Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is located near the village of Crathie, 6.2 miles (10.0 km) west of Ballater and 6.8 miles (10.9 km) east of Braemar.
Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British Royal Family since 1852, when it was purchased by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria. As it was not purchased by the Queen no revenues from the estate go to Parliament and to the public purse as would be the case, in accord with the 1760 Civil List Act, for property owned outright by the Queen. Presently the estate is not owned outright by the monarch but rather by Trustees under Deeds of Nomination and Appointment. These are technicalities, perhaps, but very important ones in regards to land ownership and liabilities. However, the castle, and surrounding grounds, remain the private property of the royal family, and is not part of the Crown Estate.
Soon after the estate was purchased the existing house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned. The architect was William Smith of Aberdeen, although his designs were amended by Prince Albert. The castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture, and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter.
The Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the Royal Family, and now covers an area of about 49,000 acres (20,000 ha). It is a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry, and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies.