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These Are The Royal Family's Christmas Traditions

Queen Elizabeth II recording her Christmas Day broadcast 
December 23, 2019 - 11:30 / Administrator User

Just like any normal family, the Royal Family have their very own Christmas traditions, although they are perhaps slightly more lavish than our own (black tie Christmas Eve dinner anyone?!). We've found out exactly what the the royals get up to for your festive reading pleasure...

The Queen's speech

The Queen prepares a special Christmas address every year, which is broadcast at 3 p.m. on Christmas Day. Her Majesty pre-records the speech, usually in the White Drawing Room, at Buckingham Palace a few days before she leaves for Sandringham. 

Queen Elizabeth II recording her Christmas Day broadcast
Queen Elizabeth II recording her Christmas Day broadcast 

Royal Residences are given a Christmas makeover

All the Royal residences are seriously spruced up for the festive season, with garlands adorning many a royal staircase and a number of Christmas trees dressed with baubles. 

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The Royals write and send an enormous number of Christmas cards

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, her Majesty and Prince Philip send more than eight hundred Christmas cards each year. The Cambridges, Sussexes and Prince Charles and Camilla all have their very own Christmas card designs that they send out as well. 

The Royals spend Christmas at Sandringham

The Royals traditionally spend Christmas at Sandringham House in Norfolk. The Queen always travels to Norfolk by train and the rest of the Royal Family join her there on Christmas Eve. According to the royal rules, family members are given different arrival times depending on their status within the Royal Family. The most junior members join the Queen first, so Harry and Meghan will arrive, followed by Prince William and Duchess Catherine and Prince Charles and Camilla. 

The Royals attend church on Christmas morning

The Queen is the head of the Church of England and the Royal Family always attends a Christmas morning service. The family usually walks to St Mary Magdalene church, where the service is held. 

Duchess Kate, Prince William, Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry in Sandringham Christmas 2017
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Royal Family: Christmas Eve is a black tie affair

Her Majesty certainly knows how to throw a Christmas Eve dinner! The evening is usually a black tie event, with the women in long, elegant gowns and glittering diamonds. 

Harry and William play a game of football with locals 

Prince Harry and Prince William usually play a game of Christmas Eve footie. The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex are joined by locals and Sandringham staff for a festive football match. Harry supports Arsenal and can often be seen wearing Arsenal socks whilst playing, whereas William is an Aston Villa man and so will wear Aston Villa socks. 

This year could be different

However this year, Harry, Meghan and Archie are reportedly not spending Christmas with the Queen and the rest of the royal family so some of these traditions might indeed be broken.