December 7 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
It sounds like a job for the king of clock-watchers - but it’s not a wind-up.
Work has started on alterations to the Norfolk home of the future King. An archaeological dig is under way at Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham Estate, which the Queen has given to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Experts are looking for signs of the original medieval village of Anmer, parts of which are believed to lie beneath the grounds of the hall.
Officials have applied to move the driveway to increase security on the approaches to the hall. The dig is being carried out to check for important remains before the road is built.
A new garden room will also be added to the kitchen of the 10-bed listed mansion and outbuildings converted to provide accommodation for security officers.
It is not clear when the Prince, Duchess and their baby son Prince George will move into the property, which stands two miles from Sandringham House.
Their main home will remain Kensington Palace, while Anmer Hall will be their country retreat in a county loved by generations of the Royal Family.
Royal aides are hiring a £31,200-a-year horologist, to look after the Queen’s 1,000 clocks.
While the post would be based at Buckingham Palace, the job description states the successful applicant would be expected to travel to other Royal residences.
It adds: “You will work with a team of three based out of workshops in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, maintaining in excess of 1,000 clocks, including many items of great historical importance and rarity, whilst also repairing a range of horological items and turret clocks.
“You will be confident and experienced at working with hand and machine tools. With particular ability to strip and clean mechanisms, make new parts, solder, turn, cut screws wheels and pinions, make hands, silver dials, pattern making, brazing and some forging.”
It is not clear whether the conservator - its official title in Royal circles - would also be expected to restore the long-lost tradition of Sandringham Time, which was brought in by members of the Royal Family when they first bought their Norfolk retreat, in the early 1860s.
Albert, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, ordered all clocks on the estate to be set half an hour fast, to make the most of winter daylight for shooting.
The tradition was continued by King George V, after he acceded to the throne in 1925, but abolished by King Edward VIII, when he acceded briefly to the throne in 1936 before his abdication.