It’s a momentous occasion for the Queen, but she’s chosen to spend it in quiet solitude at a place near and dear to her heart. February 6, 2022, marks the 70th anniversary of the day she ascended the throne, making Elizabeth II the longest-reigning monarch in British history. While there are parades, bank holidays, and myriad events planned throughout the year to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen has chosen a quiet location to spend the actual anniversary day.
This week, the Queen traveled to her estate at Sandringham, but rather than staying in the main house as she normally does, she’s decided to spend her trip at Wood Hole, a modest cottage on the grounds. According to Express UK, this was her late husband Prince Philip’s effective home after his retirement from public duty in 2017, and he spent a great deal of time renovating the cottage, as well as hiking, painting, and reading there. It will be the Queen’s first stay at the cottage since his passing.
The publication reports, “When the Queen wasn’t required to be in London for her royal duties she would travel up Wood Farm to stay with her husband. According to royal insiders staying in the cottage allowed the pair to live more like a ‘normal’ couple than at any other point during her reign.” As such, it’s an ideal, though bittersweet, place to reflect on her life on the throne.
Sandringham has deeper meaning for the Queen as well, since February 6 marks her ascension to the throne because it was also the death of her beloved father King George VI. The residence was a favorite of King George VI’s, and the publication reports that he would retreat to Sandringham when he was in poor health. He eventually passed away there, as did his father King George V.
It would be understandable if the Queen wanted to spend this big anniversary surrounded by loved ones. That she instead intends to spend the day in quiet contemplation, at a place with deep meaning for two of her departed loved ones, is a reminder of how solemnly she takes her duties as monarch, and how public her heartbreak has always had to be because of them.
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