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King Charles' former butler sheds light on 'strange' and 'haunted' Sandringham House

Grant Harrold recalled his experience of staying at the "haunted" home in Norfolk

King Charles next to Christmas lights and Sandringham
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla are preparing to host their annual Christmas gathering at Sandringham House in Norfolk, which has been described as "haunted."

The likes of Prince William and his family traditionally join the King at the 20,000-acre estate where they attend church services, open presents on Christmas Eve and sit down for an impressive turkey roast. However, former royal butler Grant Harrold discussed the "strange" property in a chat with HELLO! during an etiquette dinner hosted by Press Box PR, including one incident that left him "quite spooked."

Grant Harrold revealed he thought Sandringham was haunted
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Speaking about his time working with the royals, he began: "I very quickly became aware that Sandringham was one of the late Queen's favourite homes and actually, the King loves Sandringham as well."

Although it's a family home, which Grant describes as "amazing" inside, he added: "It's quite a strange house. It's almost going back in time when you walk around it. And the fact the family live there, you almost, it feels a bit like a museum."

Kate Middleton's first Christmas with the royals in 2011© Getty
King Charles traditionally hosts the royal family for Christmas at Sandringham

Recalling one particular visit to the royal property, the butler revealed he woke in the night to a terrifying sight.

"I found it one of the most haunted homes, if you can imagine. I don't know that I ever saw anything but used to get quite spooked quite easily.

"But the weirdest thing that ever happened. I remember one night waking up in my room and without a word of a lie I could see the silhouette of a man at the end of my bed and he was just staring directly at me and I froze.

"I absolutely froze and I wanted to scream and I couldn't because the king’s bed was underneath me. There wasn't a panic but there was nothing I could do. And I just, I just thought, 'Don't move and it will disappear.' It didn't disappear.

An aerial view of Sandringham Hall, a royal residence in Norfolk© Getty
The property is located on 20,000 acres in Norfolk

"It walked over to the corner, but the weirdest part of this story is it then opened the door of my room and closed the door – talk about manners.

"I then followed it thinking, 'I've got to see where it's going.' It disappeared and I heard a door shut and I walked around the corner, I opened the door and as I opened it, it was one of the staff, one of the kitchen porters sleepwalking into my room in the middle of the night. So that was the only ghost that I ever ever saw!" he told HELLO!, before laughing: "And yes, he was naked."

Church of St Mary Magdalen© Getty
The royals often attend Church over the festive period

The late Queen Elizabeth typically spent her winter break at the private estate, staying throughout the festive period before returning to London after the anniversary of her father King George VI's death on 6 February.

It's a tradition her son has chosen to continue – and provided none of the royal family's sleeping quarters is near the kitchen porter, they should have a relaxing break! See inside last year's royal Christmas in the video below...

WATCH: Royal family attend Christmas Day service at Sandringham church in 2022

King Charles is reportedly making a big change to the invite list in 2023. As well as the monarch's close family members, including his grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the Queen has also reportedly invited her children and grandchildren to have Christmas lunch for the first time, according to ITV's royal editor, Chris Ship.

Tom Parker Bowles, Queen Camilla and King Charles III watch a race during day one of Royal Ascot 2023© Getty
Camilla's son, daughter and grandchildren are expected to join the royals for Christmas

To accommodate the larger guest list, which will include Camilla's son Tom Parker Bowles and daughter Laura Lopes, Christmas lunch will now reportedly be served in the larger ballroom of Sandringham House.

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DISCOVER: I had an etiquette lesson with King Charles' royal butler

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