A look inside Sandringham House, site of the royals’ annual holiday retreat

The house’s dining room, originally paneled in dark oak, is now pale green, accentuating the tapestries on the walls. A docent stationed in the room said that Queen Mary, widow of King George V, and Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, wife of the future King George VI, conspired to paint the oak during the period when King Edward VIII had inherited the throne but not yet renounced it. Edward, he said, “didn’t care.” (When Edward did eventually leave the throne, his brother George VI had to buy Sandringham from him, because it was an inherited property.) The dining table was Queen Victoria’s at her home on the Isle of Wight and can expand to seat 22, as it does at Christmas. The centerpiece is the trophy won in 1900 by King Edward VII’s horse, Ambush II, at the Grand National; according to the audio guide, the queen wants it on the table, filled with fruit or flowers. Place mats feature pictures of the queen’s race horses.

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