Do YOU share this Christmas tradition with royals George, Charlotte and Louis?

Royal Family in November 2018

As we approach the festive season there’s much talk of planning, shopping and tradition – and this royal approach to gift-giving caught our eye.

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And a second picture (maybe my favourite!). Happy Birthday to the Prince of Wales! 70 tomorrow! I’ve travelled all over the world photographing the Prince of Wales for the last 15 years from Durbars in Nigeria to the Galápagos Islands, Pakistan, Japan and many more as well as well as covering numerous domestic Royal Engagements so I was delighted to have been asked to take these official portraits of The Prince surrounded by his family to celebrate the important milestone of his 70th Birthday. It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon in the gardens of Clarence House. #princecharles70 #princeofwales @clarencehouse @gettyimages

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A Christmas Eve tradition

The Royal Family have revealed a little more about how Christmas pans out at their place – and that they don’t wait until Christmas Day to open their gifts.

It’s a tradition the tiniest royals must be thrilled about because they shave one whole day off the usual very exciting gift-opening wait.

“On Christmas Eve, The Royal Family lay out their presents on trestle tables and will exchange their gifts at teatime,” the Royal.UK website reveals. 

Royal family Christmas

via the Royal Family

Tea time treats

It’s an early start to the festive celebrations and we’re not gonna lie, afternoon tea sounds pretty splendid too. Word from the Palace is that treats like mince tarts (recipe here), chocolate roulade and Jammy Dodgers are top of the pops with this well-to-do gang. Gingerbread people are also on the menu.

“You can even use them to hang on the Christmas tree. The biscuits are sturdy enough to hold a ribbon and the best thing is they last a while – so you can make them in advance,” royal Chef de Partie and gingerbread person maker Victoria Scupham says. 

Christmas and New Year are spent at Sandringham House, where the family apparently strolls around the grounds after tea to walk off the treats and make room for dinner.

Royal family Christmas

via the Royal Family

On Christmas Day they attend a church service together. The littlest royal children usually don’t attend, but it’s suggested that Prince George might be grown-up enough to pop along with William and Kate – and Uncle Harry and Aunty Meg – this year.

The service is held at St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, a 16th-century country church once attended by the Queen’s Great-Great-Grandmother Queen Victoria.


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Puddings and presents

The gift-giving actually commences way ahead of Christmas Eve.

“All members of The Royal Household will receive Christmas presents from The Queen, and Her Majesty will personally hand out presents to some members of The Royal Household at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor Castle,” a royal spokesperson says.

The Queen also gives Christmas puddings to her staff, a tradition carried on from her father, King George VI and her grandfather, George V. The Queen buys around 1500 Christmas puddings and gives them to staff throughout the Palaces, along with a Christmas card from The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

Royal family Christmas

via the Royal Family

The royal Christmas tree

The royals first started having a Christmas tree when George III’s wife Queen Charlotte introduced it. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert then embraced this festive tradition with gusto and “helped spread the popularity throughout the country”, the royal family’s website says. 

“Today, The Queen and members of her family will usually put the final touches on their Christmas tree.”

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The Queen uses her Christmas message to pay a rare public tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, praising his “unique sense of humour” in the year of their 70th anniversary. In her annual address to the nation, the Queen delivered poignant thanks to the Duke, hailing his valuable support this year and throughout her record-breaking reign. The Duke stepped down from his official public duties in the autumn, but has remained by his wife’s side for key moments including Remembrance Sunday. The televised address this year was focused on the theme of home. "We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love,” the Queen said. “There is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home." . . . Picture: REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool #queen #queenelizabeth #royal #royalfamily #royalchristmas #buckinghampalace #christmasmessage #queensspeech #dukeofedinburgh #telegraph

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We know that’s true because the Queen recently chatted to Sir David Attenborough about her grandchildren’s enthusiasm for baubles.

“The children love knocking those off. Well my great-grandchildren do, anyway they enjoy themselves.”

“The great thing is to make them decorate it and they’re a bit more careful,” she suggested. “It always looks jolly.”

Wise words from the Queen herself. #YassQueeeen

Now let’s look at that beautiful photo of Prince Charles and Prince Louis again …

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