Built in 1870 by the Prince and Princess of Wales, later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, Sandringham was once described as 'The most comfortable house in England'. It has been passed down as a private home through four generations of British monarchs and is now the country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
The main ground floor rooms, regularly used by the Royal Family, are open to the public and the decor and contents remain very much as they were in Edwardian times. Both Queen Alexandra and later Queen Mary were great collectors of objets d'art. Members of the Russian and European Royal Families were frequent guests at Sandringham and brought gifts of enamel, silver and silver-gilt: Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany gave a fine Dresden porcelain chandelier and mirror frame. The walls are hung with family portraits by the leading contemporary court painters: Heinrich von Angeli, Sir Luke Fildes, Franz Winterhalter and Edward Hughes. An important collection of oriental arms and armour is housed at Sandringham, brought back from the Far East and India in 1876, and a special exhibition in the Ballroom is changed every year.
Sandringham is a friendly and informal place to visit with knowledgeable guides in every room ready to talk to visitors. It is also fully accessible by wheelchair-users.