On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth missed the Church of England’s General Synod for the first time in its 51-year history. Buckingham Palace cancelled her appearance on Sunday, at the same time they cancelled her appearance at the Cenotaph. QEII did send prepared statement in which she noted, “It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod. None of us can slow the passage of time.” People are taking that as some kind of acknowledgement that she’s slowing down, which… she’s 95 years old, of course she’s slowing down and she’s acknowledging the obvious.
Meanwhile, this curious story popped up and I can’t help but wonder why it isn’t getting more play. Following Prince Philip’s passing, Sandringham has been losing household and estate staff at a steady clip. While Philip spent much of the pandemic at Windsor Castle, before that, he had been living full time at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate. It doesn’t sound like Sandringham is losing the staffers tasked with taking care of Wood Farm though?
Courtiers have said it’s “the end of an era” after a housekeeper with 32 years of service retired, with three other employees also quitting in the space of two months. The Queen has spent every Christmas at Sandringham House since her father’s death in 1952. Christmas is the busiest time of year at Sandringham with the Royal Family all travelling to the Norfolk estate for the festive period beginning with a traditional dinner on December 24 in the main house. But this year will be different as the royals gather for their first Christmas without Prince Philip, who the Queen called her “strength and stay” in a rare tribute marking their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.
A royal source told the Mail on Sunday: “There’s been an exodus. There’s an end-of-an-era feeling after the Duke passed away. The household will have to fill those roles quickly as Christmas is the busiest time of year at Sandringham.”
The Queen, 95, has been surrounded by loyal aides as she rests on doctors’ orders in recent weeks. Dresser Angela Kelly and courtier Paul Whybrew are said to be a source of support for the Queen amid mounting concerns for her health. It comes as the Queen is also looking to hire a new security expert at Buckingham Palace.
So… Sandringham is facing a staff exodus. Is this part of the “great resignation”? Curious that there’s no chatter about how the Queen is clearly “bullying” staffers who have no recourse but to leave! I guess sometimes people just lose staff and it’s not any big conspiracy? Weird. But in this case, I do think there’s something going on. To lose so many long-time staffers in a short period… it makes me wonder.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Buckingham Palace’s social media.