The Royal Family’s Christmas is set to be a real cracker this year, as the family settle down to reflect on a truly stunning year that has included Duchess Kate and Prince William’s baby news, the Olympics success and Queen Elizabeth’s stunning Diamond Jubilee year.
It’s not yet know if pregnant Kate will be spending the festivities with her new family, following her hospitalisation for acute morning sickness and subsequent recovery, but we’re sure she’ll be keeping her fingers crossed she’s up to it. After all, the royals certainly know how to mark December 25!
The festivities all kick off on Christmas Eve, when the family gather at Sandringham Estate in the Norfolk countryside, where they excitedly count down the hours to the big day.
“The Queen arrives on Christmas Eve. She takes a passenger train to King’s Lynn, first class,” Daily Express royal correspondent Camilla Tominey explains.
“There is protocol about when the royals arrive. The least senior royal arrives first and, of course, the Queen and Prince Philip last.
“The Queen keeps a close eye on arrangements and she even adds the last finishing touches to he tree in the drawing room. She is quite hands-on!”
The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other Royals including Prince Charles and Camilla then have a giggle as they swap novelty gifts with one another – and the more naff they are, the better.
Favourites in the past are said to have included a leather toilet seat, given to Charles from Princess Anne, and novelty socks are a big hit too.
The family then enjoy cocktails followed by dinner, during which champagne and claret are also served, before the royals retire to bed early in anticipation of the big day ahead.
The next morning, everyone arises first thing to a stocking filled with festive pressies. They then sit down to a full English breakfast, before heading to St Mary Magdalene Church, on the Sandringham Estate, where they attend a traditional Christmas morning service.
After that, the royals enjoy a slap-up festive lunch – with a turkey from the Norfolk countryside taking pride of place on the table. And after that it’s time to watch the Queen’s annual message to the public, of course!
“They all gather in the saloon to watch," the royal correspondent explained. "Then in the afternoon they play games, things like charades. Everyone stays up late, no one can go to bed before the Queen.”
In the evening, the royals will then sit down and enjoy a few drinks together and reflect on the year.
“It will be a wonderful day and a period of great reflection for the family because the year has been so momentous,” she added.
As mentioned earlier, it is not yet known if Duchess Kate will be spending the festive period with her husband Prince William and the rest of the royals, because of her sensitive condition at the moment.
So what can she expect if she spends the day with her own family, the Middletons, as is expected at the moment?
Well, Carole, Michael, Pippa and James are massive fans of Christmas and all go in for it in a big day, with the family running their own party business and knowing everything there is about making a day special. Pippa recently let slip that her dad Michael even loves dressing up up December 25 – with recent costumes including a sumo wrestler’s!
It has also been suggested that Michael and Carole Middleton may have been invited to join the royals at the estate either on Christmas or Boxing Day. And with Prince Harry absent from the festivities this year due to his deployment to Afghanistan, there will be room at Sandringham, which is the smallest of the royal residences.
Sounds like whatever she plans to do this year, Duchess Kate’s Christmas will be a hoot!
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