Without a doubt the most heavily guarded castle in the world, Balmoral Castle was bought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1852; Balmoral remains the British Royal Family's Scottish home. The castle had been the home of Sir Robert Gordon. The Gordons, although they did not own the land, had lived in the castle for many years.
The first recorded appearance of the name Balmoral appears in the 15th century, associated with the Abergeldie Gordons, who retained physical possesion of the castle until the title passed to the Farquaharson clan in the 17th century and then to the Earls of Fife at the end of the 18th century. Sir Robert Gordon's lease in the 19th century marked the return of the Gordons to Balmoral in nearly two hundred years.
"It always gives me a pang to leave the Highlands, and this year we have been so especially happy here," wrote Queen Victoria during her first stay at Balmoral. Within three years she and Prince Albert had negotiated a price for the castle and the neighboring estates of Abergeldie and Birkhall.