Sir Julian Loyd KCVO, DL, who served as the Queen’s land agent at Sandringham for 27 years, died on February 7, aged 91, peacefully at his Burnham Market home surrounded by his wife and family.
Sir Julian will best be remembered for the role he played in the extensive modernisation of the Queen’s private West Norfolk Estate, which included the opening for the first time of Sandringham House to visitors.
During his tenure as land agent, he helped bring the 20,000 acre Sandringham Estate into the 20th century, focusing on all aspects of the estate including farming, forestry, improved visitors facilities, including the restaurant and shop.
He also created the caravan and camping sites and modernised the estate housing to provide comfortable homes for the estate staff and local community. He cared deeply about the estate community and his staff and built new homes for local people and retirement homes for estate workers.
The most public part of the modernisation was the opening up of Sandringham House and the grounds for the first time to paying visitors in 1977, the year in which the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee.
He and his wife, Mary Emma, were married for 57 years and they had three children, Charles, Alexandra and Mary Rose and six grandchildren.
Educated at Eton, Sir Julian followed his father, General Sir Charles Loyd GCVO, into the Coldstream Guards and after a brief military career, which was cut short through illness, he went to Cambridge University to read Land Economy before joining Chartered Surveyors Savills in Norwich.
He was a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and was a partner with Savills until 1964, when he was appointed to the Sandringham post. He was knighted in 1991 and served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk.
His son Charles, also a Chartered Surveyor, said “My father had the privilege of working on one of the great estates in this country and its well-being meant everything to him. He set himself and others high standards and was renowned for his straight talking and forward thinking approach to estate management issues. His Christian faith gave him immense strength to overcome the challenges that came his way and he cared deeply about others and their lives”.
Sir Julian’s funeral will be held at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, on February 28 at noon. It will be followed by private burial in the churchyard.