Sandringham House is one of several houses that the Queen of England owns personally. It is where the Royal Family spends the Christmas holiday and the Queen makes her Christmas Address from here.
The house was originally built by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. They lived here most of the time (I think he wanted to get away from his mother, Victoria).
We entered the house through an entrance way that has an old scale in it. Guests used to be weighted when they came to visit, and then again when they left. Your guests were supposed to gain weight while they were visiting. I figure it was also a way to discourage people from pilfering the silver.
The first room we visited was a very comfortable room with piano, lots of family pictures, couches with pillows, a TV and VCR. It looks like most of our family rooms just a bit larger and grander. It has wonderful lighting from the wall of windows and you can imagine the family reading here.
After going through a hall filled with Oriental armor, we entered some beautiful drawing rooms. There are cases here displaying Queen Alexandra’s jade collection which takes up several cases. There is also a case filled with small Faberge items and another filled with fans. There is a room divider used as a portable picture gallery to display photos of a shooting party from long ago.
In the dining room, the table is set as if it were 1894. There is a sample menu they had at least 10 courses – 2 menus have 14 courses. Nowadays they still use this room but they limit themselves to 3 or 4 courses. There is even a Grand National Trophy from 1900 won by the Prince of Wales horse. The last room we visited was filled with canine pictures. The Royal family has been real dog lovers for several generations. They lost me here, I like my dogs but looking at paintings of other peoples’ dogs is like watching videos of someone else’s vacation, boring. They really should not put visitors through this.
The cost of entry is 10 pounds. Check the website for opening dates and times.
There is a museum, gardens, a great gift shop and a restaurant. You need to allow plenty of time for a visit here. The grounds are gorgeous and you will want to walk to where the church is. If you have ever seen the Royal Family walking to or from church at Sandringham, this is where they go. The church is St Mary Magdalene and is quite lovely as well as being from the 16th century.