Royals

A 175-year-old royal tradition started by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is about to end. Here’s why

But it's not by King Charles’ choice…

As per tradition, the British royal family spends their summers at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

And for the last 175 years, the royals would hunt and fish on a neighbouring property that they leased: the Abergeldie estate.

However, the estate was sold in 2021 and the new owner is planning to upgrade the grounds; meaning the royal family can no longer lease and use the property.

In documents filed with Aberdeenshire council state, and first obtained by The Telegraph, Abergeldie’s current owner Alastair Storey – CEO of catering company Westbury Street Holdings – wrote:

The then-Prince Charles fishing On The River Dee At Balmoral.  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The then-Prince Charles fishing on the River Dee in Aberdeenshire in the 1980s.

“For the last 175 years, the Royal family have leased the sporting rights at Abergeldie but this has now ceased, and will be actively run by the new Laird.

“To facilitate the transformation and to effectively run the estate, new facilities will be required.”

The transformation mentioned involves turning the estate into a place where commercial shooting and sporting activities can take place.

Mr Storey also plans to build accommodation “for paying visitors” at Abergeldie.

BALMORAL, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 02:  Balmoral, Scotland  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The royal family has spent summers at Balmoral Catsle (pictured above) and hunted on the neighbouring estate Abergeldie for 175 years.

Prior to Mr Storey purchasing Abergeldie estate in 2021 for £23 million (roughly AU$44 million), it was owned by the Gordon family – a Highland Scottish clan – for over 500 years.

And after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Balmoral Castle in 1852, they entered a leasing agreement with the Gordons, that gave them and the rest of the royal family the right to use Abergeldie estate for pastimes such as hunting and fishing.

The lease was extended by the late Queen Elizabeth II in the 90s, despite the Gordon family increasing the leasing fee on the estate.

The Palace is yet to comment on how King Charles feels about Mr Storey ending the lease and thereby a royal tradition, but according to GB News there’s “no bitterness” in regards to the situation.

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