Questions over timing of Prince William, Kate and Prince George's move to Anmer Hall on the Queen's estate at Sandringham in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 06:43 30 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:55 30 July 2013
Archant © 2013
Prince William, Kate and little Prince George may not be moving to Norfolk as imminently as has been claimed.
All quiet at Anmer
You’d struggle to find anywhere in Norfolk much quieter than Anmer.
Home to just 63 people in 29 separate households at the last census, the tiny hamlet has no shop or pub, while a sign outside the social club says it is open on Friday and Saturday nights.
There was bunting hanging outside yesterday, although it was not clear whether it had been put up in honour of the Royal new arrival or had been left up since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Otherwise, the village was deserted, apart from a man mowing his lawn, who claimed he did not know who was moving into the big house next door.
Anmer Hall is two miles from Sandringham House, the heart of the Queen’s 20,000-acre Norfolk estate. It is reached via King’s Avenue, a tree-lined lane which passes the Royal Stud, with its imposing statue of Persimmon, the horse owned by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), which won both the Derby and St Leger in 1896.
Royal winnings were reportedly invested in improvements to the estate. Today the Queen continues the family tradition of racehorse breeding.
Work on all the improvements needed to turn the Grade II listed hall into a Royal residence have discreetly begun.
Hundreds of saplings have been planted along King’s Avenue, which will screen the house from the road.
Reports that the Queen has paid the current tenant of Anmer Hall to move out, to make way for her grandson and his family, were last night slammed as incorrect.
Earlier, it was claimed Jamie Everett, currently the tenant at Anmer Hall, had been paid to vacate the property.
But last night, a close friend said: “It’s not true, they’ve not been paid. If they’re suggesting they’ve been paid and they’re going imminently, that’s incorrect.”
Mr Everett, who has run his business Norfolk Oak from the stables at Anmer since 2007, confirmed that he is re-locating the timber company to the nearby former RAF base at West Raynham.
“Norfolk Oak is moving from the Sandringham estate to West Raynham,” he said. “That’s been ongoing, I think that it will take six to eight weeks to move the business.”
He added he could not comment on when he might be leaving the 10-bedroom hall, where he has lived since 2001 and is believed to have a number of years outstanding on his lease.
On its blog the company, which employs 20 people, said: “Unlike many businesses, Norfolk Oak has the pleasure of moving from one historic place to another. Anmer Hall, which is soon to be faced with royalty once more, to historic, rustic RAF West Raynham.”
Yesterday, one neighbour said he still did not know who would be moving into the house.
In January, it emerged that the Queen was giving the property to her grandson. Shortly afterwards, aides submitted a planning application for major alterations including re-routing the drive to the property, which is currently accessed via the track leading to the tiny village church, converting outbuildings into accommodation for police bodyguards and a new garden room and pergola.
Council officials agreed the plans without any debate. Unlike planning applications from members of the public wishing to extend their properties, the Royal application was only made avalable to callers in person at West Norfolk council’s offices.
Work on the house is expected to take some months. Already hundreds of new saplings have been planted along the Sandringham to Anmer road, which leads past the hall, to screen it from public view.
Extensive planting was carried out at Wood Farm, on the opposite side of the Royal Estate at Wolferton, where Prince William and Kate were regular visitors before and after their wedding in 2011, to prevent photographers taking long lens pictures of the couple.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be attending a concert in Norfolk tonight. The performance, at the Church of St Peter and St Paul at Salle, near Lenwade, is being organised by the charity Music in Country Churches, which the Prince is a patron of. Proceeds from events go towards the upkeep of historic churches.
The Prince and Duchess will stay over at Sandringham, before attending tomorrow’s Sandringham Flower Show on the estate.