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Home » Balmoral Castle £100 Guided Tour Tickets Sell Out On First Day As Royal Fans Rush For Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Late Queen’s Favoured Retreat

Balmoral Castle £100 Guided Tour Tickets Sell Out On First Day As Royal Fans Rush For Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Late Queen’s Favoured Retreat

Tickets for the first ever opening of Balmoral Castle to the public have sold out less than a day after they went on sale.

The gold-dust briefs, on sale for between £100 and £150, with the latter including afternoon tea – were in short supply with just 40 issued each day from July 1 to August 4 later this year to see the late Queen’s favoured retreat.

Balmoral’s ticket booking system was locked down under the stress of demand, with a notice reading: ‘As we are currently experiencing a high demand of bookings, you have been placed in a queue.’

But the monarch has raked in around £140,000 from the new guided jaunts, which are thought to have been introduced in line with the King’s wishes to make royal properties more accessible to the public.

Previously, tickets have been sold for access to the grounds of the Aberdeenshire estate, between the towns of Ballater and Braemar, at £17.50 apiece.

For the first time, visitors to Balmoral can book tickets for a guided tour inside Balmoral Castle (pictured)

Queen Elizabeth II waits to meet with new Conservative Party leader and Britain’s Prime Minister-elect Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle on September 6, 2022 – two days before she died

Balmoral is the favoured summer retreat of the royal family – with the castle used through the summer by the likes of King Charles

Tickets for the internal guided tours throughout July and early August are now completely sold out

King Charles inspects Balaklava Company at the gates of Balmoral in 2023

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their children, Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales (right) sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland, 8th September 1960

Queen Elizabeth II at the writing desk in her study in Balmoral Castle, Scotland, in 1972

Guests will be given a rare glance into rooms used by the King and Queen, two dining rooms, the drawing room, the page’s lobby and the Red Corridor, where King Charles met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this year. 

The tours will teach ‘how it has been loved by generations of the Royal Family’, according to the estate’s website. 

But some have expressed frustration at the speed at which the tickets sold out – and the prices being charged to enter the previously unseen corridors of the royal family’s favoured summer retreat.

One said on Facebook: ‘Why is it so expensive? I would love to do this but £100 per person is extortionate.’

‘A shame all the tours have sold out,’ said another.

‘More tickets need to be released for the internal castle tour,’ pleaded a third fan on X, formerly Twitter.

‘It has proved very popular. I went and booked within 10 mins of seeing this post yesterday morning. It may well become a regular experience,’ said a fourth, signing their post off with a smiling emoji.

Tours will take guests through a selection of rooms used by the King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

There will be no ropes tethering off rooms as in some other properties, because it remains a functioning royal home.

In a statement on its website, the Balmoral estate announced: ‘Since its completion in 1855, access to the interior of Balmoral Castle has been restricted to the public, until now.

‘For the first time in history, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of interior castle private tours – The Balmoral Experience.

‘Learn about Balmoral’s history and heritage, led by our experienced guides through several of the exquisite rooms within Balmoral Castle.

‘You will see why Balmoral is such a special place – the much loved and celebrated Highland home of the Royal Family.’ 

The then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Balmoral in 1981 whilst on their honeymoon

Prince Charles and his mother Princess Elizabeth looking out of a window at Balmoral in 1952

Queen Elizabeth watches her son Prince Charles driving in a toy car on the grounds of Balmoral Castle

Queen Elizabeth II with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Balmoral on September 26 1976

Some of the King’s own personal artworks will also be put on display in a bid to entice more visitors to the Aberdeenshire estate.

Balmoral Castle, in Aberdeenshire, has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848.

The King has also ordered construction of a giant, thistle-themed maze in the grounds – inspired by a maze he used to play in as a child at Sandringham.

The eyes of the world were drawn to the estate in September 2022 when the late Queen Elizabeth II died within its walls.

She had been photographed meeting with the then-new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, just two days before she died as she asked the one-time Tory leader to form a new government.

Balmoral was beloved by the late monarch and she, and the wider family, came to be regarded as neighbours by the locals in the nearby towns of Ballater and Braemar.

Many local businesses came to be associated with the estate, having been granted Royal Assent for providing services to the Royal family each summer, as they would come to stay for the entire season.

Queen Elizabeth II was also a frequent sight around the estate, both on foot and at the wheel of a Range Rover.

In one famous tale, relayed by former Royal protection officer Richard Griffin, she met a pair of Americans while walking around the grounds with Mr Griffin – but the tourists did not recognise her as the head of state.

He told Sky News in September 2022: ‘It was clear from the moment we first stopped that they hadn’t recognised the Queen – which is fine – and the American gent was telling the Queen where they came from, where they were going to next, and where they’d been to in Britain. And I could see it coming.

‘And sure enough, he said to Her Majesty, ‘And where do you live?’ And she said, “Well, I live in London but I have a holiday home just the other side of the hills”.’

The Americans then asked her if she had ever met the Queen.

Mr Griffin added: ‘And as quick as a flash, she says, “Well I haven’t, but Dicky here meets her regularly.”‘