The Queen's Coffin Is In The Ballroom At Balmoral For A Significant Reason

Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where she spent a lot of happy times growing up. The royal estate was built by Prince Albert and his wife, Queen Victoria, in the 1800s and has long been a favorite royal getaway. It is also one of the few royal properties that are private and belong to the royal family rather than to the crown (per Town & Country Magazine). 

The queen spent her summer holidays at Balmoral Castle, and when her health recently declined, she decided to stay there to officially appoint a new prime minister instead of traveling back to London as she had done in the past. The day after her death was announced, her coffin was wrapped with the Royal Standard — a special flag representing the U.K. and crown dependencies and only flown when the queen or king is visiting one of the palaces — and placed in the Balmoral ballroom (per The Sun and Daily Mail). 

The queen's body will remain at the castle until Sunday so that the household staff, who had a close relationship with the queen, can say their goodbyes. For the staff, Balmoral also holds special memories. In an interview with Town & Country Magazine, former family butler Grant Harrold talked about being invited to Christmas parties and "getting to dance with the Queen at the Gillies Ball in the Balmoral ballroom." It seems fitting this is the place where the queen gets to bid her goodbye.

Balmoral Ballroom saw the queen grow up

The Ghillies Ball has been an annual tradition at Balmoral for many decades. It started as a one-time event in 1852, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert organized a ball to thank their ghillies (groundskeepers) for their hard work. But the event was so popular that other monarchs continued with the tradition (via Tatler). 

Queen Elizabeth II first attended one of the balls when she was 12 and continued to attend (and eventually host) them every year until very recently. In 1991, the first and only video of the ball was released — it shows the queen, King Charles III, and even Princess Diana dancing and laughing. The last ball was held at Balmoral in 2019. After COVID-19 struck the U.K., the balls did not return, but the stunning Balmoral ballroom has been used for art exhibitions and is open to visitors touring the property.

After Sunday, the body of the queen will exit the Balmoral ballroom one last time on its way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, then moved to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday for the final stop, according to Daily Mail