Why Queen Elizabeth’s Balmoral Castle Differs From Windsor Castle


The royal family owns a number of properties around the U.K., but certain homes have more importance and sentimental value than others. Queen Elizabeth’s official residence may be Buckingham Palace, but she splits much of her free time between her residences at Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Though both hold a massive amount of sentiment for the queen, there’s a major difference between the two properties.

Queen Elizabeth’s Beloved Residences

Queen Elizabeth has a number of properties that she visits over the course of a year. Some residences, like Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, are where the whole family converges for holidays like Christmas as part of tradition.

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Then, of course, there’s Buckingham Palace, which serves as the queen’s official residence. The splendid halls have seen comparatively little of Queen Elizabeth over the last few years, however. 

When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in 2020, forcing much of the world into quarantine to avoid the novel virus, the queen stayed in Windsor Castle with her late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Wondrous Windsor Castle

(Mistervlad/Shutterstock.com)

It’s the residence where Philip passed away in 2021 and where he is buried, so there’s no question that it will always have major significance for the widowed queen. After coming down with COVID-19 earlier this year, the queen recovered at Windsor Castle. 

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While Windsor is no doubt a residence that gives the queen comfort, there’s another residence where she summers that’s equally as important. Balmoral Castle in Scotland sees the return of Queen Elizabeth yearly as she spends the hotter months of the year in the cool crisp air up north. It’s a longstanding tradition, though that tradition was disrupted in 2020 thanks to COVID.

Beautiful Balmoral Castle

(Byunau Konstantin/Shutterstock.com)

It’s clear how important both properties are to the queen and her family, but there’s a difference between them. Queen Elizabeth is currently residing at Balmoral Castle, which she personally owns, along with Sandringham Estate. Windsor Castle, despite its personal importance to the queen, is actually owned by the Crown, which is to say the British government.

Naturally, the reigning monarch and her family are free to use the estate, but they technically have no ownership over it. Still, she and her family have more than enough properties to keep them housed for years to come.

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