Inside the Queen’s favourite Christmas spot – her 600-acre Sandringham estate

Last Christmas, Her Majesty the Queen and late husband, Prince Philip, broke a 33-year-long tradition and celebrated at Windsor Castle during the pandemic.

This year will be the same after the Queen decided to "set an example" and stay-put at Windsor for Christmas in light of the current coronavirus situation.

It will be her Majesty's first Christmas without Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 on 9 April.

The Monarch's annual royal get-together lunch in the run up to Christmas was cancelled amid Omicron panic.

The decision was described as "a precautionary one" as it was felt that the luncheon would "put too many people's Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead".

Sandringham House, which has been the Monarch’s favourite spot for Christmas hosting since 1988, was originally bought by Queen Victoria in 1862 for the Prince of Wales, who reportedly found the property too small and commissioned a larger one.

The Norfolk home has a whopping total of 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms.

Sandringham House features a saloon, ballroom, drawing room and huge dining room where the royals can enjoy their festivities.


The saloon is placed at the front of the house and spans two floors, sporting a balcony over the entrance that was originally fashioned to house the band when there was an active ballroom.

It is believed the royals enjoy spending their evenings here and also come together for afternoon tea on Christmas Eve.

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Dining room

The dining room includes a large open fireplace and grand mahogany dining table.

Much of Queen Mary’s influence has stayed, with Spanish tapestries on the walls and pale green wooden panels.

Sandringham Estate's official Instagram account wrote: "Queen Mary's influence is chiefly still seen in the interior of the House.

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"Having changed the Dining Room with its heavy mahogany panelling and sideboards to a delicate shade of Braemar green, lifting the whole room making it bright, warm and enhancing the magnificent Spanish tapestries adorning the walls."

Drawing Room

The Drawing Room was described by Queen Victoria in 1871 as “very long and handsome”.

A long fireplace, mirror, and ornaments make up the centre of the room, along with four armchairs where the Queen and other royals can sit with one another.

It also features a large golden pheasant painting on the ceiling overlooking the lavish room below, which is fitted with cream walls.

Two sets of floor-to-ceiling mirrored doors are fitted at the far end.

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The Queen's office

The Queen held her first-ever Christmas broadcast in 1952 at Sandringham House, Hello! reports.

She now usually records her annual message for the nation at Buckingham Palace before traveling to Sandringham for her holidays.

This is where the Queen will also carry out any royal duties she needs to.

Over 200 people work at the estate, including gamekeepers, gardeners, farmers and employees in Sandringham’s sawmill and its apple juice-pressing plant, according to Town and Country magazine.

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Walled Garden

Within the Queen’s private gardens in Norfolk, the 17-acre Walled Garden is filled with a range of flowers including Penstemons and Dahlias.

Sandringham Estate uploaded a photo of the incredible wall with a caption stating: "The entrance passes under the brick pillars once belonging to an old pergola – today they act as a natural home for climbers."

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The House is set within 24 hectares of lush gardens which have been called the finest of all royal gardens.

Each generation of the royal family has made their own additions to the greenery, which features a lake, woodland walk and beautiful plants.

They can normally be visited by the public from the beginning of April to late October each year.

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