14 February 2024

Living close to the Sandringham estate, and visiting whenever I can, I know only too well how restorative a break in Norfolk can be, and why it is Sandringham House that King Charles has chosen to recuperate in while he is treated for cancer.

I find that spending just a day strolling through its woods, parkland and country lanes, enjoying its unspoilt and natural surroundings, leaves me refreshed and relaxed, as if I had been there for a week.

The Princess of Wales is also said to be at Anmer Hall, close to Sandringham House, recovering from abdominal surgery and enjoying the half-term break with her children in the Norfolk countryside. What fun they will be having, I’m sure, and may even be spotted running around in the play area.

If you travel on to Wolferton, where the royal station is sited, which features in my books in The Royal Station Master’s Daughters series, it’s as if time has stood still, with its honey coloured carstone cottages and pretty country gardens, unchanged from a century ago.

It was here that the Duke of Edinburgh chose to spend his days after his retirement, knowing he could walk undisturbed and live a private life away from the paparazzi. And it’s here that King Charles can keep on top of his red boxes, his ambitious garden re-design, and potter about talking to his plants, if he chooses, to his heart’s desire.

Sandringham has provided a sanctuary for my family too during its saddest times. A visit to their cafe was one of the last places I took my father before he died of cancer, and it was here I brought my mother at weekends after she was admitted to a nursing home with Alzheimer’s disease. She enjoyed countless hours sitting in its glorious gardens, people watching, with its relaxed and calm atmosphere, just as our royal family is doing now.

If I had a hideaway on the Sandringham estate and was unwell, I too could of nowhere better place to retreat to for a relaxing and peaceful recuperation, supported by a protective community that genuinely cares for your well being. The doctor couldn’t have prescribed better!

I wish both King Charles and the Princess of Wales a speedy recovery.

Update 24th March 2024. I was devastated to learn that our beloved Princess of Wales is being treated for cancer following her recent major abdominal surgery. Like the King, she is in Norfolk recuperating during the Easter break, and there is no better place she could be surrounded by nature and tranquility and the love of her family, local community and nation.