The Queen makes big change at beloved Sandringham home

Her Majesty is currently based at Windsor Castle

The Queen has made a big change at her country retreat, Sandringham House, by opening the gardens of the estate to the public two months earlier than usual.

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Her Majesty recently visited the Norfolk estate and stayed there to mark the historic milestone of the 70th anniversary of her accession day, and appears to have chosen to open the picturesque 60-acre gardens earlier than normal in honour of her Platinum Jubilee.

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A photo shared on the Sandringham Estate official Instagram account showed snowdrops growing in the garden, with the message: "Delicate snowdrops peeping through bring a sign that spring is on its way! The gardens are opening two months earlier than usual for February Half Term (12-20), then weekends in February and March."

The Sandringham Estate gardens are usually open between April and October, and have a lot for visitors to enjoy, including a shady woodland walk that was instigated by the Queen in the late 1960s, expansive lawns and formal gardens, along with a children's play area designed to look like a castle.

The gardens at Sandringham have opened two months early

The Queen typically spends her winter break at Sandringham, marking the anniversary of her accession and her father King George VI's death there privately, before returning to Buckingham Palace.

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However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Her Majesty has spent Christmas at Windsor Castle for the past two years, instead of hosting her traditional family festivities at Sandringham House.

There is an impressive children's play area for visitors to enjoy

While she missed out on Christmas at the country estate, the monarch did still mark her accession day privately at Sandringham, in keeping with her long-held tradition. The Queen stayed at Wood Farm for two weeks from late January, where her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, spent much of his time after retiring from public life.

Her Majesty also hosted a tea party for locals in the ballroom at Sandringham, where she cut a special cake bearing the Platinum Jubilee logo.

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