Tag Archives: Church of Mary Magdelene at Sandringham

Get-Well Wishes for QEII

 

qeii-telegraphI 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).

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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.

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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.

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Naturally, there’s a gift shop, well supplied with royal portraits, china, tea towels, and stuffed Corgis.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/07/06/a-royal-christening-at-sandringham/

https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/05/07/sandringham/

https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/04/30/the-queens-church-at-sandringham/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/31/queen-may-attend-church-new-years-day-decision-expected-sunday/

A Royal Christening at Sandringham

DSCN7017In April I visited Sandringham, the private country home of the royal family, and was especially keen to have a look at the local parish church, where Princess Charlotte was christened yesterday.  News media reported that royal well-wishers were invited to stand in the “paddock” where folks stand every Christmas to watch the royals go in and out of church.  What’s a paddock?  It’s just a field where horses normally stand around and eat grass.  Yes, the old stone parish church is in an unassuming location with fields all around, just a short walk from the grand house. From the outside, the Church of St. Mary Magdalene looks exactly like countless other English country churches. Inside, it is the most beautiful country church I’ve ever seen–not surprising, what with the royal connection.

2015-04-23 11.16.47-2An angel holding a baby stands, appropriately, just above the entrance.

2015-04-23 11.19.51More angels minister to people inside, like this carved wooden one offering communion to a parishioner.

2015-04-23 11.20.49The church seems an especially joyful place of worship.  Sunlight streams in through stained glass.

2015-04-23 11.19.21The painted ceiling is especially beautiful and colorful. I think the church in its present form dates mostly from Victorian times.

2015-04-23 11.26.07No one seems to be buried in the church, but the walls contain exquisite memorials to various royals.  My favorite is the one of a pair of angels tenderly supporting a silhouette of Queen Victoria. I’m sure she was present in spirit to watch over the newest generation of her descendants. Did they behave themselves? That’s always the big question, as Victoria knew well from the trials of raising her own very large family.

KatePippaNews media have breathlessly reported on supposed sibling rivalry at the christening:  Pippa Middelton is accused of trying to upstage her sister Duchess Kate by wearing essentially the same outfit, and possibly wearing it better.  I reserve judgment. If there are any soap-opera goings-on among the current young royals, I prefer not to know about them. Anyway, good luck upstaging Kate.  This is the woman who left the hospital and waved to crowds the very day she gave birth in April, wearing a pretty dress, perfect hair and HIGH HEELS.  I would not care to try competing with Duchess Kate. The images of the sisters are from the Daily Mail article cited below.

2015-04-23 11.25.37Not having been one of the 25 or so people invited to the christening, I’m not sure there was a sermon or homily.  But if there was, it was delivered from this beautiful silver Victorian pulpit. Best wishes to the new Princess!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3150898/Did-Pippa-Middleton-try-upstage-Kate-Middleton-Etiquette-expert-William-Hanson-Aunt-Middleton-s-matching-christening-outfit-avoided.html

Previous posts about Sandringham are at https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/05/07/sandringham/

and https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/04/30/the-queens-chu…at-