In a continuation of a long-standing tradition, King Charles is set to welcome British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murthy, to Balmoral this month. It has been customary for Prime Ministers to be invited to spend a weekend at the Castle, a practice that was initiated by the late Queen Elizabeth II and lasted throughout her 70-year reign. This invitation comes after the Sunak family enjoyed a holiday in the United States, creating cherished memories with their two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.
Commenting on their upcoming visit, Mr. Sunak shared with LBC, “The country will be left in the capable hands of the Deputy Prime Minister. So we’re having our first proper family summer holiday in a few years… We’re going to California, which is where I met my wife, so it’s very special to us. The kids are very excited because I’m taking them to Disneyland.” The couple’s holiday reflects the importance of quality family time and the opportunity to relax away from the demands of political office.
While the Sunak family may be temporarily leaving their responsibilities behind, they have built an impressive property portfolio. Their assets include a stunning £5.5 million penthouse apartment on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, a Georgian manor house in North Yorkshire, and two properties in London. This diverse collection of residences speaks to their success and the ability to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle.
Rishi Sunak assumed office as Prime Minister in October 2022 following the resignation of Liz Truss. The last publicly shared photograph of the late Queen shows her welcoming Mrs. Truss to Balmoral upon her appointment as Prime Minister in September 2022. Mrs. Truss’s time in office was unfortunately short-lived, as a government crisis forced her to step down after only 44 days. Such transitions highlight the ever-changing nature of political leadership.
Balmoral has been known as a place of activity rather than relaxation. Former Prime Minister David Cameron once humorously remarked that there was not much “chillaxing” to be found at the retreat, as the royals often engage in outdoor pursuits. Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, shared a personal anecdote in her autobiography, revealing that her son Leo was conceived during a stay at Balmoral. Cherie mistakenly left her contraception at home, relying on the usual practice of royal household staff unpacking her luggage. The unique ambiance and circumstances of Balmoral left a lasting impression on her.
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II in September of last year prompted tributes from all corners of British society. Former Prime Minister Theresa May fondly recalled her time at Balmoral, emphasizing the significance of the retreat as she paid tribute to the late monarch. Whether it be for political discussions, private family vacations, or unexpected events, Balmoral has held a special place in the hearts of British leaders throughout the years.
As King Charles continues the tradition of inviting Prime Ministers to Balmoral, the retreat remains a symbol of the enduring relationship between the monarchy and the country’s leaders. The picturesque Scottish setting and the shared moments within its walls serve as a testament to the history and future of the British government.