QUEEN ELIZABETH II is due to leave Sandringham in just a few days and return to Buckingham Palace, but what is the one thing which the Queen stays at her country estate for each year?
The Queen spends her Christmas at her Norfolk estate, where she is often joined by Royal Family members for the festive season. Despite her extended break, the Queen has been out and about, and now she is preparing to return to Buckingham Palace.
However, she will not be accompanied by her husband of 72-years as since Prince Philip’s retirement he has remained at Sandringham.
The Duke of Edinburgh lives at Wood Farm, a large farmhouse located on the estate.
Prince Philip retired from royal duties in 2017 and is now said to spend his days reading, painting watercolours and carriage riding.
The Queen stays for an extended period at Sandringham after Christmas, as there is one day of the year she wishes to spend with her husband.
Queen heartbreak: The Queen remains at Sandringham until the first week of February (Image: PA)
Queen heartbreak: The Duke of Edinburgh lives Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate (Image: GETTY)
Usually, the Queen spends the entirety of January and the first few days of February at Sandringham, leaving around February 6.
This is due to the significance of that date for the Queen.
On February 6, 1952, King George VI – the Queen’s father – died at Sandringham.
This thrust a then young Princess Elizabeth into the spotlight as she was the next in line to the throne.
Queen heartbreak: The Queen spends the anniversary of her father’s death with Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)
Queen heartbreak: The Queen has been spotted out in Norfolk, attending church (Image: PA)
King George VI died in his sleep from a coronary thrombosis, and then Princess Elizabeth, 25, was not in the UK when this happened.
She had been in Kenya with Prince Philip on holiday, staying at a treetop hideaway where she had seen a plethora of wildlife, including baboons, elephants and warthogs.
When the King died, it was Philip who heard the news first and took Elizabeth on a walk to tell her.
The couple had been due to travel to New Zealand and Australia as part of their tour but instead flew back to England.
Now the Queen remains at Sandringham until February 6, to quietly spend the day where her father had his last moments.
She also likely prefers to spend the heartbreaking day with her husband, her “strength and stay”, who guided her through the difficult time.
Philip has been by the Queen’s side for decades as her loyal companion, and will no doubt comfort his wife on the tragic anniversary.
Despite the significance of the upcoming day, the Queen has been seen looking chipper in Norfolk.
Queen heartbreak: On February 6, 1952 the Queen’s father, King George VI died suddenly (Image: GETTY)
While at Sandringham, the Queen has been spotted attending church and driving her Range Rover around the estate.
On Sunday, the Queen was seen leaving St Peter and St Paul church in West Newton after Sunday service.
As she left the church, the Queen stopped and spoke with several royal fans who had braved the cold to catch a glimpse of the monarch.
The Queen has also been undertaking royal duties despite technically being on her winter break.
One visit was cancelled, however, after the Queen was said to be unwell.
This prevented her annual visit to Sandringham branch of the Women’s Institute, but palace sources said it was nothing to worry about as it was a “slight cold”.
On Monday, the Queen will visit RAF Marham – of which she is Honorary Air Commodore – where she will meet officers and staff.
Then on Wednesday, she will open the new Wolferton Pumping Station, also in King’s Lynn, which works to protect the local area from flooding.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK