Birkhall—we take a look at the country home that Prince Charles and Camilla adore

Birkhall is surrounded by countryside...

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(Image credit: Getty)

Birkhall dates back to 1715 and now belongs to Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla.


Birkhall became the royal residence on everyone's lips thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We already knew a lot about places like Sandringham House and Anmer Hall but during the UK lockdown, Birkall rose to prominence as the place where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles chose to spend some of their isolation time. 

Birkhall is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, and has been in the Royal Family for over 150 years. 

Prince Charles inherited the place from the Queen Mother after her death in 2002 and it fast became one of Charles and Camilla's favorite locations as the couple even chose to spend their honeymoon there in 2005.

What is Birkhall like?

Charles has long been fond of the Scottish royal home. He is reported to have called the retreat, "a unique haven of coziness and character."

It's thought that he enjoys the seclusion of Birkhall away from the glare of the media.

 In fact, he even headed there during his divorce from Princess Diana.

A brief history of Birkhall

Birkhall was built in 1715, and later bought by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband. It was acquired as part of the Balmoral Castle estate, with the castle just 7 miles from the home.

(Image credit: De Agostini via Getty Images)

It was given as a gift to the couple's eldest son Edward VII, in order to provide more space for guests. However, it's thought that Edward didn't much take to the place, preferring to stay elsewhere on his visits to Scotland.

In the 1930s, King George VI and the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth I (then known as the Duke and Duchess of York), often spent holidays at the home with their children (of course, the current Queen Elizabeth II), and even redecorated.

Later, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip made Birkhall their late summer residence after having children. When the Queen Mother died, Prince Charles inherited the Scottish home. And it's clearly a special place for the Prince of Wales, who even spent his honeymoon with Duchess Camilla here.

Who lives at Birkhall now?

Birkhall is the official Scottish home of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. 

Normally, the residence is where the couple spends their summers. But many members of the royal family have spent time there. 

In 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated New Year's Eve at Birkhall.

Who owns Birkhall?

Given that Birkhall was originally bought privately by Charles' royal relatives, it's likely that the home is now privately owned by him.

This means that it is not owned by the Crown Estate, meaning it belongs personally to him and his direct family, rather than whoever becomes monarch. 

What is it like inside Birkhall?

As Birkhall is a private residence, there isn't much information about, or many images of, the home.

However, Prince Charles previously shared a video from the home, explaining how he felt after recovering from coronavirus after the first time he contracted the virus.

But some eagle-eyed fans noticed some sweet details in his home as he delivered his speech.

On the bookshelf behind Charles, some spotted a very sweet photo of Prince George as a baby, with an adorable white hat on. There also appeared to be a picture of his mum and dad, the Queen and Prince Philip, in their younger days.

Pictures taken to mark the release of a biography of the Queen Mother also show the outside of the building.

birkhall

The home appears to wrap around a pretty green courtyard, and looks to have about three floors.

Other photos also show the rather lovely entrance to the home, with a large blue porch.

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What are the Birkhall grounds like?

Prince Charles and Camilla's Scottish home is set within 53,000 acres of Balmoral Estate, so certainly isn't short of outside space.

Balmoral and Aberdeenshire, in general, is known for the stunning, yet rugged countryside, and it's thought that Charles and Camilla happily take advantage when there for the summer.

Prince Charles, Camilla

According to the Prince of Wales website (opens in new tab), the couple enjoys fishing and walking in the countryside around Birkhall, and do so every summer they visit.

Is Birkhall open to the public for visits?

As Birkhall is a private royal residence, the public is not able to visit the home at any point.

You can visit the Queen's neighboring Balmoral Castle though, from April until July, when the monarch herself is not in residence.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.