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Inside Queen Mother's 'drafty castle' she paid £100 for and gave away for free

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THE Castle of Mey was reportedly bought for £100 by the Queen Mother and was then given away for free. 

The Castle was the property of the Queen Mother from 1952 until 1996, when she generously gifted it with an endowment to the Trust.

Here we take a look inside the Queen Mother's Scottish castle

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Here we take a look inside the Queen Mother’s Scottish castleCredit: PA:Press Association
It was described by Princess Margaret as "Mummy’s drafty castle"

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It was described by Princess Margaret as “Mummy’s drafty castle”Credit: PA:Press Association
The stunning home reportedly bought for less than £100 at the time

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The stunning home reportedly bought for less than £100 at the timeCredit: PA:Press Association
The Queen Mother typically visited the castle in August and October from 1955

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The Queen Mother typically visited the castle in August and October from 1955Credit: Getty

It was reportedly bought for less than £100 at the time and was a firm favourite home of the Queen Mother. 

It is a stunning Scottish home, situated in Caithness on the northern coast of Scotland, that was never lived in full-time by the Queen.

But today, it is used as a summer house for Charles and Camilla.

The story of the castle’s purchase is even featured in Netflix’s The Crown, and the property is a four-and-a-half-hour journey from another of the Royal Family’s Scottish residences, Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.

The Castle of Mey was built between 1566 and 1572 on the lands of Mey which belonged to the Bishops of Caithness.

It was purchased by the recently widowed Queen Mother in 1952, following the death of her husband King George VI on February 6 of the same year.

While it is not known exactly how much the former Queen paid for the home- some say she was given it for free or that she paid £1.

Meanwhile, others suggest she paid up to £100, which would be the equivalent of £2,951.53 today.

It is believed that the Queen Mother used her own funds to bring the castle up to date by adding electricity and freshwater supplies.

Despite this, Princess Margaret called it “Mummy’s drafty castle”.

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Barrogill Castle, as it was then known, was in a semi-derelict state when it was purchased to be used as a holiday home by the former Queen.

Upon its completion, she reinstated the original name to the Castle of Mey.

The Queen Mother typically visited the castle in August and October from 1955.

Her final visit was in October 2001, before her death in March 2002.

Who was the Queen Mother and when did she die?

The Queen Mother was born on August 4, 1900.

In 1923 she married Prince Albert.

She became Queen Elizabeth after Prince Albert’s brother King Edward VIII abdicated the throne on December 11, 1936.

The Queen Mother died on March 30, 2002.

Her younger daughter, Princess Margaret, had passed away seven weeks earlier.

At 101 years and 238 days old, she was the longest-living member of the royal family in British history.

On the day of her funeral, April 9, 2002, the Governor General of Canada issued a proclamation asking Canadians to honour her memory, while in Australia the Governor-General read the lesson at a memorial service held in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Tragically, her daughter Queen Elizabeth II also passed away on September 8, 2022, at her home in Balmoral.

The library was used as her private sitting room in later life and in there, she was known to watch her favourite British comedies Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army

Now, the Castle of Mey is owned by the Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust and it is open to the public between May and September every year.

It is closed for 10 days between the end of July and the beginning of August which is usually when Charles and Camilla visit the castle during the summer.

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Barrogill Castle, as it was then known, was in a semi-derelict state when it was purchased to be used as a holiday home by the former Queen

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Barrogill Castle, as it was then known, was in a semi-derelict state when it was purchased to be used as a holiday home by the former QueenCredit: PA
It is believed that the Queen Mother used her own funds to bring the castle up to date

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It is believed that the Queen Mother used her own funds to bring the castle up to dateCredit: PA
She added electricity and freshwater supplies

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She added electricity and freshwater suppliesCredit: PA
The library was used as her private sitting room in later life

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The library was used as her private sitting room in later lifeCredit: PA
The Queen Mother’s writing desk

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The Queen Mother’s writing deskCredit: PA
The Queen Mother and Charles shared their love for the castle

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The Queen Mother and Charles shared their love for the castleCredit: PA:Press Association
It is now open to the public, but is also enjoyed as a summer house for Charles and Camilla

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It is now open to the public, but is also enjoyed as a summer house for Charles and CamillaCredit: PA
The property is a four-and-a-half-hour journey from another of the Royal Family’s Scottish residences, Balmoral Castle

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The property is a four-and-a-half-hour journey from another of the Royal Family’s Scottish residences, Balmoral CastleCredit: PA:Press Association
It is closed for 10 days between the end of July and the beginning of August which is usually when Charles and Camilla visit the castle during the summer

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It is closed for 10 days between the end of July and the beginning of August which is usually when Charles and Camilla visit the castle during the summerCredit: AFP
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