This past weekend, Queen Elizabeth traveled to Wood Farm to get away from all of the noise, and royal expert Robert Jobson explained why she has an affinity towards the home.
"The Grade II-listed Wood Farm, located on a secluded part of the Queen’s Sandringham Estate looking out to sea, has long been a bolthole for the Queen and her late husband Prince Philip," he explained. "It is where the Queen, Philip, and their four children went to relax for more than 50 years. And, of course, it is where Philip made his retirement home in his twilight years with the Queen’s blessing. The Queen was known to cook and even do dishes while she was staying there. It is now the place Her Majesty, now a widow, has chosen to go for a bit of privacy and reflection after a traumatic 12 months."
He continued, "With its simple furnishings and open fires, it is a lot less formal than life at Windsor, Buckingham Palace and even Balmoral, although it is spacious enough. When Philip was there, he didn’t stand on ceremony and servants didn’t wear the usual royal uniforms. Prince John, the youngest son of George V and Queen Mary who suffered from severe epilepsy and possibly autism, resided at Wood Farm from 1917 until his death there in 1919 and before Philip moved in, the younger royals too had several times held private parties at Wood Farm."
This year will be especially tough for the monarch, 95, as it marks 70 years since her father, George VI, died.
"As has been tradition for many years, The Queen has travelled to her Norfolk estate at Sandringham every Christmas and usually stayed on until after the anniversary of her father King George VI’s death, on 6 February in 1952 in Sandringham," Jobson said. "Again, due to COVID protocols, she had to remain at Windsor Castle since the autumn – where she held muted celebrations with close family, including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. This Ascension Day will officially mark 70 years as monarch following the untimely death of King at just 56. There will be no broadcast to the nation, for Her Majesty, who will be 96 in April, it will be a day in quiet, somber reflection. Now without Prince Philip by her side, it will be even more poignant."
On Sunday, January 23, the monarch was spotted in the car on the way to Sandringham.