Family Life
The Royal Family at the Ghillies' Ball, Balmoral
© Lichfield/Camera Press
RCIN 2999861

The Royal Family at the Ghillies' Ball, Balmoral


Patrick Lichfield

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This photograph shows the Royal Family dancing at a ball, which is taking place at their Scottish Castle, Balmoral.

The Ghillies’ Ball is held every year during The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh’s summer stay at Balmoral. As a thank you to Castle staff and the local community, The Queen invites them and other guests to a ball. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh (who wears a kilt) traditionally begin the evening by dancing an eightsome reel (a Scottish dance) with six other couples.

Balmoral Castle was bought by Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and Prince Albert. Queen Victoria described is at ‘her paradise in the highlands’. Victoria and Albert started the royal tradition of spending the summer in Scotland, and every monarch since has spent time at the Castle - fishing, gardening and playing sports, such as cricket and golf.

Today, the Royal Family spend August and September at Balmoral, visiting people and carrying out royal duties in Scotland and the North of England.