One of Queen Elizabeth’s Castles Actually Looks Just Like Any Other Grandma’s House

We'd still love to live there, though.

balmoral castle outsideByunau Konstantin/Shutterstock

Editor’s note: Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who sat on the throne for 70 years, has died at 96 years old. In a statement on Sept. 8, 2022, the Royal Family website writes, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.” The Reader’s Digest team sends condolences to the royal family and all of Britain at this time as we honor her life and legacy. 

When we picture the inside of a castle, we figure everything must be over-the-top. We’re thinking Victorian couches, Persian rugs, and rich mahogany galore. So imagine our surprise when we caught a glimpse of how Balmoral Castle really looks.

The estate is Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite residence, according to The Telegraph. She likes to spend her summer vacation there from August into September, when she goes on long walks through its 50,000 acres and cooks barbecues.

Given how much Her Majesty loves Balmoral—and how much she and the rest of the royal family are worth—we were expecting it to have the finest furniture and décor. But photos of the Queen meeting Governor General of Canada Julie Payette show her home is actually surprisingly—and dare we say refreshingly—normal.

balmoral castle insideREX/Shutterstock

The chairs aren’t velvet or held up by intricately carved wood; they’re just your basic green fabric, and look as well-loved as ones you might curl up in at your own grandma’s house. The carpet is just as understated—just solid green (we’re sensing a theme here!) with no fancy patterns. (Wondering why she’s carrying a handbag in her own home? This is the secret behind Queen Elizabeth’s purse.)

Even the TV stand looks like something we’d buy ourselves from Pottery Barn. And for what that’s worth, we’re happy that a night of binge-watching isn’t below the Queen herself.

Something about a fireplace screams “traditional and fancy,” but Her Highness took a more modern approach by filling the one in Balmoral Castle with a not-so-disguised space heater.

The accessories are about what you’d find in any home, too. Save the statue and antique clock on the mantel, most of the space is covered with books—though we can only assume some of those gilded bindings are worth a pretty penny. If you squint close, you’ll spot a ship in a bottle above the desk. Pretty standard décor for royalty!

Wish you could live in a castle? You can! Here are some gorgeous Airbnb castles you can stay in overnight.

[Source: People]

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.