I just read that Queen Elizabeth is resting indoors for the second weekend in a row at her Sandringham home. She didn’t make it to church on Christmas. Now the word is that she may not be well enough to attend services on New Year’s Day either. She’s pictured above after delivering her annual Christmas address to the nation (photo from “Telegraph” article cited below).
I visited Sandringham about a year and a half ago and was royally wowed. No photos are allowed inside the house, but the grounds and gardens are spectacular.
Tourists enter through the same grand door as invited guests. The place is off the beaten tourist track. It’s way in the northern stretches of East Anglia, an area blessedly neglected by travel writers like Rick Steves. It took me many years and many trips to England to finally get there. That is the whole point, for the Royal Family. It is their private, personal residence–a place to really get away from it all.
Naturally, there’s a gift shop, well supplied with royal portraits, china, tea towels, and stuffed Corgis.
There’s a delightful museum, too, in the old stable block. It holds all sorts of bits and bobs of royal life. I was especially charmed to learn that Prince Philip (now 95) is a very decent painter. I loved his little painting of the Queen reading the morning papers.
I wrote about the parish church in two previous posts, cited below. It’s one of the most beautiful small churches I’ve ever seen. Each year, locals and a few tourists line up along a fence to watch the royals walk to church on Christmas, and this year on New Year’s Day too.
I hope the Queen is well enough to walk over to her pretty little local church and take part in prayers for New Year’s Day. Whether she makes it to church or not, I wish my favorite 90-year-old reigning queen a happy and healthy 2017.