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The Queen is expected to travel to her Norfolk country home for Christmas but her stay at Sandringham could be extended for a heartbreaking reason.
- Her Majesty traditionally spends the festive season at Sandringham House with her wider family, remaining there until February.
- The Queen could possibly extend her stay once again this year as she might “take comfort” from being at a place Prince Philip loved so much.
- This royal news (opens in new tab) comes as the way Princess Diana ensured Prince William and Harry weren’t spoilt at Christmas is revealed (opens in new tab).
The Queen is preparing to mark her first Christmas since losing her beloved “strength and stay” Prince Philip earlier this year. Despite her recent health woes, Her Majesty is said to be “totally committed” to the tradition (opens in new tab) of hosting The Firm (opens in new tab) at Sandringham in Norfolk. It’s here that the family can relax and spend time together away from the royal spotlight. From the delicious food the royals eat on Christmas Day (opens in new tab) to attending church together, the monarch will no doubt enjoy spending this poignant time with her nearest and dearest.
Having already flown to Sandringham via helicopter (opens in new tab) in November, the Queen could leave Windsor Castle (opens in new tab) within weeks ready for Christmas. And this year the Queen could potentially extend her move to Norfolk for a little longer for a truly heartbreaking reason.
The Queen traditionally stays at Sandringham House in Norfolk until February after hosting her many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (opens in new tab) for the festive season. This is understood to be because the monarch wishes to remember her late father in private on the anniversary of his death on February 6th each year.
It is honour of him that the Christmas decorations are said to remain in place until February, despite this often being considered bad luck. King George VI passed away at Sandringham House in 1952 when the Queen was just 25.
And whilst the monarch might usually stay in Norfolk to reflect on her father's life and legacy, he's not the only one she'll be thinking of this year.
The Queen and Prince Philip were married (opens in new tab) for 73 years before he passed away and 2021 marks the first Christmas since his death. Since the Duke of Edinburgh retired from public duties, he spent most of his time living on the Sandringham estate.
As a result, it’s thought that Sandringham holds many memories of him for the Queen, something expressed by royal expert Duncan Larcombe.
Opening up to OK! magazine (opens in new tab), he previously declared, “Sandringham was Philip’s favourite residence by some distance and he would have liked to have lived there all the time if he could have, so you can imagine that the Queen takes comfort from being there.”
He also claimed that it’s possible Sandringham is “where she feels closest to Philip”. Prince Philip passed away in April 2021 and whilst it might be unlikely that the Queen would stay in Norfolk until this devastating anniversary, that could of course be possible.
It’s not yet known whether the monarch is planning to move to Norfolk until February 2022. If she does, this would certainly be in keeping with previous years before the Covid-19 pandemic. The extension of her stay at Sandringham would also allow the Queen to not only to remember her father, but to feel closer to Philip after what has been a very difficult year.