Why Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Scottish hideaway could be neglected this summer after King Charles’ big decision

Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Scottish hideaway apparently might not be King Charles' residence of choice if he upholds her summer tradition

Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Scottish hideaway could be neglected this year. Seen here are Queen Elizabeth and King Charles in Scotland on different occasions
(Image credit: Future// Image 1:Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Scottish hideaway could potentially be neglected this summer after King Charles’ recent big decision.  

Although King Charles hasn’t confirmed his summer plans it’s been suggested in recent weeks that His Majesty could be preparing to spend at least part of the summer in Scotland and uphold the late Queen Elizabeth’s tradition. She usually spent August-October at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire after it closed to the public. Though Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Scottish hideaway home where she’s said to have stayed until then might not be used by King Charles this year. 

Writing in his Eden Confidential column for the Daily Mail, Richard Eden suggested that His Majesty has decided to keep Balmoral open to the public for an extra two weeks. Last year the grounds, gardens and exhibitions remained open until August 2nd. Now Balmoral’s website has confirmed that the castle will indeed be open to visitors until Wednesday, August 16 in 2023. 

View of the Balmoral Castle

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This is a huge change in terms of the royal summer schedule as Queen Elizabeth used to travel to Scotland at the end of July. Although she wouldn’t move into Balmoral until it closed to the public, she’s understood to have enjoyed spending the days leading up to this at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral Estate. 

This stunning stone cottage is where she and Prince Philip are believed to have spent time over the years. However, Richard has put forward the idea that Craigowan Lodge might not be receiving a visit from King Charles this year. Amid speculation that His Majesty will be spending part of the summer at Balmoral, he’s expressed his belief that they’ll be staying elsewhere first while they wait for it to close to the public.

Craigowan Lodge On Balmoral Estate

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“It's understood that the King will continue his own tradition of spending the first week of August at the Castle of Mey, in Caithness”, he wrote, before claiming, “He may then head to Birkhall, his home on the Balmoral Estate, while he waits for the castle to close to tourists.”

The Castle of Mey is one of the other places where the Royal Family stay in Scotland and once belonged to the Queen Mother. Birkhall is understood to be privately owned by King Charles and during Queen Elizabeth’s reign this was his and Queen Camilla’s primary home in Scotland.

It seems that these two royal residences are more likely to be graced with King Charles’ presence this summer rather than Craigowan Lodge. The last time it was believed to have been lived in by the royals was last July when Queen Elizabeth reportedly stayed there.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Balmoral

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It was a place where she could enjoy private time away from the royal spotlight. Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary, Secrets of the Royal Palaces, royal expert Wesley Kerr previously claimed that time there allowed her and the late Duke of Edinburgh to be an “ordinary” couple.

“I don’t imagine that she’s doing the cooking or anything, but she and the Duke are able to be there as an ordinary married couple without the grandeur,” he declared. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!