Sandringham has been a private home for four generations
of sovereigns. Queen Victoria bought the estate in
1862 for the then Prince of Wales, later to become King
He and Queen Alexandra spent a lot of
time at Sandringham with the tradition of a New Year’s
Day shooting party. Queen Alexandra also availed herself
of the delights of the surrounding area as demonstrated
by the finding of the foundations of her summerhouse on
Snetisham beach in 1976.
The original Georgian house was pulled down and replaced
by a new building in Jacobean style. A ballroom,
bowls and billiard rooms were later added. Set in 25
hectares (over 60 acres) of grounds, the house is filled
with mementoes and memorabilia of the Royal Family.
The queen and her extended family regularly spend
Christmas at Sandringham. Also in residence at
Christmas, so rumour has it, is a mischievous
poltergeist, or possibly more than one. The disturbances
are said to begin on Christmas Eve and to centre on the
servants' quarters. Footsteps are heard in these
quarters and also the sound of walking in apparently
empty corridors. Doors open and close and lights are
switched on and off. Beds suddenly become unmade and bed
blankets are pulled off.
The poltergeist also appears to dislike Christmas cards,
which are moved around and sometimes scattered all over
the floor; much to the annoyance of the servants, who
already have enough to do, with the Royal Family in
Dorothy Walpole (The Brown
Lady of Raynham Hall) has also been seen on
occasions, though not recently.