Following the Queen's sad passing aged 96 last week, the newly appointed Prince and Princess of Wales travelled to Sandringham this Thursday to view floral tributes left at Norwich Gates by members of the public, in memory of Her Majesty.
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The Sandringham Estate holds many fond memories for the Queen's relatives, as it is where they traditionally celebrated Christmas together and where Her Majesty typically spent her entire winter break until early February. The late Prince Philip also chose to spend the majority of his time at Wood Farm on the estate following his retirement in 2017, while Prince William and Princess Kate also have a home, Anmer Hall, on the estate. So what is the Sandringham Estate really like?
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King Charles III took over management of the Sandringham Estate in 2017, and has implemented sustainable processes into its farm and gardens in a bid to turn the estate fully organic in the coming years.
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From organic farming to restoring hedgerows, the new monarch had begun to make Sandringham as eco-friendly as possible. A herd of 500 red poll cattle, a rare hornless breed, is planned to be introduced on the Norfolk estate, as well as 3,000 sheep.
Take a look at the 19th-century Sandringham House, St. Mary Magdalene Church and Anmer Hall below…
Sandringham House was bought by Queen Victoria in 1862 for the Prince of Wales, who found the property too small and had a larger building commissioned. The Grade II-listed building is Jacobethan in style, and has a ballroom, saloon and spacious dining room where the royal can enjoy their Christmas lunch.
A photo shared on the Sandringham Estate's Instagram account in March 2020 gave royal fans a glimpse inside the saloon of the house, which is said to be where the royals like to spend their evenings, and also where they have afternoon tea together on Christmas Eve.
The saloon is located at the entrance to the house and spans two floors, with a balcony over the entrance that was built to house the band when the space was previously used as a ballroom. Wooden panelling and ornate columns are among the features of this impressive room, which has a portrait of the Queen hung on one wall, and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
READ: Princess Kate pays tribute to Queen with rarely-seen jewel
The royals would be able to congregate and relax together on the cream sofas, while there is also a wooden dining table and a piano that has been topped with photos including one that appears to be from a royal wedding.
The dining room at the late Queen's country estate, Sandringham House, still features a lot of Queen Mary's influence. The walls feature pale green wooden panelling and striking Spanish tapestries, with an open fireplace and mahogany dining table that looks like the perfect setting for a dinner party.
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The Sandringham Estate shared this stunning photo of the opulent Drawing Room on Instagram in July 2020. In a caption, it explained that the room had been described as "a very long and handsome drawing room" in a diary entry by Queen Victoria in 1871.
It features a striking trompe l'oeil ceiling panel with a golden pheasant painting overlooking the room below, which has cream walls with ornate carved detailing and two sets of floor-to-ceiling mirrored doors at the far end.
A log fireplace is at the centre of the room with a mirror and ornaments overhead, and four armchairs have been positioned in front, where the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other royals could sit together.
The Queen's office
Sandringham House was the location for the Queen's first ever Christmas broadcast in 1952. Her Majesty usually recorded her annual message in Buckingham Palace before going to Sandringham for the holidays. It is not yet known where the new King Charles III will broadcast his address from.
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The grounds of Sandringham are scenic to say the least, with a beautiful lake and gardens that the royals can explore.
The Sandringham Estate shared this photo on Instagram from within the Queen's private gardens in Norfolk. The 17-acre Walled Garden is filled with a variety of flowers including Penstemons and Dahlias. The caption read: "The entrance passes under the brick pillars once belonging to an old pergola – today they act as a natural home for climbers."
The Queen and other senior royals always attended the Christmas Day mass at St. Mary Magdalene Church in the Sandringham Estate each year, before returning to Sandringham House for lunch. This year's outing will no doubt be bittersweet for the royal family.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's home
Anmer Hall is Prince William and Kate's country residence, which was given to them by the Queen following their royal wedding in 2011. It is located on the Sandringham Estate and is where the Prince and Princess of Wales often stay with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. In 2017, the family also hosted Prince Harry and Meghan.
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