We take a look at Birkhall, the country home where Prince Charles and Camilla have been isolating during the coronavirus outbreak

Surrounded by countryside...
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  • Early last week it was confirmed that Prince Charles had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

    • Prince Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus last week, but is now confirmed to be out of the seven-day isolation period.
    • He and the Duchess of Cornwall have been isolating in Birkhall since then.
    • This follows the royal news that the Duchess of Cambridge shared a rare glimpse inside her London home this weekend.

    Last Tuesday, the heir to the throne was said to be suffering mild symptoms of coronavirus, but luckily had not passed it on to his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, who tested negative for the virus.

    Following the diagnosis, the palace confirmed that the royal couple were self-isolating in their Scottish home, Birkhall. The house is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire.

    However, it has since been confirmed that Prince Charles has reached the end of the 7-day isolation period for his coronavirus, but will likely remain at Birkhall due to the current UK lockdown. In accordance with government advice, Camilla will remain self-isolated for a further 7 days – 14 in total.

    So what is the home where Charles and Camilla are in lockdown like?

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

    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.

    Credit: 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, prefering 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 the place!

    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 spend their summers – but it seems that they decided to head there early this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    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.

    MORE: Take a look at Anmer Hall, Catherine and William’s country house in Norfolk

    Who owns Birkhall?

    It’s not clear who owns Birkhall, but given that it 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. Of course, those two things are one in the same, currently!

    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 recently shared a video to the public from the home, explaining how he felt after recovering from coronavirus, and sharing his gratitude and thanks to the key workers across the UK who are giving their all during the pandemic.

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

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

    See if you can spot them in the video below…

    Pictures taken to mark the release of a biography of the Queen Mother also show the outside of the building – revealing it is painted in a chic white colour.

    birkhall

    Credit: Getty Images

    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 grey/blue porch.

    birkhall

    Credit: PA Images

    birkhall

    Credit: PA Images

    What are the Birkhall grounds like?

    Prince Charles and Camilla’s Scottish home is set within the 53,000 Balmoral estate, so certainly isn’t short of outside space.

    Balmoral and Aberdeenshire in general is known for its stunning, lush yet rugged countryside, and it’s thought that Charles and Camilla happily take adventage when there for the summer

    Prince Charles, Camilla

    Credit: Getty Images

    According to the Prince of Wales website, the couple enjoy fishing and walking in the countryside around Birkhall, and do so every summer they visit.

    So while the couple are in isolation, it seems they’ve got an abundance of lovely outdoor grounds to enjoy and keep them occupied.

    Is Birkhall open to the public for visits?

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

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

    However, given the current COVID-19 outbreak, the home has been closed for public visits until further notice.

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