End of an era as four loyal staff members leave Sandringham

Queen will be without four loyal staff members this Christmas as they leave Sandringham in ‘the end of an era’

  • The Queen will this year face her first Christmas without Prince Philip by her side
  • But MoS has established monarch will also be without four key staff members
  • Housekeeper recently retired and three other employees, all friends, have quit

The Queen will this year face her first Christmas without Prince Philip by her side.

But The Mail on Sunday has established that the monarch will also be without four key staff members, who have left Sandringham in what courtiers called ‘the end of an era’.

A loyal housekeeper recently retired after 32 years, and in the past two months three other members of staff, all friends, have quit. A source said: ‘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 visited the private estate in Norfolk earlier this month to check on her horses in the company of John Warren, her trusted bloodstock manager. She stayed at Wood Farm, a cottage where Philip made his home in his latter years.

The Mail on Sunday has established that the Queen will be without four key staff members this Christmas after they left Sandringham in what courtiers called ‘the end of an era’

Every Christmas, the rest of the family descend for a traditional Christmas Eve dinner in the main house at Sandringham. On Christmas morning, the Royal Family are seen attending church together. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stay at their home in nearby Anmer Hall, while the rest of the family stay in the house.

It is thought the Royal Family have issued an open invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to visit over Christmas, but it is not known if they have accepted.

A source close to the family said: ‘The Queen has made it clear she wants to see Archie again and to meet Lilibet, who she has not yet had the chance to meet. In spite of everything, they are still very much seen as part of the family.’

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service in Sandringham in 2020

The Queen is expected to attend today’s annual Remembrance Sunday service. A spokesman said: ‘The Queen will view the service from the balcony of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office building. A wreath will be laid on her behalf by the Prince of Wales.’

Last night, the Queen was absent from the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. In her absence, the event was attended by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Buckingham Palace last night declined to comment on staff departures.

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