Like many others, the British royal family has a set of Christmas traditions that are about to start this holiday, from an annual trip to black-tie dinners.
It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, especially for the royal family who are about to set foot on a series of activities together.
Like any other family, the royals are keen about keeping up with Christmas traditions that the Queen excitedly makes her family follow. Here are some of theses activities that fans may want to do as well.
rince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. | Source: Getty Images
Part of the Christmas tradition of most families is staying up until midnight on Christmas Eve, which the Queen and her family follow as well.
While doing so, the family plays a game of charades together, and reportedly, a match up happens after Christmas lunch.
TURKEY FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER
Having meals together is one of the most famous Christmas traditions as this is where you get to talk and bond over good food, which is equally as important.
A buffet is always a must for the royal family on Christmas, and among their food should be turkey. The others are the likes of lobster and shrimp salads. Former royal chef Darren McGrady said:
“It’s always a buffet with the chefs at the table carving. Right before the Christmas buffet, the senior chef goes on duty into the dining room and carves the rib roast or turkey or ham.”
Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photo after she recorded her annual Christmas Day message, in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. | Source: Getty Images
BLACK-TIE EVENT FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
A formal event is hosted during Christmas eve where everyone chats over their favorite drink, with the Queen usually having a gin cocktail called Zara. The Telegraph describes it as:
“A relatively formal affair, with the men wearing black tie suits and the woman wearing gowns, expensive jewelry, and tiaras.”
EXCHANGE GIFTS AFTER TEA ON CHRISTMAS EVE
The royals usually exchange and open their gifts after afternoon tea and before Christmas Eve, in line with their German heritage.
Presents are lined up on trestle tables for each member of the royal family, and the opening begins after Prince Philip gives the go signal.
PARTNERS OF THE ROYALS ARE ONLY INVITED AFTER TYING THE KNOT
With the exception of Meghan Markle, partners of royal family members are not invited to the Christmas celebrations until after they are married.
However, Markle was invited to Sandringham for Christmas last year, following her engagement to Prince Harry. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams shared:
“Now they are engaged and she will shortly be a senior member of the royal family, it is pivotal that she feels an integral part as soon as possible.”
Kate Middleton was not allowed to join until she tied the knot with Prince William in 2011, just like Zara Phillips’ partner.
CHRISTMAS AT SANDRINGHAM HOUSE
Instead of spending the holidays at Buckingham Palace, the royals opt to share the special occasion in their Sandringham House in Norfolk.
GIFTS FOR ALL BUCKINGHAM PALACE STAFF
As a part of giving back to the service of the Buckingham Palace staff, all workers can choose between a gift token or a book token for their Christmas gift from the Queen.
Those who are qualified for the gift must have been in service for the family for a year, and the amount given increases with seniority.
LOADS OF CHRISTMAS CARDS
Although very traditional, the royals still send personally signed Christmas cards every year with over 850 pieces from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's 2016 Christmas card on a Christmas tree in Clarence House. | Source: Getty Images
SHOPPING AT HARRODS FOR THE QUEEN
Now that the Queen is 92, she probably gets help for her Christmas shopping, but in the prior years, she would go purchase gifts at Harrods.
The store apparently extended their hours for the Queen to shop at her leisure and pace for the other members of the royal family.
TWO CHRISTMAS TREES
“The Royal Family has a large Christmas tree and a large silver artificial tree in the dining room, which is about 30 years old,” says former royal chef Darren McGrady.
Queen Elizabeth II and Shylah Gordon, aged 8, attach a bauble to a Christmas tree during the opening of the Queen Elizabeth II. | Source: Getty Images
EVERYONE TAKES PART IN DECORATING THE TREE
During their get together at Sandringham House on Christmas Eve, the young royals are given a chance to complete the decors on the tree.
McGrady shared that the Queen likes to keep the trinkets at a minimal and probably sneaks down to see if the kids didn’t mess up the decors.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall helps Aidan Birnie, 9, to decorate the Christmas Tree. | Source: Getty Images
FOOTBALL GAME FOR THE BROTHERS
As part of the Christmas tradition, the two brothers, William and Harry, go head to head in a football game together with the Sandringham staff.
With the exception of 2015, the brothers usually wear socks of their favorite teams -- Aston Villa for William and Arsenal for Harry.
CHURCH ON CHRISTMAS MORNING
After a full feast dinner and staying up for Christmas Day, the royal family head over to St. Mary Magdalene Church for a 45-minute service.
rince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the "Our Planet" global premiere. | Source: Getty Images
Since 1957, the Queen gives an annual broadcast Christmas message to the Commonwealth, where she looks back at the previous year and into the future
PRE-RECORDED CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
Although the televised message airs throughout the country at 3 pm on Christmas Day, the Queen actually pre-records the clip in the White Drawing Room a few days before.
It is no wonder why she would do such given no one would want to be disturbed and taken away from their family on a Holiday.