The Queen gives up control of major royal duty and hands it over to Prince Charles

The Queen has reportedly given Prince Charles control of the Sandringham Estate

Queen Elizabeth II talks with MI5 officers during a visit to the headquarters of MI5 at Thames House on February 25, 2020 in London
(Image credit: Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen has handed over control of her beloved Sandringham Estate to Prince Charles after controversy over the local wildlife. 

A protected species of owl has reportedly been caught in a trap at the Sandringham Estate, which was managed by the Queen. The incident, which is being investigated by the police, has been discussed by Chris Ship and Lizzie Robinson on the Royal Rota podcast.

Podcast host, Mr Ship explained, "The Queen does run an estate in Sandringham, and that's a working estate, as Buckingham Palace tell us."

"On that working estate, they have traps to protect the game birds, the pheasants and the partridge."

"Those traps have caught an owl, which is a protected species."

"The traps killed it so the police have had to look into this whole issue."


Illegal traps have been found at Sandringham 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What was found on the Sandringham Estate?

Ms Robinson went on to disclose, "There was a photograph of one of the owls that was caught in these traps, it's called a fenn trap."

"Fenn traps are illegal but they can be used for some specific types of species."

"They can be used for squirrels and rats and things, but they can't be used if they are going to kill stoats and owls because they are endangered."

It has been questioned why Sandringham Estate are not using more "humane" traps - like the DOC trap that has been approved by the New Zealand Conservation Department. 

"The National Anti Snaring Campaign found 10 of these fenn traps very recently in December still in use," Mr Ship later explained.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lord's Chamber on December 19, 2019 in London, England

(Image credit: Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

There are questions being raised, especially as the Prince of Wales is now set to take over the estate from his mother. Prince Charles has previously been vocal about how close conservation is to his heart and his fears for the future world his grandchildren will be growing up in. 

Royal expert, Ms Robinson, said, "there are some questions, especially because the Prince of Wales is taking over the running of Sandringham estate."

"We know how much he cares about the environment and organic matters."

According to, the Palace have described the incident as an "unfortunate and isolated" event, adding that Sandringham does adhere to all the appropriate standards and regulations that are required of it.

Given Prince Charles' passion for conservation - even launching his own conscious fashion collection with Net-a-porter - we have no doubt the issue will be looked into by the Prince of Wales in the coming months. 

Whilst the Prince of Wales is thought to be continuing to "farm organically" at Sandringham, he is also understood to have given up the lease on his beloved Home Farm plot. He has farmed at Home Farm near his country home Highgrove in Gloucestershire for 35 years. 

Where is Sandringham House?

Located in Norfolk, Sandringham House stands within a 20,000 acre estate in the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – so it’s no surprise Her Majesty enjoys spending time there.

It's located in the village of Sandringham, within the town of King's Lynn - just a three hour drive from London.

Last year, the stunning house played host to 'crisis talks' between the Queen, Price Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they will 'step back' as senior members of the Royal Family.

The Queen traditionally spends Christmas at the Norfolk estate and remains there until February for a poignant reason. However, 2020 saw their plans change. For the first time in many years, the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated at Windsor Castle.

With the country now in its third lockdown, it is understood that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have remained at their Berkshire home.

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."