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Balmoral Castle. 1856 AD.  Scotland Highlands.

 

 

Balmoral Castle

A Love Story

 

By Victoria Franciosa

 

 

 

If ever there was an everlasting love along with a building to contain it, Balmoral Castle would be it.  

 

Balmoral Castle aesthetics are derived from Scottish Baronial style, borrowing features from both the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

 

Nestled amongst the rolling Scottish Highlands, manicured to perfection, Balmoral Castle was built arguably by the most romantic pairing of the royal marriages – Prince Albert for his wife Queen Victoria.  The landscape is said to have reminded them both of Prince Albert’s homeland, Thuringia, in Germany. 

 

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited Scotland in 1842, just two years after their wedding. The landscape of the Scottish Highlands reminded the royal couple of Prince Albert’s homeland.

 

Of all the castles and estates that are owned under the Windsor name, it is widely reputed that Balmoral Castle is the favored vacation residence of H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth ll. It is also the location of the highly iconic images of Princess Diana & Prince Charles on their honeymoon.

 

This painting of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, with five of their nine children, shows the love they shared. Note the delicate reach of Prince Albert’s hand as he seeks his wife’s. This love and adoration, for one another, is the foundation upon which Balmoral Castle was built.

 

Although the land was purchased in February 1848, the castle broke ground on September 28, 1853 and was constructed in typical Scottish Baronial style, which borrows its features from the Medieval and Renaissance eras.  Architect John Smith of Aberdeen was brought in to design the castle with input from Prince Albert himself.  Interestingly enough, John Smith was also the architect for some of the most recent work on the original Balmoral.

 

Balmoral Castle sits on 50,000 acres. There are approximately 150 buildings on the estate.

 

Upon first sight of this sprawling 50,000-acre estate, one cannot help but take note of the towers as they reach for the clouds, imposing pepper pot turrets which were used to provide protection and defense against any imposing armies.  This fortified structure was built with battlements of visible throughways and steps lacing the rooftops.  Lancet windows, aesthetically pleasing to look upon, served their defense purposes as well.  Dormer windows were used purposefully to project what would have been usable space of the tapered roofs and towers. 

 

The bedchamber, adorned with heavy brocade curtains draped on antique bedding, with a secretary used to hold all correspondence and stationery. The sideboards would have held the water basins that were used to freshen up or sponge bathe.

 

Conjuring up visions of lavish ballrooms, oversized fireplace hearths with hidden passageways, heavily draped windows with tapestries that date back to the turn of the 18thcentury why should this castle disappoint?  After all, Balmoral Castle was built in a time when all of this was at the pinnacle of fashion and function.  Imagination is what we are left with as Balmoral Castle is open to the public for only a few months out of the year, with access extremely limited. 

 

Gold embellished elements in an ornate wainscoted chamber interior has vaulted ceilings clad with images of ancestors and portals covered in heavy drapery.

 

As most of the lands and estates belong to the Crown, Balmoral Castle has remained a private estate of the Royal Windsor family and has been handed down in succession for the past 170 years. 

 

Coronation of Queen Victoria by Sir George Hayter on 28 June 1838.

 

It is written that until the day Queen Victoria died, she continued to lay out Albert’s clothing daily (he died 40 years before she did).  This is the love Balmoral Castle was built on.

 

Balmoral Castle has remained a private estate of the royal family and has been handed down in succession for the past 170 years. The Queen Mother, Queen Mary, George VI and Queen Elizabeth are in this photograph taken at Balmoral.

 

If ever there was an everlasting love along with a building to contain it, Balmoral Castle would be it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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