A Fairy Tale from Royal Deeside

Fairy Tale Weddings (and Royal Connections)

As the world turns to the celebration of Harry & Meghan's wedding this weekend and speculations grow as to their honeymoon escape we thought what a great way to celebrate the "FairyTale" with stories and news from Royal Deeside, past, and present.

The wedding in 1947 of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip was a spectacular event, with the Queens wedding dress famously being paid for with rationing coupons following World War II.

After the wedding on the 20th November, the newlyweds chose to spend their honeymoon time at two places in the United Kingdom that meant something to the family.

Their first destination was Broadlands in Hampshire, the family home of the Mountbatten's, Prince Philip’s family. From there they then headed up to Birkhall, Royal Deeside, Scotland. The property was bought in 1715 by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria as part of the Balmoral estate.

Birkhall is also where the Queen and Princess Margaret spent a lot of time during their childhood, as the Queen Mother often spent her summers on the estate with her daughters and King George V.

Upon the Queen Mothers death in 2001, the property passed to Prince Charles, who then honeymooned there in 2005 with the Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Harry’s aunt, Princess Anne married on Royal Deeside at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle on the 12th December 1992. This was the second marriage for the Princess who became Mrs Timothy Laurence after a small family wedding.

She was accompanied by her father Prince Philip, and her daughter and bridesmaid 11-year-old Zara. Among the guests were the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Anne's son from her first marriage Peter, 15. The newlyweds joined the rest of the Royal family for a celebration on the Balmoral estate afterwards.

Royal Deeside has long been a popular choice with the Royal family going back as far as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert the Queens Consort.

Historical records show that the area has been a favourite holiday destination of the Royal Family ever since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited and fell in love with the Balmoral Estate in 1848. Since then successive generations of the Royal Family have adopted the area as their tranquil retreat.

Visitors today can follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria taking in the sights and attractions that have been attracting tourists for 150 years.

The Victorian Heritage Trail, (brown signposted road signs) were set up specially to promote the area’s Victorian connections for visitors to see and enjoy.

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837–1901 and in many locations around Royal Deeside you can also see fine examples of Victorian architecture, the architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century

Anyone who has even been involved with a wedding will know that a great deal of preparation and planning goes into making the event a day to remember.

With Harry and Meghan’s wedding this will have been no different. From the catering, the invites, the flowers, the dress and everything in between, there will have been an army of suppliers and businesses involved in the preparations to ensure that a very special memorable day was created.

With so many functions, events and ceremonies that the Royal family is involved in, it is well known that a lot of planning goes on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Perhaps not so well known is that the “By Royal Appointment” signs that you might see on local shops is a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years, and who have an on-going trading arrangement. The Monarch decides who may grant Royal Warrants.

Royal warrants of appointment are not a new idea, as they have been issued for centuries to tradespeople who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The royal warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the issuer of the royal warrant; thus lending prestige to the supplier.

The United Kingdom is not unique either in this custom as other countries such as Royal families of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Denmark, Sweden and Japan among others, who also allow tradesmen to advertise royal patronage.

Suppliers having a royal warrant charge for the goods and services supplied; a royal warrant does not imply that suppliers provide goods or services free of charge.

Royal warrants are typically advertised on company hoarding, letter-heads and products by displaying the coat of arms or the heraldic badge of the royal personage issuing the royal warrant.

Warrants granted by members of the British royal family usually include the phrase "By Appointment to…" followed by the title and name of the royal customer, and then what goods are provided; no other details of what is supplied may be given.

Many businesses along the valley of Royal Deeside bear “Royal Warrants” signifying that they are suppliers to the Queen’s household.

Ballater boasts Royal Deeside’s record from the Butchers to the local garage, but this is maybe too not surprising as Ballater is the nearest village to Balmoral.

If you are visiting the area, see how many you can find!

Fairy Tale Castles

Royal Deeside also plays host to a number of impressive castles, including Craigievar.  This 17th-century castle has been owned by the same family the Forbes for over 350 years before being given to the National Trust for Scotland in 1963 

A stunning castle, in a wonderful setting among rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains. The beautiful pink castle is said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. The finely sculpted multiple turrets, gargoyles and high corbelling (structural piece of stone) all work to create a classic fairy-tale appearance.

Fairy Tales do come true....

Planning your own fairytale & happy ever after then why not take a look at some of these businesses that will offer you, your friends & family a memorable day too.

Crathes Castle

Drum Castle

Craigievar Castle

Douneside House

Marcliffe Hotel

Maryculter House

Tor Na Coille Hotel

"Banchory Lodge Hotel

The Burnett Arms

Kincardine Castle

Glen Tanar Estate

Ballogie House


Chance to win with Visit Aberdeenshire Click Here to enter.

Delighted to feature in this fabulous Royal trip for 2 to Royal Deeside. Enjoy a mini break for 2 for 2 nights at the Banchory Lodge Hotel with its amazing riverside views, then take time to explore the area with our Royal Deeside PassporTour. Prize also includes entry & audio tour of the stunning Balmoral Castle & Estate along with a tour of Royal LochnagarAll wrapped up with dinner at the award winning Rothesay Rooms.


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