This 92-year-old woman used her free time during the pandemic to knit a miniature version of Sandringham Estate, home of the British Monarchs since 1862.
Margaret Seaman, a Norfolk local, spent the last two years working on the wooly masterpiece, knitting up to 15 hours a day for a good cause.
Amid months of isolation and lockdowns, the Norfolk local was looking for ways to keep busy. She also wanted to help the struggling healthcare workers in the National Health System and thought about how she could raise money for them.
She then settled on creating a massive replica of the Queen’s country home and ended up with an incredible 16-by-10-foot Sandringham House model.
The display is now on show at the 20,000-acre estate in Norfolk, England, and Queen Elizabeth II is impressed. When she saw it, she seemed to enjoy seeing her home recreated in miniature—made no less than by a great great grandmother!
Margaret, a widow, didn’t say much about the details of her meeting with the Queen but said the monarch loved her work.
“That was absolutely wonderful, she seemed to enjoy it very much,” she recalled.
The royal family took to Twitter to recognize Margaret’s handiwork, writing, “Congratulations to 92-year-old Margaret on completing a remarkable knitted recreation of Sandringham House and Estate!”
The center of the display is an 18 feet long Sandringham House featuring intricate architectural details, windows, chimneys, tranquil lakes, flowery gardens, and luxurious horse stables.
Margaret also included other famous landmarks in the Queen’s estate, including St. Mary Magdalene Church, where the royal family traditionally attends the Christmas Day service. The estate’s huge gardens and the Nest summer house were also featured.
Margaret’s attention to detail is outstanding. There are individual leaves on the trees, flowers on the ground, and knitted models of visitors and the royal family—including the Queen, the late Prince Philip, Prince William, and Kate Middleton—spread around.
Margaret made all of it herself but got a little help from her daughter and her best friend on some of the minor details. Although it was a lot of work, Margaret enjoyed the project as it kept her occupied during the pandemic.
“I started it two years ago and knitted the main house the first year and then the second year while we were in lockdown I did the remaining buildings the church and the stables and the museum,” she said.
The activity gave her something to do during the lockdown, so she was never bored or felt the need to go out. Margaret was quite happy knitting in the comforts of her home.
“I live with my daughter since I lost my husband and I knit all day, she does everything else and looks after me and does all the cooking – and I knit between 12 and 15 hours a day,” she said.
She is fundraising through a JustGiving page for projects at three hospitals in Norfolk. It includes a dedicated breast cancer unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, a maternity bereavement suite at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, and a community improvement project at the James Paget University Hospital.
When Margaret finished the replica, she submitted it to the Norfolk Makers’ Festival and raised £8,000 (about $11,000) in donations, which will benefit the three Norfolk NHS hospitals.
From there, the knitted masterpiece was brought to the Sandringham House’s ballroom. It will be on display for the public until October 14, and visitors will have the chance to donate while they the artwork in all its glory.
This has to be one of the most impressive knitwork ever! Learn more about Margaret’s amazing project in the video below.