The Queen cycles around Sandringham in incredible wartime family photo

The royals visited the Sandringham Estate during World War II

A rare wartime photo of the Queen cycling around the Sandringham Estate with her parents and sister Princess Margaret has been released ahead of the Platinum Jubilee.

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The monarch, who would have been 17 at the time, spent most of World War II in London and Windsor, but was able to visit the family's much-loved country retreat on occasion to escape the troubles of war.

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While the Queen, Princess Margaret and King George VI all explored the Norfolk estate on bikes, her mother, Queen Elizabeth, travelled in a horse-drawn carriage with the groom, Mr French.

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A black-and-white photo posted on the official Sandringham Instagram account shows the group cycling behind the carriage, and explains that it is one of a number of photographs and objects relating to "the Queen's love of Sandringham, animals, horses and the great outdoors" on display in a special exhibition at the estate.


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The Queen is pictured cycling around Sandringham in a wartime photo

In April, another photo was released from the royals' same visit to Sandringham in August 1943, showing the family walking through a wheat field at the country estate.

The unique feature would have been a real benefit for the property and thus the family, as the wheat would have been harvested during a time of rationing. The grounds were actually converted to farmland at the time to help with the war effort.

Sandringham is one of the Queen's favourite royal residences

Sandringham has long been one of the Queen's favourite royal residences, and where she has historically celebrated Christmas with her family, although they have been unable to visit for the holidays for the past two years during the coronavirus pandemic.

Management of the estate was taken over by Prince Charles in 2017, and he has made some big changes to how it is run in a bid to make Sandringham a fully organic operation, including creating wildlife corridors, installing bird boxes, and using organic fertiliser.

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