York Cottage is besy known as the home of the Prince George (Duke of York), the future George V. It was there that the Yorks spent their honeymoon, a not very romantic choice. We suspect that this was the Prince George's idea. Prince George, and his growing family while his father and mother lived at Sandringham, lived nearby in York Cottage on the Sandingham grounds. Almost all of their children were born at York Cottage. It was, however, a very strange choice for a royal residence. It was small and poorly planned. Many families at the time would have rejected it even they had not been royals. As a residence for the heir to the throne it was almost ludicrous. One might have thought that this was the work of the Princess of Wales who was delighted with the choice as it meant in effect that she would not be separated from Prince George. The choice was in fact that of the Prince himself. The Prince of Wales had given his son the cottage as a wedding gift and he had been delighted by it, not seeing any reason why his wife might be displeased to have her mother-in-law perpetually underfoot or just where they were going to put the six children that were to come. His mother gave absolutely no effort to give the newly weds any privacy. It should be stressed that York Cottage was no only on the Sandringham estate, it was litteraly only separate by a few paces through a small garden. His Prince's new wife was agast at the cottage' plainess if not ugliness. Prince George had grown up at Sandringham and was delighted that at York Cottage he and his family could stay there. [Battiscombe, pp. 197-198.] Once installed at York Cottage, Prince George kept all the clocks set 30 minutes fast to give him extra daylight for shooting. One estimate suggests that he may have killed up to a million birds, but not the white peasant that his mother so treasured.
Battiscombe, Georgina. Queen Alexandra (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1969).
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