Balmoral has been one of the residences for members of the British Royal Family since 1852, when the estate and its original castle were purchased privately by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria. They remain as the private property of the royal family and are not the property of the Crown, meaning that no revenues from the estate go to Parliament or to the public purse.
The castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture, and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter.
The Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the royal family, and now covers an area of approximately 50,000 acres. It is a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry, and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies.
Self-catered Cottages and Lodgings are also available on the Estate year round, except for a few weeks while the Royal Family is visiting.