Sunday, December 6, 2009

Appleton House, Sandringham

In July 1896, Princess Maud of Wales married her first cousin, Prince Carl of Denmark. Appleton House, on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, was given to the newlyweds as a wedding present from Maud's parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales. In a letter to his brother-in-law, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, the Prince of Wales wrote: "I have given Maud and Charles a small house, their own country retreat – about one mile from here – they will always have a pied-à-terre when they come over to England. I know they will appreciate this very much.”

Maud loved Appleton House. “Our little house is a perfect paradise, it all seems like a dream, that we are here at last, that it is so beautiful and light, every single room is so clean and fresh and such wonderful care has been taken of my things, as we have two very able maids who are here year-round.”

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The house was not very grand. It had twenty rooms, four of which were sitting rooms, as well as a conservatory, and was situated in a parkland. The Prince of Wales had designed a garden for the house, and Queen Maud enjoyed taking walks through the manicured lawn.
Maud and Carl, who was elected as King of Norway in 1905, were living at Appleton House, when she gave birth in 1903 to the couple's only child, Prince Alexander, whose name was changed to Olav two years later.

After Queen Maud's death, King Haakon returned Appleton House to George VI. In January 1939, Crown Prince Olav visited Appleton House to "express his gratitude" to Appleton House's British staff for their "faithful service" to Queen Maud.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stayed at Appleton during a visit to Norfolk during the second world war.Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret also stayed at Appleton House, when they visited Sandringham during this time.

Queen Mary stayed at Appleton in 1946 and 1947. After this, Appleton ceased to be a royal residence. It fell into disrepair, and was surrounded by an air-raid structure that was built during World War II. By the 1960s, it was deemed to be too expensive to remove the structure, and in July 1984, Appleton House was torn down.

Another royal residence, York House, once the Sandringham residence of King George V and Queen Mary before his succession to the throne is now used for offices.

The Court Circular notes that Queen Mary stayed at Appleton House several times after the war. The official Norwegian royal site also has information on Appleton House. The quotes comes this site as well as several biographies.


Gary said...

Thanks Marlene. Very interesting.

laughingsalmon said...

Such a charming house...I'd have continued to maintain it...