Why the Queen can't stay at Balmoral yet - despite it being her and Prince Philips favourite residence

Sadly, she hasn't been able to stay since her late husband passed away

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sadly, she hasn't been able to stay since her late husband passed away

It's tradition for HM The Queen to spend the summer months at the Royal family's Balmoral estate.

Normally, around July every year, her and Phillip make the journey to Scotland to visit the castle.

But, after the sad passing of Prince Phillip in April, the Queen is yet to make her annual stay.

The Queen has been in Scotland since last week, but is believed to be staying at nearby Craigowan Lodge. This comes the same week as Prince Harry announces the publishing of his memoir next year, and as its reported that Meghan Markle will be returning to the UK sooner than expected.

As per an official Buckingham Palace statement, the Queen has been dividing her time between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, visiting 'businesses, charities and cultural institutions that highlight the pioneering work taking place to further community engagement, education, technology, and efforts to combat climate change.'

But why not Balmoral? Well, simply because throughout the year, Balmoral is open to the public as a tourist attraction. It's thought that the Queen will move into the castle once the estate is closed to the public in early August.

With around 300,000 acres of land fit for horse riding, shooting and scenic walks along the moors, there's appears to be good reason why the castle is the Queen's favourite.

According to Tatler magazine, the Queen spends the first half of the day walking her corgis, then accompanying her guests to shoots. She was once seen driving the Duchess of Cambridge to the grouse moor, as per the magazine.

Fun fact: The Queen likely prefers the Scottish castle as its the only property where she has no official Royal duties. Her only responsibility is to appear at the Braemar Gathering, a local sporting event which sees locals compete in sack races and more.

This will mark her first return visit since her husband, Prince Philip, passed earlier in the year.

She won't be alone - as seen in previous years, the entire Royal family appear to be keen to visit the castle, with Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, visiting last year. Kate, William and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis also visited the estate in 2020.

On her grandma's love of the estate, Princess Eugenie said: "I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands. Walks, picnics, dogs—a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs—and people coming in and out all the time."

"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," the princess shared.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.