Welcome to Sandringham
Located in Norfolk, Sandringham House is one of two personal and private residences owned by The Royal Family, unlike the Royal palaces that belong to the Crown.
Set within the heart of the 8,000 hectare Sandringham Estate, Sandringham house first came under Royal ownership in 1862 as a country residence for The Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.
The Prince’s official and principal residence was Malborough House in London, but it was felt that he should also have a private house well away from the city, so that he could enjoy the benefits of a country life.
The house at Sandringham that The Prince bought was built in the second half of the eighteenth century by Cornish Henley, whose wife’s family had owned for a hundred years. Henley had earlier demolished an existing house, and in its place he erected a plain but comfortable Georgian structure with a stucco exterior, slate roof and small gables on either front.
The Prince was married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark (later Queen Alexandra) on 10 March 1863 and they moved into Sandringham soon after. As The Prince’s family grew, and the demands for hospitality increased, more space was needed and a new building was commissioned.
Designed by A.J. Humbert in the Jacobean Style, with brick walls, stone dressings and gabled roofs, it was completed in 1870. The only part of the old house to survive was the conservatory, which was converted into a billiard room. In 1881 The Prince added a ballroom and in 1887 a conservatory designed by Colonel R.W. Edis, a Norfolk architect.
In November 1891, when the house was being prepared for the celebration of The Prince’s fiftieth birthday, fire broke out. Fourteen rooms on the upper storeys were completely destroyed, others damaged and the lower storeys affected by water.
After the fire, the house was repaired and a new suite of bedrooms, designed by Colonel Edis were added.
After the death of Edward VII in 1910 the house passed to his son, King George V who wrote ‘Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world’.