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Added 366 days ago. 07 December 2021

We've taken a look at how Britain's most famous family spends the most wonderful time of the year.

As with most families, the Royal Family's Christmas is filled with many traditions, some old and some new! Let's take a look at how they spend their festive season.

Heading to Sandringham

While the royals used to spend Christmases in Windsor ever since 1988 it has been the tradition to gather at Sandringham Estate. The family will gather by Christmas Eve to start celebrations.

Christmas Cards

Queen Victoria first popularised the Christmas card in 1843; a tradition that the whole family embraces. Each royal household will send out a Christmas card to hundreds of people, commonly with a family photo taken earlier in the year.

Christmas Trees

The Royal Family reportedly have two Christmas trees – a towering 20 foot real spruce tree, which sits in St. George’s Hall (the largest room in the castle), decorated with 3,000 lights and hundreds of iridescent ornaments; and in the dining room a large silver artificial tree, which is about 30 years old. Decorations are traditional and feature many heirlooms, notably Queen Victoria’s glass angels, which always take pride of place. The younger members of the family help finish decorating the trees

Christmas Eve

As per tradition in Germany, the Royal Family exchange gifts on the 24th; this begins once they have enjoyed afternoon tea. Every member of staff is also given a gift. In the evening there is a formal dinner and cocktail reception for select royals, kicked off by a Christmas Eve toast where the royals will raise a glass of Champagne.

Christmas Day

The Royal Family always attend church on Christmas morning. Later there is a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings. The children dine separately in the nursery, and for the adults it’s a formal affair: black tie for the gents and gowns and tiaras for the ladies. The Queen will indulge in her favourite festive tipple: a gin and Dubonnet.

Fun Traditions

  • The family exchange joke gifts rather than expensive items
  • Each year the family attend a morning service at the St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate where members of the public also gather to catch a glimpse of the family.
  • One rumoured tradition started by Edward VII is that guests are weighed before and after the festivities. The idea is that some weight gain will mean that guests have enjoyed themselves!
  • Then after lunch the family enjoys a game of charades.
  • The whole family gathers to watch the Monarch’s Christmas address at 3pm on Christmas Day.

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