Why Is King Charles Staying in Sandringham?

As King Charles begins treatment following the news of his cancer diagnosis, he is choosing to spend time not at his home at Clarence House in London, or at his beloved Highgrove House, but rather in Norfolk, at Sandringham House, located around 100 miles north of London.

Each year, the royal family typically spends the Christmas holiday at Sandringham, famously walking to the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the estate on Christmas Day. Prior to her passing, Queen Elizabeth would then spend January though mid-February at the Norfolk estate, so as to be there to observe the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6.

King Charles was set to break from this tradition set by his mother, reportedly planning to spend all of January at Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate in Scotland. Yet, his plans soon changed when he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, and went to London for a scheduled procedure. As the Palace said at the time, "His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation." He was at the London Clinic for three nights, and was discharged on January 29, and soon returned to Sandringham.

While at Sandringham for "private recuperation," the King was pictured attending church this past weekend. Then, the Palace announced his cancer diagnosis, though they did not specify what type of cancer the king has, and he was pictured in London earlier this week to begin treatments (and see his son, Prince Harry, who flew to the UK from California). He was in the city for just one night, and soon returned to Sandringham via helicopter. At her first engagement following Charles's diagnosis, Queen Camilla said yesterday that her husband "is doing extremely well under the circumstances."

While the Palace has not specified why Charles has chosen Sandringham as his place of rest and recuperation during his cancer treatment, it seems as if the proximity to London and his healthcare makes it a better choice as a home base than Birkhall, which is much further away in Scotland.

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