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Balmoral's series of unfortunate events: accidents, injuries and royal dog bites

The royals' Highland abode, Balmoral, has been the site of much strife over the years, with King Charles, Princess Anne, Queen Camilla and Zara Tindall injured on the estate

Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
24 April 2024
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Balmoral estate in the Highlands is a special place for the royal family, with many special memories made at their Scottish abode. Princess Eugenie even said it's the place where her late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was "the most happy," hence why she chose to spend the last day of her life there.

While the sprawling estate is undeniably breathtaking and the perfect retreat for the royals, it also happens to be the most dangerous of the royal residences, with many injuries, accidents and mishaps happening on the grounds.

While the late Queen died of natural causes in the property, many of her family members have been struck by bad luck while visiting…

Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral© Getty
Queen Elizabeth II loved Balmoral

Walking woes

During a trip to the estate in 2010, Queen Camilla was taken to hospital in Aberdeen after fracturing her leg while out walking near the estate.

Camilla, who was 62 at the time, "took a tumble" while on her annual Easter break with King Charles, with the couple's official spokesman explaining the Queen Consort would be in plaster for at least six weeks.

Charles, William And Harry At Balmoral standing on a rock over a waterfall© Getty
Balmoral is perfect for adventures - which can mean accidents

"She was walking in slippery conditions in Scotland, and took a tumble and hurt her leg," he said. "Today, following doctor's advice, Her Royal Highness had an x-ray which showed a twisted fracture of the fibula.

King Charles and Queen Camilla, dressed in tartan, spending their first wedding anniversary at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.© Jeff J Mitchell
Camilla had a fall on the Balmoral estate

"Consequently, Her Royal Highness is wearing a plaster cast and will be for six weeks. She has been advised not to put weight on her leg. Her Royal Highness has every intention of carrying out all planned engagements."

Camilla became injured again while in Balmoral, in 2022, breaking her toe shortly before her mother-in-law passed away.

LOOK: 20 incredible photos of the royals enjoying their summer holiday at Balmoral 

Taking a tumble

The Queen's lady-in-waiting, The Honourable Mary Morrison, suffered a similar accident in 2018, losing her footing and falling down a flight of stairs in the castle, narrowly missing the late Queen as she tumbled. Mary was taken to hospital in Aberdeen, where it was found she had broken her ankle.

mary morrison queen
Mary Morrison with Queen Elizabeth II

Illness and injury

In 2015 the late Queen's cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, was taken to hospital after with a dislocated hip, sustained while staying at the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

The Duke of Kent takes part in the Scots Guards' Black Sunday Parade© PA Images via Getty Images
The Duke of Kent was injured at Balmoral

Princess Anne was also treated in hospital in Aberdeen after falling ill at Balmoral in 2016.

DISCOVER: What Queen Elizabeth II was really like at Balmoral behind closed doors 

Car crashes

The accident-prone royals have had a few near misses while driving on the estate. 2016 saw King Charles’ car involved in a collision with a deer. The monarch was uninjured but shaken by the incident, but the condition of the deer was unknown.

King Charles arriving for the morning service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, on a Sunday morning.© Geoff Robinson
His Majesty had a car accident in Balmoral

Zara Tindall also had a vehicular misdemeanor during her childhood, according to Prince William, who told Sky News in 2016: "Peter, my cousin and I were on a quad bike in Balmoral and we were chasing Zara around, who was on a go-kart.

"Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost and the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her.

Prince William, Zara Phillips, Lord Frederick Windsor and Peter Phillips attend Christmas Day church service in 1987
Prince William, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips had a mishap at Balmoral when they were young

"That sort of stuck in my mind from that moment on that I really should be a little bit more careful about what I’m doing and try not to kill my cousins."

RELATED: 10 photos that show Princess Kate and Zara Tindall's sweet bond 

Dog drama

Not just a site of strife for humans, dogs have fallen foul of the Balmoral bad luck too. 

Queen Elizabeth ll arrives at Aberdeen Airport with her corgis to start her holidays in Balmoral, Scotland in 1974© Getty
The Queen's corgis caused havoc at Balmoral

In 2010, the late Queen's corgis mauled Princess Beatrice's dog, causing her terrier, who was 11 at the time, to nearly lose an ear after suffering horrific bites. Ouch!


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