Since 1852, the British Royal Family has been enjoying the privilege of hunting on the grounds of the Abergeldie Estate, near the royal property of Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire. The then-owner of Abergeldie, the powerful Gordon clan of Highland Scottish descent, granted hunting and sporting rights to then-monarch Queen Victoria and her family.
But in 2020, after the death of the head of the Gordon family, John Gordon, 21st Baron of Abergeldie, the estate went up for sale.
Around a year later in 2021, Scottish businessman and catering mogul Alistair Dunbar Storey, who founded the catering company Westbury Street Holdings in 2000, paid over 23 million British pounds ($28.49 million) for the estate.
Since the takeover of the estate by its new "laird," or owner, the lease the royal family had on sporting and hunting on the grounds has ceased. It is believed that there is no bitterness between the new owner and the royal family over the decision. (Related: ROYAL RESET: King Charles III plans to accelerate the Great Reset and other globalist goals.)
Before it changed ownership, the Abergeldie Estate was owned by the Gordon family for over 500 years since the property was bestowed to the Gordons in 1482.
The last few decades of the Gordon family's ownership of the estate caused some financial difficulty for the family. In the late 1990s, the Gordon family increased the leasing fee on the estate. Fortunately for the clan, the late Queen Elizabeth II was willing to pay the additional sum for the right to keep using the grounds for hunting.
"The original lease was negotiated with Queen Victoria," remarked an estate worker at the time the new leasing fee was negotiated with the royal family. "If she had offered a penny for the land, she would have got it. It's different today, of course, people are not quite so servile."
The massive estate is home to 34 houses, cottages, lodges and farmhouses but does not include the famous Abergeldie Castle, located around two miles away.
The Abergeldie Estate's new owner, the 70-year-old Storey, has confirmed plans to "transform" buildings on the 11,512-acre estate into private accommodations and hunting lodges.
"For the last 175 years the royal family have leased the sporting rights at Abergeldie but this has now ceased and will be actively run by the new Laird," reads the planning documents filed with the Aberdeenshire Council. "To facilitate the transformation and to effectively run the estate, new facilities will be required."
Storey has hired local Scottish architecture firm WCP Architects, which on behalf of the estate has applied to the Aberdeenshire Council to make changes to the iconic Clachanturn Farmhouse and other historic buildings on the vast grounds.
The planning documents show that Storey wants to launch shooting expeditions from the farm and that the new and renovated buildings in and around the historic ones like the farmhouse will "facilitate accommodation for the running of the estate and will include a social space for paying visitors to support the sporting activities on the estate."
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