Queen’s beloved Scottish home nicknamed ‘immoral Balmoral’ by scandalised staff

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Balmoral Castle Estate in the Scottish Highlands has welcomed The Queen every summer for the past 68 years, home to many memorable celebrations within the Royal Family.

For 12 weeks during the summer months, she and the family head up to the grand estate for the annual visit, with the exception of 2020 due to Her Majesty and Prince Philip isolating at Windsor Castle.

An invitation to Balmoral is considered extremely special, and the Queen is said to be missing the Scottish castle dearly.

However, the lavish destination has earned the nickname of "Immoral Balmoral" amongst those who run in royal circles, with sources detailing what actually goes on at the Royal summer home.

Royal expert Ingrid Seward revealed to OK! Magazine that life at Balmoral feels like it has "almost gone back a century" due to the formalities those attending have to follow.

The huge estate employs a whopping 50 full-time staff, who tend to the royals' every need.

It's no wonder that the workforce is so extensive, but what do they do in their spare time? According to Ingrid, they get down and dirty with each other.

She explained: "There’s really nothing for staff to do there except have affairs with each other, which is how it got its name Immoral Balmoral!”

Where is Balmoral and what is its history?

Balmoral Castle is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and is the private property of Queen Elizabeth II.

It's approximately 50 miles west of the city of Aberdeen.

The beautiful estate has been a residence of the royal family since 1852, after Prince Albert bought it and the original castle for himself and Queen Victoria.

The Royal Family has since commissioned what is now the current Balmoral Castle, which was designed by the Scottish architect, William Smith.

Some of the funniest features of the castle are that a number of bats live in the rafters of the ballroom, which the Queen is said to love, as she watches staff run around catching them.

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Allegedly, there's even a special Balmoral "squirrel camera" that Her Majesty watches, as the estate is full of the red critters.

As well as Balmoral castle itself, there's a huge range of properties on the 50,000 acre estate, such as the seven-bedroom Craigowan Lodge, which is where the Queen and Prince Philip stay before moving up to the 52-bedroom castle once it’s closed to the public.

Being woken up by bagpipes

When you're a royal, nothing is done by half-measures so you're woken up each morning at 9am to the sound of bagpipes – very on-brand.

After waking up, The Queen loves to head out horse-riding, hiking, fishing or hunting.

Ingrid explains: "The royals won’t think of it as formal, but it really would be formal to us."

Very formal dinner settings

The musical entertainment doesn't end there, with royals heading down to have black tie dinners most evenings whilst a piper walks around the dinner table playing as they eat, explains Ingrid.

However, they do tend to have an informal evening every once in a while, with the royals' infamous barbecues taking place when the staff have time off.

The Duke of Edinburgh is usually in charge of the grill, with the expert adding "There are endless picnics, too, day and night.”

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Home to a number of key moments

Bizarrely, the Scottish summer home has been privy to a number of key moments within the royals' lives.

Ingrid said: “There have been many happy times but some very sad times, too.

“It seems everything happens when the royals are at Balmoral, including the death of the Queen’s uncle Prince George, Duke of Kent in a 1942 air crash.”

Princes William and Harry, then aged only 15 and 12, were at Balmoral when their mother Diana was killed in a car accident in August 1997.

Speaking of the time, William later said: “I remember just feeling completely numb, disorientated, dizzy."

In 2012, the family were again at Balmoral when naked photos of Prince Harry in a Las Vegas hotel room were splashed across the papers.

And in summer 2019 Prince Andrew was visiting when news of Jeffrey Epstein’s death broke.

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  • Royal Family

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