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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of Birkhall
View of Birkhall

Birkhall (BerkHA; from the Scots Birk Hauch: "Birch River-meadow")[1] is a 53,000 acre (210 km²) estate on Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.[2] It is located alongside the River Muick to the southwest of Ballater.[3]


The property was built in 1715.[3] It was acquired from the Gordon family (owners of the Abergeldie Estate) who had acquired it from the Farquharsone family. Birkhall was acquired by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, as part of the Balmoral Castle estate in 1849 and given to his eldest son, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. Victoria bought Birkhall back to provide accommodation for her staff and extended family in 1884; Prince Albert Edward had only visited Birkhall once, for he preferred the larger Abergeldie Castle.[4] Birkhall was occupied by General Sir Dighton Probyn, Keeper of the Privy Purse to King Edward VII and Comptroller to Queen Alexandra in the late 19th century and early twentieth century.[5]

King George V lent Birkhall in the 1930s to the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), who holidayed there with their children, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. The house was redecorated by the Yorks, who also replanted the gardens. After the Duke of York ascended to the throne in 1936, the new King and Queen occupied Balmoral during the summer while Princess Elizabeth, her husband Prince Philip, and their children occupied Birkhall during the late summer season.[4]

Birkhall was inherited by Charles, Prince of Wales and Duke of Rothesay, from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother upon her death in 2002.[2][3] He also spent his second honeymoon at Birkhall in 2005 with the Duchess of Cornwall. In 2011, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, celebrated Hogmanay at Birkhall.[6]

In March 2020, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall self-isolated at Birkhall after the Prince tested positive for COVID-19.[7]

A fine wire suspension bridge, erected in 1880 by John Harper, crosses the River Muick at Birkhall.

See also

  • Highgrove House, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, the family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
  • Clarence House, in St James's, London, the official residence of the Prince of Wales
  • Llwynywermod, a house in Carmarthenshire, Wales, owned by the Duchy of Cornwall

Further reading


  1. ^ Place-Names of the Cairngorms National Park, Cairngorms National Park Authority
  2. ^ a b "Birkhall". The Prince of Wales. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Royal retreat for grieving prince". BBC News. 10 April 2002. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Birkhall, Balmoral estate, Aberdeenshire". Country Life. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  5. ^ Shawcross, William (2009). Queen Elizabeth: The Queen Mother: the Official Biography. Macmillan. p. 310. ISBN 978-1-4050-4859-0.
  6. ^ Corneau, Allison (31 December 2011). "Prince Harry Has Snowball Fight with Pal in Switzerland". US Magazine. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus". BBC News. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.

This page was last edited on 17 January 2021, at 14:26
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