16th March 2022
Sandringham is at the centre of national celebrations for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Sarah Hardy previews what’s on offer
The Queen is the first British monarch to celebrate 70 years on the throne and the Sandringham Estate is a focal point for this historic occasion.
Many of the planned celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee take place over the extended bank holiday weekend in early June but the first special event starts on 9 April with an exhibition inside Sandringham House. Called ‘Her Majesty The Queen at Sandringham: An Exemplary Reign and a Unique Country House’, it will run in The Ballroom until 13 October and shows the affection with which the family hold the Estate. Highlights include photographs and objects relating to The Queen’s love of animals, especially horses, and the great outdoors, plus a special audio-visual display which focuses on the very first televised Christmas Day speech, broadcast in 1957, and recorded by The Queen at Sandringham House.
Another early commemorative event is a programme of formal planting in the Estate gardens from early May until 13 October.
The June celebrations kick off on 2 June at 7pm, when the long tradition of celebrating royal jubilees, weddings and coronations sees the lighting of the Sandringham beacon in the Royal Parkland, accompanied by a piper and the Hunstanton Band. The official beacon lighting, which is a free event, is at 9.45pm and is already fully booked.
On 3 June, at 7.30pm, Katherine Jenkins OBE performs with The Military Wives Choir at an outdoor concert in the Royal Parkland, with a special flyover and fireworks. Katherine, a mezzo soprano, promises a selection of favourite songs, all accompanied by a symphony orchestra. Tickets are from £39.50 and must be prebooked, via www.livepromotions.co.uk
On 4 June, there is a live screening of the Platinum Party at the Palace, which sees some of the world’s best entertainers honour the most significant moments of The Queen’s reign. The official screening starts at 8pm although the free of charge party runs all day, from 10am. Tickets for the live screening taking place at Sandringham are now fully booked.
Finally on 5 June, a Pageant of Motoring runs from 10am to 5pm. It will showcase seven decades of motoring, and also feature live music and aerial displays, plus gourmet treats, antique markets and a vintage fair. Retro music is provided throughout the day from Frankie’s Guys who will perform popular songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, dynamic female trio Music Through the Decades and The Houndogs, a three-piece rockabilly band from Oakham in Rutland. Tickets are £15 (children under 12 are admitted for free) and must be prebooked, via www.livepromotions.co.uk
A special Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea and Picnic Platinum Tea will be available in the Sandringham restaurant and to enjoy in the park over the weekend. Expect homemade sandwiches, cakes and pastries and a selection of Sandringham teas. A range of limited-edition food and drink items are also being produced, including a pink gin, pale ale and a special preserve, made from a local Norfolk fruit. More details at www.sandringhamestate.co.uk
The county celebrates
The Lady Dannatt, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, has set up a committee of her Deputies, chaired by James Bagge, to plan a series of events and activities to also celebrate the Jubilee. They include A Royal Salute, to be held at the Royal Norfolk Show, the creation of a series of Jubilee trails in the county, and the launch of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Challenge Awards which will recognise young people and adults who are making a significant contribution to the Norfolk community.
Mr Bagge says: “This year is a fantastic opportunity for all of us in Norfolk to recognise the dedication, steadfastness and service of our most special resident, and say thank you to her. There is so much going on across the county throughout the year for people of all ages to do, bringing communities together after what has been a challenging time for everyone. Let’s celebrate and get involved!”
A website, www.platinumjubileenorfolk.org goes fully live in April, which will keep everyone up-to-date with all planned events.