Step inside Balmoral Castle: King Charles offers the public a peek inside the late Queen's beloved Scottish retreat - with small groups set to be guided around for £100 a ticket (and the price of admission even includes afternoon tea!)

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King Charles III is opening the interior of Balmoral Castle to the public for the first time – but a ticket will set you back £100.

Until now tours of the castle have been limited to the grounds and ballroom – where the late Queen's coffin was placed following her death at the castle in September 2022 – at a price of £17.50.

But the new small group tours, to begin this summer, will cost £100 or £150 with afternoon tea, and be limited to just 40 tickets per day. 

The move is said to be in line with the King's wish to open the doors of more official residences to the public; and the summer tours are thought to be a pilot to see how the building copes with an influx of visitors.

Following the Queen's death at her beloved Scottish retreat, suggestions were made to earmark the property as a house to remember the late monarch.

For the first time, visitors to Balmoral can book tickets for a guided tour inside Balmoral Castle (pictured)

The small group tours, to begin this summer, will cost £100 or £150 with afternoon tea, and be limited to just 40 tickets per day. Pictured: King Charles inspects Balaklava Company at the gates of Balmoral in 2023

The then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Balmoral in 1981 whilst on their honeymoon

The tours, which will take place from July 1 until August 4, before the King and Queen arrive for their annual summer break, will teach 'how it has been loved by generations of the Royal Family', according to the estate's website.

Tours will take guests through a selection of rooms used by the King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

There will be no ropes tethering off rooms as in some other properties, because it remains a functioning royal home.

But those wishing to get their hands on the prized stubs had best get a move on - with just 40 available each day across the trial period.

In a statement on its website, the Balmoral estate announced: 'Since its completion in 1855, access to the interior of Balmoral Castle has been restricted to the public, until now.

'For the first time in history, we're thrilled to announce the launch of interior castle private tours – The Balmoral Experience.

'Learn about Balmoral's history and heritage, led by our experienced guides through several of the exquisite rooms within Balmoral Castle.

'You will see why Balmoral is such a special place – the much loved and celebrated Highland home of the Royal Family.' 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the King's own personal artworks will also be put on display in a bid to entice more visitors to the Aberdeenshire estate.

Balmoral Castle, in Aberdeenshire, has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848.

The King has also ordered construction of a giant, thistle-themed maze in the grounds - inspired by a maze he used to play 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 with the then-new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, just two days before she died as she asked the one-time Tory leader to form a new government.

Balmoral was beloved by the late monarch and she, and the wider family, came to be regarded as neighbours by the locals in the nearby towns of Ballater and Braemar.

Many local businesses came to be associated with the estate, having been granted Royal Assent for providing services to the Royal family each summer, when they would come to stay for the entire season. 

Queen Elizabeth II was also a frequent sight around the estate, both on foot and at the wheel of a Range Rover.

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