NETFLIX'S hit drama based around the British monarchy under the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth is set to return to our screens today.

The long-awaited fifth season reportedly depicts the marriage and divorce of then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, and the tragic death of Diana.

Much of the series is to be set at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, popularly known as one of the late Queen Elizabeth’s fondest residences.

However, Balmoral Castle is not used for the filming of The Crown, instead, Ardverikie Estate was used.

Balmoral Castle featured heavily in the news in September following the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Her coffin remained at Balmoral for two days following her death before being moved to Edinburgh and then London.

As season five of The Crown returns to our screen, here and some facts about Balmoral Castle, you may not know.

Prince Albert purchased Balmoral for Queen Victoria

Balmoral Castle was bought by the Royal Family in 1852 and has been the Scottish residence for royals ever since.

Prince Albert purchased the castle for Queen Victoria, having been first leased in 1848.

In the autumn of 1842, two and a half years after she married Prince Albert, Queen Victoria paid her first visit to Scotland.

The royal couple loved the Highlands so much that they determined to return. A further visit to Perthshire and then Ardverikie encouraged them to purchase Balmoral.

Prince Albert built a new castle

The Balmoral Castle that is standing today is not the original that was purchased all those years ago.

After deciding it wasn’t big enough for the Royal Family, Prince Albert decided a bigger one would be required.

A new site was chosen, 100 yards to the North West of the building, so that they could continue to stay in the old house while the new castle was under construction.

The castle was completed in 1856 and the old building was then demolished.

Balmoral Estate covers 50,000 acres

Balmoral Castle is not on a small piece of land; it covers approximately 50,000 acres, having been added to by other members of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip proposed to Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral

As reported in The Telegraph, it is at Balmoral Castle that Prince Philip proposed to Queen Elizabeth, who was just 20 at the time.

Their engagement was officially announced on July 9, 1947.

In the lead-up to their wedding, the couple spent the summer months at Balmoral.

The “Balmoral Test” shown in The Crown is real

On season four of The Crown, viewers got an insight into what was known as “The Balmoral Test”. With Netflix stating for the upcoming season that depictions are a “fictional dramatisation” and “inspired by real events”, many people wondered whether this test was true – and apparently, it is.

The drama showed Margaret Thatcher visiting Balmoral with the Royal Family as she tried and struggled to fit in.

Biographer Andrew Morton says in his book Diana: Her True Story that the test is in fact real and done at Balmoral Castle.

He said: “Ever since Queen Victoria bought the estate in 1848, it has had a special place in the affections of the royal family. However, the very quirks and obscure family traditions which have accrued over the years can intimidate newcomers.

“‘Don’t sit there’ they chorus at an unfortunate guest foolish enough to try and sit in a chair in the drawing room which was last used by Queen Victoria ... Those who successfully navigate this social minefield, popularly known as the Balmoral test, are accepted by the royal family.”