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Retirement means Prince Philip can spend more time at Sandringham

PUBLISHED: 08:20 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:20 05 May 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh visit's a TCV conservation project at the Dersingham Bog Nature Reserve, Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire.

The Duke of Edinburgh visit's a TCV conservation project at the Dersingham Bog Nature Reserve, Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire.

PA Wire

Retirement means Prince Philip can spend more time at Sandringham.

The Duke of Edinburgh officially opens the new Memorial Pavilion at South Creake. Picture: Matthew Usher.The Duke of Edinburgh officially opens the new Memorial Pavilion at South Creake. Picture: Matthew Usher.

MORE - Prince Philip steps down from public engagements

MORE - Norfolk reacts to Duke’s retirement

The Duke of Edinburgh officially opens the new Memorial Pavilion at South Creake. Picture: Matthew Usher.The Duke of Edinburgh officially opens the new Memorial Pavilion at South Creake. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Duke, as he is known locally, spends stays adding up to several months each year on the Royal Estate in West Norfolk.

The main visit, over the Christmas period, is spent in Sandringham House, where the Royal Family traditionally gather for Christmas.

At other times the Queen and her husband stay at Wood Farm, a modest farmhouse looking across the fields towards the Wash at Wolferton.

One of the Duke’s favourite pastimes is pheasant shooting. Birds are reared wild around the estate’s 25,000 acres.

Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to Palm Paper. Pictured: The Duke of Edinburgh with Kay Hunt, Jacqui Saunders and Shelly Massingham.Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to Palm Paper. Pictured: The Duke of Edinburgh with Kay Hunt, Jacqui Saunders and Shelly Massingham.

Until recently, Prince Philip has played a key role in decision-making and the running of the estate, which was inherited by the Queen when her father King George VI died at Sandringham in 1953.

He is said to have a great knowledge of the countryside, farming, forestry, fruit-growing and conservation.

As an outdoor type the Duke is in his element in the Norfolk countryside and is sometimes still seen driving a 4x4 around the estate.

The Duke takes a keen interest in local issues and was believed to have been opposed to the failed King’s Lynn incinerator project.

Two years ago, he joked about his age when he officially opened the new Memorial Pavillion at South Creake.

MORE - Duke opens new hall at South Creake

The Duke met trustees when they began raising money for the new £700,000 hall in 2011, along with the architect and builder who designed and built the venue.

In 2013, he praised the work of volunteers who care for Dersingham Bog, a rugged area of heath and mire on the Sandringham Estate, which is leased by Natural England and cared for by the Conservation Volunteers.

MORE - Duke meets volunteers at Dersingham Bog

The Duke said their work must be paying off, as he noticed car parks around the reserve were usually wull with visitors’ cars.

In 2011, the Duke celebrated his 90th birthday at a banquet in King’s Lynn thrown by the then Mayor of West Norfolk, Zipha Christopher.

Also that year, previously unseen photographs of the Duke during his early years went on show at a special exhibition in the Museum at Sandringham House.

MORE - Unseen pictures of Duke’s early years

The Duke also celebrated his 90th year with a lesson in the art of playing computer games, during a visit to the West Norfolk Deaf Association.

MORE - Royal Wii! Queen and Duke learn computer games

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