It is unknown how many bedrooms Sandringham has. Sandringham is home to the royal family, one of two privately owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
Of all of the things in her life, she is willing to share, this detail is not one of them.
It is a large castle, however, and also goes by the names Sandringham House, Sandringham Estate, or Sandringham Castle.
By contrast, it is smaller than Buckingham Palace, which is home to 775 rooms in total, 188 of which are for employees and 52 of which are family and guest bedrooms.
There is no answer readily available as to how many bedrooms Sandringham has.
It is a home of Queen Elizabeth that she inherited from her father in 1952, and one of the few privately owned properties of the royal family.
Others such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are owned by the Crown. Although much is said about Sandringham, the number of bedrooms is a long-held family secret.
Additionally, multiple buildings and homes comprise the Sandringham Estate, adding to the number of total bedrooms on the 20,000-acre property.
Table of Contents
- What is Sandringham?
- Who owned the home before Queen Elizabeth II?
- What is the early history of Sandringham for the royal family?
- Who else stays at the Sandringham Castle?
- What rooms are there in Sandringham Castle today?
- Is Sandringham Castle criticized?
- Did the queen have her first televised address here?
The most common fact told about Sandringham is that it is the home for the holidays of the royal family, notably the queen.
It is her Christmas holiday place, and she and other members of the royal family spend time there every Christmas.
It is also a working farm for the royal family.
The products farmed here include exclusive garden products and fruits, to name a few. It is also famous as a shooting location for one of the royal family’s most famous hobbies, and a room in the castle is dedicated just for those hunts.
There are over 200 employees for the primary estate alone, and they are typically live-in staff. But not all of them are full-time year-round employees for Sandringham.
On the farm, there is gamekeeping, gardening, a sawmill, and an apple juice pressing plant. It is also a sanctuary for wildlife, and the home – like the royals – is environmentally conscious with a strong conservation and recycling mission.
The royal family also works to use the farm as a means of supporting other farms and businesses in the area.
The history of the Sandringham House is fascinating and includes the birthplace of a girl who would one day become Princess Diana.
Princess Diana was born at one of the homes on the property and had family members who previously owned the property between the 1600s and 1700s.
The house has been lived in since 1771 when it was built to be a manor home. It was purchased in 1836 by a London merchant named John Motteux who was a landowner across England.
He died in 1843, leaving the estate to Charles Spencer Cowper, the second son of Sir William Cowper.
Charles Spencer Cowper was the third Earl of Sunderland and served King George I as the First Lord of Treasury.
Many Spencers would come after, naturally, and include a long line of royals. By 1862, the royal family privately purchased the home for Prince Edward of Wales and his wife Alexandra.
The house is the Queen’s, and not exactly the belonging of the royal family at this time. She invites them there for the holidays, a tradition that has been held since she inherited the property.
The home was sold in 1862 for just under £220,000 and is now worth £54 million, some sources say.
When it was acquired by Queen Elizabeth’s family, it underwent renovations in 1870 and 1900 and was renovated as a shooting estate for wild hunts.
By 1910, the home was passed to George V, who would only own the home for 42 years. It was a place he dearly loved and also the place where he said farewell.
It would be inherited by Edward VIII until he abdicated the thrown when it was bought by George VI.
George VI also died at Sandringham Castle in February of 1952 and left the house to his daughter, the new Queen Elizabeth II.
He was reported to have loved the estates as much as she does today. Today, Queen Elizabeth spends her winters there and may come in the summers on occasion, but she typically reserves her holiday time for Sandringham.
By 1977, when she received her Silver Jubilee, the Queen opened some areas of the home and grounds to the public and has kept it that way to this day.
The castle was closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic but has since reopened with a restructured format for guests and visitors who may be permitted to see the eight staterooms on the first floor.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Kate Middleton, and Prince William, have a summer home on the property.
They live at Anmer Hall when they want to go to the country. This is a ten-bedroom home that was once the home of the Duke of Kent.
Also on the property are the Appleton House, the Park House, Wood Farm, and York Cottage.
The Park House is famous for being the birthplace of Princess Diana, and she grew up there with her sister.
Her parents were renting it for years, and it is now a hotel that donates to the Leonard Cheshire charity.
The Appleton House was a wedding gift by the early Prince and Princess of Wales to their children Prince Carl and Princess Maud in 1896.
It was last occupied during World War II by Queen Elizabeth and King George VI and was taken down by 1984.
Wood Farm is known by the family as having been the home of Prince John, son of Queen Mary and George V, who had epilepsy and lived a solitary life there until he died.
Although it is unknown how many bedrooms are in the castle today, what is inside is not a secret.
The castle is home to a saloon, a drawing-room, and also has its own bowling alley. It is also home to dozens of original fireplaces, a game room, dining rooms and ballrooms, a gun room, a library, and a billiard room.
The home itself is red brick and limestone, with a tiled roof and clustered chimneys. The walls of the home display armor of days gone by, first collected by Edward VII.
The saloon is the largest room in the castle but does not offer an anteroom where guests can put their coats or hats.
The saloon is where the family will host dances and parties and brings in musicians. It is rumored the room once had a scale where guests were forced to be weighed coming and going, by King Edward VII who wanted to be sure his guests enjoyed themselves enough while he was hosting.
Sandringham Castle is criticized for not being as nicely decorated as other homes.
There are reportedly two kinds of décor in the home, titled northern and southern décor. It does have a specific taste, with it being characterized as stuffy and often compared to golf hotels or station hotels.
The castle, however, is a farm home. It has been owned by kings and many members of royal lineage, and it is nearly a requirement for the family to honor that.
Today, it is still known for its sporting interests and for being a working farm.
That means it does not necessarily have the red and gold glamor that Buckingham Palace might have.
Artistic appreciation was not something the former kings were interested in, as war and the life of the monarchy prevailed in priority.
The Queen Mother could be a key figure in the royal family to begin to implement a more artistic touch to the home.
One of the most common facts about Sandringham Castle is that it was the location of Queen Elizabeth II’s first public address.
It had to be, she had just inherited the home because her father had passed, and she was becoming the queen.
There were three queens before her that spent the holidays here. After her father died in 1952, she did inherit the home and has had many marked moments there.
In 1957, she received the resignation of Prime Minister Eden here. It was the end of that year when she gave her first televised holiday broadcast.
Today, the castle remains a sport estate and farm. Once there were birds raised here for the sport, but this is no longer the case.
Horses and dogs, however, are famously bred here and will continue to be so long as Queen Elizabeth II is in charge.