Queen’s trip to Sandringham via helicopter sparks health speculation from confused fans

The Queen’s trip to Sandringham comes after she received advice to ‘rest’ amid her busy autumn schedule

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King's Lynn station, after taking the train from London King's Cross
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen is understood to have flown to Sandringham via helicopter to "oversee" the preparations for Christmas, though the trip has sparked health speculation amongst fans.

The Queen’s health has been a matter of great speculation in recent weeks, ever since Buckingham Palace announced that she’d spent a night in hospital for “preliminary investigations”. Since then Her Majesty has reportedly been in “good spirits” at Windsor Castle as further updates revealed she continues to carry out “light desk-based duties” and has been advised to “rest”. Though this sadly meant she had to pull out of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which was attended by several senior royals in her place.

The Queen's COP26 speech saw her declare she “could not be more proud” of her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince Charles and this was the last fans have glimpsed of the monarch in recent days. But now it seems she’s decided on a change of scene, as it’s been reported that the Queen has left her Berkshire home and traveled to Sandringham in Norfolk by helicopter.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive by helicopter in front of the Rock of Cashel on May 20, 2011

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive by helicopter in front of the Rock of Cashel in Ireland on May 20, 2011.

(Image credit: Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Her Majesty is said to be “delighted” to return to her countryside home, which no doubt holds incredible memories for her of her late husband Prince Philip, who lived at Sandringham after his retirement. However amid the ongoing concerns about the Queen’s health and uncertainty about when she’ll resume in-person engagements, some fans have been left more than a little confused about her Norfolk trip. 

Taking to Twitter, one person speculated about just why she’d make the trip to Sandringham if she’s still resting, writing, “Wonder why the Queen went to Sandringham via helicopter when she is not feeling too good?”

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Responding to a comment remarking upon how the Queen was spotted driving near Windsor Castle just days earlier, the same person added that it “makes one wonder if she is really sick?”

And someone else appeared to agree, dubbing the Queen’s Sandringham trip a “Strange thing to do.”

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“I thought so too. If I was that age and sick, I wouldn't be wanting to fly anywhere,” the first person declared. 

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However, despite the health speculation that the Queen’s Sandringham trip has sparked, reports have suggested that her weekend away is something that had long been planned and is all part of her Christmas preparations.

According to The Mirror, a royal source explained, “The Queen had been hoping she would still be able to spend the weekend at Sandringham and was delighted her doctors gave her the all-clear to travel. 

"Her Majesty is very much looking forward to hosting her family at her Norfolk home for the Christmas holiday and there is much preparation to be done in time to accommodate everyone who has been invited."

Queen Elizabeth II attends the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on December 25 in Sandringham

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

They went on to reflect on the importance of Sandringham for the Queen and claimed she was determined to “oversee” the festive plans in person.

“The Queen has many happy memories of being at Sandringham with the family over Christmas and was in the firm belief that she was far better off being there in person to oversee everything as much as possible,” the source added.

Last year the Queen opted to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle during the UK's lockdown, rather than making the trip to Sandringham. Now, as she prepares for her challenging first Christmas since Prince Philip's death, the Queen will no doubt be looking forward to being surrounded by friends and family in Norfolk once more.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.