On 1 April 2023 the Sandringham Estate opens its doors again. Until 12 October 2023 a collection of watercolours painted by King Charles III of the United Kingdom, when still Prince of Wales, is going on display in the Ballroom at Sandringham House Shown are over 40 watercolours of British geographic landscapes and royal residences, including the Welsh Hills, the highlands of Scotland, Windsor Castle, Highgrove, Birkhall Castle and the Norfolk countryside around Sandringham. Sandringham House has been the private home of British monarchs since 1862.
The exhibition marks the year of the coronation of King Charles III. His watercolours are seldomly exhibited. On the occasion of his 50th birthday in 1998 some of his work was shown at Hampton Court Palace. In 2018 there was an exhibition of his work at The National Gallery of Australia.
Painting has been a longtime hobby of the King, following in the footsteps of many of his ancestors and relatives. In 1991 he wrote for the book “HRH The Prince of Wales Watercolours”:
“I took up painting entirely because I found photography less than satisfying. Quite simply, I experienced an overwhelming urge to express what I saw through the medium of watercolour and to convey that almost ‘inner’ sense of texture which is impossible to achieve via photography …”
In a documentary called Royal Paintbox in 2013 he told:
“I think, you know, drawing from nature, observing from nature, is absolutely crucial. I’ve obviously been inspired by just looking. It’s usually the light that catches my attention. You can look at the same view over and over again and then suddenly one moment, there’s the most magical light.”
Between 1 April and 12 October 2023 Sandringham House and Gardens will be open from 10am to 5pm. On Friday only groups and people taking part in exclusive tours have access.
There is a shop and a restaurant that serves light lunches and afternoon tea. There are also terrace take away cafe facilities.
With thanks to Sandringham for the permission to use the photo of the watercolour.