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Old 04-09-2011, 06:45 PM
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Castle of Mey, Caithness, Scotland

This is the only residence which actually belonged to her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. She bought the castle, once known as
Barrogill Castle until Queen Elizabeth restored its former name, after the death of King George VI. Her majesty's close friends, the Vyners, owned a home nearby and it is in the extreme northern part of Scotland. Here is a link to the Castle and a photograph of the queen mother's desk in the castle.

The Castle of Mey | Visitor Information - Inside the Castle

The three framed photographs displayed (two of George VI and one of Queen Elizabeth, King George and the Princess Elizabeth) were reportedly three of her favourites.

I would love to hear from anyone who has visited the Castle of Mey or has additional information.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:00 PM
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Here is picture of the entrance front. I LOVE the castle of Mey!
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:59 PM
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I haven't been there, but it is definitely on my bucket list! How amazing is it that the Queen Mother bought a ruined castle and restored it?

There is the Captain's House on the estate that is available for guest rental, and I've heard that the gatehouse has also been restored for use as a holiday rental. I keep the site bookmarked so I can look at the pictures if I need inspiration.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:51 PM
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The Castle of Mey is one of my dream places to visit. The pictures I've seen are spectacular. Majesty magazine had a story about the Castle, how Her Majesty acquired the property and the work that was done. Pictures of the inside as well as outside were included. I fell in love with the property after reading the article.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:19 PM
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Omg its just amazing thank you soo much for the pics and link : )


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Old 03-25-2013, 07:24 AM
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Beautiful castle - hope to visit there later this year.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:50 AM
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I've heard so much about this castle and of the QM's vast restoration work on it. What an amazingly romantic place to live!
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:08 AM
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How beautiful!
Did the queen live there during the year?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:33 PM
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QEQM would go to the Castle of Mey for a bit in the late summer or early fall. The yacht Britannia used to cruise nearby alllowing QEII and family to visit on their way to Balmoral. Later of course QEQM would move south to Birkhall on the Balmoral estate to join the rest of the royal family on holiday.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
QEQM would go to the Castle of Mey for a bit in the late summer or early fall. The yacht Britannia used to cruise nearby alllowing QEII and family to visit on their way to Balmoral. Later of course QEQM would move south to Birkhall on the Balmoral estate to join the rest of the royal family on holiday.
August and October if my memory seves me well!
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:38 PM
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Is it still owned by the family?
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:46 PM
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No, it was turned over to a trust after the QM's death:

The Castle of Mey Trust | Overview
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:52 PM
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Is it still owned by the family?
I believe so. If I'm correct, Charles and Camilla go there in the summer for about a week.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:27 AM
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I believe so. If I'm correct, Charles and Camilla go there in the summer for about a week.
C&C visit the Castle of Mey every year, but it is now owned by a Trust.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:53 AM
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Queen's castle for rent at £50k a weekend: Castle of Mey becomes first royal residence touted out to paying guests... at a royal price | Mail Online
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:47 AM
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I think of all the residences I've seen that are related to the BRF in someway, the Castle of Mey would be my first choice to live in. Simply beautiful!
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:50 PM
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GIRL ABOUT TOWN: Prince Charles rents his grandmother's castle for £2,000 a week - but it is still £48,000 less than anyone else | Mail Online
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:29 PM
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So now I've been to the Castle and Gardens of Mey- a few weeks ago, but too busy whizzing around Europe to post about it.

If you've been enchanted by photos of it, well it truly lives up to expectations.

No photos were allowed inside, but I was able to take many photos of the famed walled garden which I can't post from my tablet, but will when I'm back home in Australia.

The staff stayed open late and told many wonderful anecdotes about the Queen Mother.

Prince Charles had been in residence just the week before - and the castle is closed of course when he is there.

Also, Princess Anne had just used it for one night - as a B and B as the guide described it - when she was on an official visit to a couple of things in the area.

It was a rainy evening, but the skies cleared and everything looked like it was still spring/summer with sweetpeas, roses, flowers of every kind.

Many grapevines are growing in a little vineyard in the centre, and there is a small lookout in one corner where you can view the whole garden from, as the castle stands behind.

There are many doors to enter and leave by on the different walls, and the whole thing is just enhanced by being by the sea.

I had some photos taken sitting on the Queen Mother's bench in the rose area too of course.

I've now seen many castles and palaces in England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Russia, but this - and the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg - are the ones that captured me.

I love walled gardens, and this one would be the best I've ever seen.

The Queen Mother's bedroom is on display and the so-called Princess Margaret bedroom, though she never spent a night in the castle.

(QM's mostly white, PM's blue,)

All the bedrooms are along the "white corridor" - called this due to the light coloured carpet.

The carpet in the dining room has been restored, but is threadbare in places, and the Queen Mother's guests would chide her about replacing it, but she told them you never get rid of something your mother-in-law has given you. (Queen Mary being her mother-in-law of course.)

She also had a lovely writing desk from Queen Mary and the guide pointed out the damage to a part of it - caused many years ago when young Prince Andrew took to trying to open the secret drawer.

The guide showed how to get it open and also pointed out the small foot-stools around, as Prince Andrew had run into the Queen Mother's leg with his skate-board, and it use to ache after a day of being on it.

Two of the strking features of the entrance hall - a very large, ornate urn and a blackamoor - were brought by the Queen Mother from the local area - the urn for five pounds and the figure for seven.

The sitting room has many quirky figurines and novelties about, which were gifts from various guests.

One of the ladies-in-waiting used to hide them away every evening, but the Queen Mother had them brought out again every morning.

One - a tartan fabric Loch Ness Monster - is sitting on top of a tapestry.

The Queen Mother used this to break the ice with new guests, saying "I think Nessie is moving further along".

The lady-in-waiting was once caught trying to remove Nessie from this position using a fishing rod. (It had been placed up there by two men, thinking they had found a place she couldn't reach.)

There is a lift in the castle, but the guide said the Queen Mother never used it - and even if she had, she would have still had to negotiate the spiral stone stairs to get to the area of her bedroom.

The corgis used to sleep outside on these stairs - there is now a photo of them doing just that in the entrance hall.

The Queen Mother wanted the portrait done for her equerry's room to feature her favourite corgi "Ranger" more than herself. So the artist resolved this by making the proportions slightly un-natural, with the doggie being bigger in relation to the Queen Mother than in real life.

There is a small rented TV in one of the rooms as the Queen Mother didn't need one for more than the few weeks a year she spent there - and it was one she could manage with the old style remote attached by a cord to the telly.

Boxed videos of "Allo Allo", "Dad's Army", "Fawlty Towers", "Keeping Up Appearances", among others I can't now remember, are still around the TV.

The Queen Mother would feed her corgis at four o'clock, and then boil the kettle in the main sitting room and serve her guests sandwiches and cakes herself.

She always had four to six guests staying when she was in residence. (Usually the month of August and a week in October.)

Dinner wasn't served until a quarter to nine in the evening, and the Queen Mother would have a breakfast of tea and fruit at seven thirty each morning.

The Butler's Pantry next to the Dining Room has a padded green felt ceiling - to muffle any sounds for those at the table, and to also dim any private conversations that may have been over-heard by the serving staff.

The small "Electrolux" fridge in the Butler's Pantry is still there, and still in use - still operating from the 1950s.

There is a small wooden staircase going down from this room that was designed by Prince Philip.

The Queen Mother maintained the practice of engaging in conversation with the person on one side for the first course, and then the other side for the next, with all the diners doing the same.

The menus would sometimes be sent back down to the kitchen with hand written notes on the back if some-one had enjoyed a particular dish.

While the guests would have wine with their meal, the Queen Mother would always have a glass of champagne with ice.

It was noticable that none of the rooms has a light in the centre ceiling, just lamps about the various desks, tables and corners.

That was apparently because the Queen Mother thought side lighting was a better way to make a room cosy and hospitiable - more than a bright light shining from above.

The guides and shop staff were all very lovely people who obviously enjoyed sharing their experiences of Mey.

If you ever get a chance to visit Mey, I can't see how you would be disappointed.
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:06 AM
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Here are some of the photos I took at the Castle of Mey.
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:55 AM
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Sun Lion, thank you for your wonderful description and pictures.


I am tempted! Just may do it next summer!
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