Who is Queen ?
The Queen arrived in Norfolk after making a special pilgrimage ahead of the 70th anniversary of her father’s death while staying at Prince Philips’ beloved Wood Farm country home for the first time without him.
The 95-year-old monarch usually spends the festive period at Sandringham, but she has remained at Windsor Castle since the autumn as a covid precaution and she held silent Christmas celebrations with close family last month.
However, in preparation for her father George VI’s birthday in 1952, the Queen made a special helicopter trip followed by a short drive to Norfolk.
A source told the Mail on Sunday: “Everything is getting in order for the Queen’s visit.
“We’ve been told that she will be staying at Wood Farm, rather than the main house, which is good, as she always had a special place in her heart.”
The Queen has stayed in the cottage before, but it will be the first time since Philip died in April last year.
The last time she visited the estate was in early November and normally she would have spent the weekend after Halloween at Sandringham with Philip and she didn’t want to miss out.
However, just a week later, aides at Buckingham Palace were forced to announce that it was “with a heavy heart” that the Queen would be unable to attend the Remembrance Sunday parade at the Cenotaph due to a “back sprain”.
She is expected to spend Accession Day, February 6, with her family during an extended break at the cabin and celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in private.
In June, four days of public celebrations will be held across the country.
When Philip retired from public service in 2017 at the age of 95, the Queen’s age today, Sandringham was the place she called home.
With typical enthusiasm, she set about improving Wood Farm as a retirement haven.
She oversaw a project to install a new kitchen and spent her days reading, writing and painting.
The Queen, when not on duty in London, would travel to stay with Philip at the cottage and it was there that the two could live more as a “normal” couple than at any other time in her reign.
Dispensing with liveried servants, Philip had insisted that Wood Farm’s staff—a page, a housekeeper, a chef, and a footman—wear ordinary clothes.
Whether by helicopter or car, the 140-mile journey from Windsor to Sandringham is more enduring than enjoying, especially for a 95-year-old.
So the decision to travel will not have been made lightly and should be taken as a sign that, if she is not robust, she is in reasonable health.
Quick Facts :
- Queen has made special trip to Sandringham for anniversary of father’s death
- George VI died at the estate in 1952, when the Queen was just 25 and on holiday
- She will stay at Wood Farm cottage for first time since the death of her husband
- The cottage held ‘special place’ in Philip’s heart after retiring from public duties