queen Victoria mentions the 'pouring rain' many times in her diary.
While at Ardverikie the son of The Queen's physician, Sir James Clark, wrote a number of letters to his father who was convalescing at Balmoral. The letters from Balmoral described blue skies and fine weather - the news of dry weather interested Prince Albert.
In 1848 it was therefore suggested that the Balmoral climate would make a more suitable Scottish residence for The Queen, with the artist James Giles commissioned to make watercolours of a plan of the house. The decision was soon made to acquire the remaining 27 year lease for Prince Albert, and in 1852 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the Castle outright.