Balmoral Castle is back open to the public today.
Visitors can see The Queen’s Scottish residence from now until 31 July from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Two new exciting exhibitions are offered during this season.
The first exhibition “Crystals of Balmoral” examines how gems buried in the Cairngorm Mountains were discovered and used during the reign of Queen Victoria.
The exhibition which will be in the Castle’s Ballroom will offer a chance for visitors to view a selection of Cairngorm quartz crystals, and other artefacts from the Queen’s private collection.
The Cairngorms is Britain’s highest and most extensive mountain range.
Hunting for crystals was not only a favourite hobby in the Victorian Era but also a lucrative cottage industry. The crystals were and still are used in Scottish jewellery and as a decoration on kilt pins and the handles of sgian-dubhs.
Not as popular as they were ‘back in the day’ there have been some pieces that have met the quality standards and are part of the collection.
The exhibition will also offer visitors a chance to see the 50 lb smoky quartz crystal found by James Grant in 1851 given to Queen Victoria.
The second exhibition, one that I would fancy seeing is the “Land Rover – 70 Years in the Making” which takes a look at the history of the legendary 4×4 vehicle.
Land Rover holds a Royal Warrant as the supplier to the Royal Household.
The bond between Land Rover and The Royal Family dates back to 1948 when King George VI inspected the original vehicle.
The Queen herself received her first Land Rover in 1952 and Her Majesty along with members of the Royal Fmaily have driven them since.
The Ballroom Exhibition is the only room visitors are allowed to view as other rooms within the Castle are The Queen’s private rooms and are not open to the public.
Admission for 2018:
Adults – £11.50
Seniors / Students – £10.50
Children (5 to 16 years) – £6.00
Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) – £32.00
Admission charges include parking, access to the formal and vegetable gardens, the exhibitions in the stable area and largest room in the Castle, the Ballroom.