The New Year saw some of Her Majesty’s palaces in a state of disrepair and facing increasingly expensive restoration charges. With Royal financial reserves at an all time low, estate managers at Balmoral Castle are looking into ways of raising funds for repairs.
Located in the Scottish Highlands, the castle on Balmoral Estate has served as the Royal Family’s official residence in Scotland since 1852. It was purchased by Prince Albert as a present for his wife, Queen Victoria, who was particularly fond of it. She described Balmoral in her journals as “my dear paradise in the Highlands.” Since then, it has been the favourite of multiple generations of Royals, including Queen Elizabeth II, to whom the castle serves as a summer retreat.
However, the estate in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, is now considering hosting pop or rock concerts as a means to earn revenue for its maintenance. Balmoral’s visitor enterprise manager, Gary Marsden, has said “We are open to any suggestions suitable for the location. We are not planning to stage concerts ourselves – it would be up to others.”
Balmoral hosted its first and only open-air concert in 2006 to mark the occasion of Her Majesty’s 80th birthday. The event featured Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins. It was a raving success and hosted a 4,000-strong crowd on its grounds.
While Balmoral is a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 70,000 visitors when it is open from April to July, the income generated by public visitors is only less than half of the £3 million required to run the estate.
In an effort to raise the additional amount required, updates have been made to the Balmoral website and online gift shop, which offers a vast collection of Royal souvenirs. The castle has also been opened to the public for use for private functions, conferences and other events while the Royal Family is away.