A closer look at the Sandringham farmhouse where Prince Philip has spent retirement

The Queen and her husband will travel to Norfolk next week

Danielle Stacey

Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will cut short their summer break in Balmoral to spend some time privately at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk on the week commencing 14 September.

The 94-year-old monarch typically spends her winter break at her Sandringham estate and is joined by members of the royal family for Christmas.

Her husband Prince Philip, 99, has divided his time between Windsor Castle and Wood Farm in Sandringham since retiring from public duties in August 2017 – but what do we know about the secluded farmhouse?

READ: Inside Sandringham House where the Queen is set to relocate

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WATCH: Prince Philip steps out of retirement for rare public engagement

The Duke resides in a modestly furnished cottage at Wood Farm, overseeing the implementation of a new kitchen shortly after his retirement. 

The Prince is said to enjoy quiet pursuits at the farm, such as reading, painting watercolours and before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, inviting friends to stay


Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate.

The secluded farmhouse on a corner of the Sandringham estate has also played host to other members of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their friends before they were married.

The Duke of York's ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York has also previously stayed at Wood Farm during the Christmas period when her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were younger, so she could be close by without officially being at the Queen's festive celebrations at Sandringham House.

MORE: Princess Eugenie moves out of Prince Andrew's home with Jack Brooksbank


Prince John spent his final years at Wood Farm

Wood Farm does have a tragic past. In the early 1900s, King George V and Queen Mary's youngest son Prince John (younger brother to the current Queen's father George VI), was sent to live at the cottage on the Sandringham Estate in 1916, as his seizures caused by epilepsy became more frequent and severe.

The young Prince was cared for by his nanny Charlotte "Lala" Bill and enjoyed walks in Queen Alexandra's garden. After a severe seizure, John died in his sleep at Wood Farm on 18 January 1919, aged just 13.


Sandringham House in Norfolk

While the Queen usually returns to London after her summer break, this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, she will travel back to Windsor Castle after her stay at the Sandringham Estate.

A palace spokesperson added: "Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty's intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements. These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice."

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