How fabulous for the newly wed Princess Alexandra to be swept off her feet and onto the royal train by her dashing young bridegroom, Prince Edward, (later King Edward V11) to spend their honeymoon at Sandringham. The date was 28 March, 1863 and this was the first occasion a royal train steamed into Wolferton Station.
It must have looked spectacular. The royal train was painted in a special livery of cream and decorated with red roses and garlands. Up until then Wolferton had been just a wayside station of no special significance, it had opened six months before on the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line.
But the purchase of Sandringham House nearby the year before by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria for their eldest son was to change that. The young married couple were keen party givers and from 1884, and over the next forty years, Royal Station Master Harry Saward was on hand to welcome their royal relatives spread throughout Europe, leading political figures of the day, the royals’ aristocratic friends and entertainers they booked to come to their country home, from the circus to star singers and orcchestras.
No other station could compare, and the royal retiring rooms were built to provide the royals and their guests with comfort in elegant surroundings so they could relax and change while their bags were sent up to the Big House, as it was known. This is one many royal stories featured in my book.