We’ve come north to Norfolk to see the Queen’s residence in Sandringham.  It was raining yesterday (yes, again) and although we were also going to be in the area today, it was listed on the internet as being closed on this particular Tuesday.

When My Beloved Brit (with rain dripping down his neck) inquired at the ticket office as to why we did not have the option of coming tomorrow, we were told it was the Queen’s Garden Party in honor of the Diamond Jubilee. They were setting up tents everywhere for their nearest and dearest…4,000 guests…as we went through.

The tents were being set up for the Queen's Garden Party. Photo by me.

Our invitation must have been lost in the post. Rumour had it that she was already in the area, but we never did run in to her or her corgis.

Sandringham is lovely, even in the rain. Photo by me.

It was still a lovely visit.The gardens were being spruced up for the party.

The gardens were freshly weeded and pruned. Photo by me.

As we approached in the rain, we could see they were setting up for the big event, so we went around the side to the main entrance.

Sandringham. Photo by me

You actually may tour much of the living area of the main floor which is lovely (no photos allowed).  In the main drawing-room, the Queen’s special felt covered table where she does her jigsaw puzzles was in direct view of the fireplace. It all looked very cozy.The dining room was exquisite. And the carpets! We left the main house in awe and crossed the green towards the museum.

Even with the rain it was perfect.  The trees on the estate are magnificent.  Every time you turn a corner you see one more impressive than the last.

On the path to the museum in the old stable complex. Photo by me

We found the museum which was filled with a wide variety of vintage cars that the Royal Family had owned and used on the estate. MBB was a happy man. I’ll try to do a  post on that in the future, but suffice it to say, I would have been proud to own any one of those cars, even the ones used to carry the luggage from the train station.

The museum had a wide variety of The Royal Family's classic vehicles. Photo by me

We headed towards the exit of the property to return to the car park, and wandered along the lake.

The grounds were magnificent. Photo by me

We constantly saw people preparing for the party the next day.  All of the guides in the house were talking about it and what they might wear if it was still raining. The excitement was building.

Everywhere people were primping the house and grounds awaiting the Queen's party. Photo by me

The gardens all looked perfect to me, and each time we made a turn on the road through the grounds we decided it was our new favorite view.

Sandringham from across the lake. Photo by me

Finally we approached the small church, so familiar from the news photos of the Royal Family attending services there every Christmas.

St. Mary Magdalen's Church at Sandringham. Photo by me

MBB teases me that he’s seen more of England since he met me than he has in a lifetime, especially anything having to do with The Royal Family.  I think Sandringham is the last of the Royal Residences on our list of grand houses to see. I asked him which was his favorite, but they are all so different and beautiful in their own way, it is just too hard to choose.

I thought of the Queen today. The sun has just appeared which has been very rare in the past couple of weeks.  The ladies can wear their special outfits for the Garden Party this afternoon.