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Enter Balmoral Castle: King Charles offers the public a glimpse into the late Queen’s beloved Scottish retreat – with small groups shown around for £100 per ticket (and the price even includes afternoon tea!)

King Charles III opens the interior of Balmoral Castle to the public for the first time – but you’ll pay £100 for a ticket.

Previously, tours of the castle were limited to the grounds and ballroom – where the late Queen’s coffin was placed following her death at the castle in September 2022 – and cost £17.50.

But the new small group tours, starting this summer, cost £100 or £150 including afternoon tea and are limited to just 40 tickets per day.

Guests get a rare glimpse into the rooms used by the King and Queen, two dining rooms, the Drawing Room, the Page’s Lobby and the Red Corridor, where King Charles met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this year.

The move is intended to comply with the king’s wish to open the doors of more official residences to the public; and the summer tours are considered a pilot project to see how the building copes with the influx of visitors.

For the first time, visitors to Balmoral can book tickets for a tour of the interior of Balmoral Castle (pictured).

For the first time, visitors to Balmoral can book tickets for a tour of the interior of Balmoral Castle (pictured).

Queen Elizabeth II waits to meet with new Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister-designate Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle on September 6, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II waits to meet with new Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister-designate Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle on September 6, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II at a desk in her study at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, in 1972

Queen Elizabeth II at the desk in her study at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, in 1972

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their children Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales (right), sit on a picnic blanket in front of Balmoral Castle in Scotland, September 8, 1960

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their children Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales (right), sit on a picnic blanket in front of Balmoral Castle in Scotland, September 8, 1960

The tours, which run from July 1 to August 4, before the king and queen arrive for their annual summer vacation, will show “how it has been loved by generations of the royal family,” according to the estate’s website.

The tours take guests through select rooms used by the King and Queen and other members of the royal family.

There will be no ropes demarcating rooms like in some other properties, as this remains a working royal home.

But those who want to get their hands on the valuable stubs should get started now – only 40 will be available each day during the trial period.

In a statement on its website, the Balmoral estate said: “Access to the interior of Balmoral Castle has been open to the public since its completion in 1855.”

“For the first time in history, we are delighted to announce the launch of private tours of the interior of the castle – The Balmoral Experience.”

“Learn about Balmoral’s history and heritage guided by our expert guides through several of the exquisite rooms at Balmoral Castle.”

“You’ll see why Balmoral is such a special place – the much-loved and celebrated Highland home of the Royal Family.”

King Charles inspects the Balaklava Company at the gates of Balmoral in 2023

King Charles inspects the Balaklava Company at the gates of Balmoral in 2023

The then Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Balmoral in 1981 during their honeymoon

The then Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Balmoral in 1981 during their honeymoon

Prince Charles and his mother Princess Elizabeth look out of a window at Balmoral in 1952

Prince Charles and his mother Princess Elizabeth look out of a window at Balmoral in 1952

Queen Elizabeth watches her son Prince Charles ride in a toy car in the grounds of Balmoral Castle

Queen Elizabeth watches her son Prince Charles ride in a toy car in the grounds of Balmoral Castle

Queen Elizabeth II with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Balmoral on September 26, 1976

Queen Elizabeth II with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Balmoral on September 26, 1976

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in the study at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, September 26, 1976

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in the study at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, September 26, 1976

Prince Charles, the then Prince of Wales, pets Harvey the golden retriever during a photo session at Balmoral Castle

Prince Charles, the then Prince of Wales, pets Harvey the golden retriever during a photo session at Balmoral Castle

Some of the King’s personal artwork will also be on display to attract more visitors to the Aberdeenshire estate.

Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire has been the Scottish home of the royal family since it was purchased by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852 and was first leased in 1848.

The king has also ordered the construction of a giant thistle maze on the site – inspired by a maze he played in as a child at Sandringham.

The eyes of the world were drawn to the estate in September 2022 when the late Queen Elizabeth II died within its walls.

She had been photographed meeting then-new Prime Minister Liz Truss just two days before her death, asking the former Tory leader to form a new government.

Balmoral was loved by the late monarch and she and the wider family were viewed as neighbors by locals in the nearby towns of Ballater and Braemar.

Many local companies joined the estate and received royal approval to provide services to the royal family, staying there throughout the season each summer.

Queen Elizabeth II was also frequently seen on the estate, both on foot and behind the wheel of a Range Rover.

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