Queen’s personal vanity mirror among intimate family treasures going on display at Balmoral Castle

It is one of the first things she sees each morning when holidaying in the Highlands, and one of the last before she goes to bed at night.

Now Her Majesty’s personal vanity mirror is to go on public display for the first time at Balmoral Castle from tomorrow, along with a host of other extraordinarily intimate family treasures – and the Mail has been given an exclusive first look.

The Queen’s mirror usually sits on the dressing table in the private apartment of her royal residence, where she holidays each year from August through to October, as she has done since she was born.

Little is known of its origin, but castle staff say it has been used by successive monarchs and their wives since the Queen’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert.

Her Majesty's personal vanity mirror is to go on public display for the first time at Balmoral Castle from tomorrow, along with a host of other extraordinarily intimate family treasures

Her Majesty’s personal vanity mirror is to go on public display for the first time at Balmoral Castle from tomorrow, along with a host of other extraordinarily intimate family treasures

They bought the Balmoral estate in 1848 and moved into their newly-built and furnished castle in 1856, which is when staff believe the mirror was acquired.

It will have been used by Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, George V and Queen Mary, and, of course, the Queen’s beloved parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

And for the last half century or so it has enabled Her Majesty to fix her hair and apply her lipstick each day of her annual visit.

The three panel mirror is relatively modest and simple in design, but that’s rather the way the 94-year-old sovereign likes things, preferring as she does to appreciate the provenance and family ties.

Another eye-catching item going on display for the first time is the lavish ‘Balmoral crib’.

Other personal and private family heirlooms that members of the public visiting the castle this winter will be able to see includes their Landseer Minton dessert china, dating back to 1840

Other personal and private family heirlooms that members of the public visiting the castle this winter will be able to see includes their Landseer Minton dessert china, dating back to 1840

ERII-branded glassware, used by the royal family on their visits to the Scottish estate, will also go on display

ERII-branded glassware, used by the royal family on their visits to the Scottish estate, will also go on display

ERII-branded glassware, used by the royal family on their visits to the Scottish estate, will also go on display

Again, very little is known of the makers of this 19th century antique, apart from the fact that it was first used by Queen Victoria – a mother of nine bouncing babies. Her last baby was her daughter, Princess Beatrice.

She loved it so much that a similar item was designed for use at another of her residences, Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight.

The main difference is that at Balmoral, a heavy lined red curtain was used to surround the crib to suit the Highland climate.

Other personal and private family heirlooms that members of the public visiting the castle this winter will be able to see includes their Landseer Minton dessert china, dating back to 1840.

Landseer was a notable figure in 19th-century British art, his popularity in Victorian Britain was considerable and his reputation as an animal painter was unrivalled.

Another eye-catching item going on display for the first time is the lavish 'Balmoral crib'. Very little is known of the makers of this 19th century antique, apart from the fact that it was first used by Queen Victoria - a mother of nine bouncing babies. Her last baby was her daughter, Princess Beatrice

Another eye-catching item going on display for the first time is the lavish ‘Balmoral crib’. Very little is known of the makers of this 19th century antique, apart from the fact that it was first used by Queen Victoria – a mother of nine bouncing babies. Her last baby was her daughter, Princess Beatrice

Anyone visiting Balmoral is left in little doubt of its location - the castle is packed with tartan curtains and furnishings and Scottish art. To illustrate this Queen Victoria's favourite silver Edgar Boehm Highlander statues will also be on display

Anyone visiting Balmoral is left in little doubt of its location – the castle is packed with tartan curtains and furnishings and Scottish art. To illustrate this Queen Victoria’s favourite silver Edgar Boehm Highlander statues will also be on display

Queen Victoria adored Edgar Boehm's work and even commissioned a life-sized statue of her beloved ghillie and Scottish personal attendant, John Brown, by him shortly after his death. Boehm also created these Highlander statues for Balmoral at some point in the 19th Century, where they have been looked after since

Queen Victoria adored Edgar Boehm’s work and even commissioned a life-sized statue of her beloved ghillie and Scottish personal attendant, John Brown, by him shortly after his death. Boehm also created these Highlander statues for Balmoral at some point in the 19th Century, where they have been looked after since

Queen Victoria commissioned numerous pictures from the artist, initially of her royal pets, ghillies and gamekeepers and then in the year before her marriage, the Queen commissioned a portrait of herself, as a present for Prince Albert.

The couple loved it so much that Landseer taught both Victoria and Albert to etch, and made portraits of Victoria’s children as babies, usually in the company of a dog.

This ‘pristine’ Minton Dessert Service was specially commissioned by Victoria for use at Balmoral and features portraits of her beloved dogs on various items and depictions of Landseer wild animals.

He spent time at castle and had the same affection for the stunning landscapes and abundance of wildlife as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert did.

It is used daily by the Royal Family when they are in residence and will be displayed alongside their ERII-branded glassware.

With the Queen having left her Scottish residence early this year to spend a few weeks at Sandringham in Norfolk with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Balmoral - which is one of her private estates and not subsidised by the government - will be open for guided tours on specific days each week from October 3 to the end of the year. Pictured: an elaborate silver stag light fitting

With the Queen having left her Scottish residence early this year to spend a few weeks at Sandringham in Norfolk with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Balmoral – which is one of her private estates and not subsidised by the government – will be open for guided tours on specific days each week from October 3 to the end of the year. Pictured: an elaborate silver stag light fitting 

The set is part of the Queen’s private collection, having been handed down by her family for generations.

Anyone visiting Balmoral is left in little doubt of its location – the castle is packed with tartan curtains and furnishings and Scottish art.

To illustrate this Queen Victoria’s favourite silver Edgar Boehm Highlander statues will also be on display.

Victoria adored his work and even commissioned a life-sized statue of her beloved ghillie and Scottish personal attendant, John Brown, by him shortly after his death.

Boehm also created these Highlander statues for Balmoral at some point in the 19th Century, where they have been looked after since.

With the Queen having left her Scottish residence early this year to spend a few weeks at Sandringham in Norfolk with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Balmoral – which is one of her private estates and not subsidised by the government – will be open for guided tours on specific days each week from October 3 to the end of the year.

The tours last an hour (and includes the original Iron Ballroom and Icehouse) and afterwards visitors are free to explore the grounds and gardens of the castle.

Tickets cost £15 for adults and £6 for children and must be purchased in advance, all proceeds go towards the upkeep of the estate.

Recommended


Beauty Tips

Fashion Tips For Men

Beauty Tips For 2019

Fashion Tips