The royal family has many Christmas traditions that they observe from year to year.
If in Russia the main holiday is New Year, in the West, they also celebrate Christmas with grandeur, which takes place on December 25. But the special festivities begin on the eve — the 24th. Are there any traditions you could adopt from the Windsors and incorporate into your New Year celebrations?
The Windsors love to spend their Christmas holidays outside the city, so in anticipation of the holidays, the family heads to Sandringham Palace, where the closest relatives gather. The palace can accommodate no more than 25 people, so there’s definitely no room for outsiders. And that’s for the best. Neither friends nor significant others are invited. By the way, Kate Middleton, while still engaged, did not receive an invitation either.
By the way, during her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth used to travel to Sandringham Palace on a regular train with ordinary citizens. However, she would book an entire carriage for herself to avoid any disturbance.
Each member of the royal family brings dishes for the Christmas table separately. Of course, they don’t cook themselves; they delegate that to their chefs. However, they can also bring fruits from their own trees. For example, when he was still a prince, King Charles III used to bring plums from his garden in Gloucestershire.
The Windsors have a splendid tradition. On Christmas Eve, the family goes outside to play football. Moreover, in the family of Kate Middleton and Prince William, everyone is infused with a love for sports. After playing outside, they all go to have tea and eat mini sandwiches.
The sandwiches are so small, and their size must strictly not exceed the diameter of a penny coin. On December 24th, the whole family gathers to decorate the Christmas tree. However, not all children are entrusted with such a responsible mission, as the Christmas decorations are made of crystal from the Victorian era.
December 26 is a special day for gifts known as Boxing Day. On this day, children and adults receive presents from Santa. In the royal family, it is customary to exchange gifts one day earlier on Christmas. Lavish gifts are considered taboo; instead, funny and whimsical surprises are more appropriate. Once, Kate Middleton gave Prince Harry a doll of a naked woman that expands in water. In return, Prince Harry gave his grandmother a bath cap with the inscription: «Isn’t our life a scoundrel?!»
After the joyful celebration on Christmas Eve, on the morning of December 25, the entire family attends two obligatory Christmas services at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church. After the service, members of the royal family can either leave Sandringham or choose to stay longer.