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Balmoral Castle is a royal residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was purchased by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, in 1848. Victoria and Albert paid £30,000 for full ownership of the house in 1852. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1853, signed a parchment recording the date, and placed it in the hole prepared for the stone. Today, Balmoral is owned privately by the royal family, and is one of Queen Elizabeth II's favourite summer retreats.