In the final episode of Countryfile’s Queen and Country series, which celebrates both 30 years of Countryfile and the 65th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation, the Countryfile team visit one of the Royal Family’s most treasured estates – Sandringham
Discover some of the Queen’s greatest passions, including her joy of the great outdoors, at the most private of her rural hideaways.
The first televised Christmas Broadcast came from Sandringham, where The Royal Family gathers every Christmas. The landscape and trees are designed to be particularly resplendent in winter time, to honour The Queen’s father King George VI. Matt Baker meets the Queen’s Head Gardener at Sandringham, who describes how this is achieved. Matt also meets the Queen’s Pigeon Loft Manager, who is responsible for the care and training of her racing pigeons. He describes what an honour it is to be responsible for one of the Queen’s lesser-known pastimes.
Adam Henson visits Sandringham’s mixed farm, which stepped up production significantly during WWII when farms were encouraged to increase production to ensure the country had enough food. He finds out the history of blackcurrant harvesting at Sandringham and also about Red Poll cattle.
Ellie Harrison explores the Queen’s love of horses, which she loved to ride with her father and grandfather. She meets the Stud Manager and a retired Stud Groom who worked with the Queen for over 30 years. The Queen also devised her own solution on what do with thoroughbreds after their racing lives are over: retraining them in dressage. Ellie also meets The Queen’s former head gamekeeper, who looks at habitats created at Sandringham to support the Estate’s diverse wildlife – including several species of deer, hare and game.
John Craven visits Hunstanton, just along the Norfolk coast from Sandringham, which in 1953 was devastated by a severe storm. The Sandringham Estate was also flooded. John meets local residents who witnessed the devastation. The Queen visited a number of local residents affected by the floods, and the disaster is said to have left a lasting impact on her.
Anita Rani meets the Queen’s former dog trainer, who was responsible for training the most successful of all the Queen’s dogs. He also instructed Her Majesty in the craft of dog handling.
This beautiful programme, filmed with kind consent from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, celebrates The Queen’s passion for the countryside and her knowledge and love of animals.