The Royal Family

12 Christmas Traditions Of The British Royals That You Didn’t Know

We are taking you into the world of royal festivities and we give you 12 Christmas traditions that might surprise you. Also, find out how Princes William and Harry are keeping Princess Diana’s legacy alive.


They Sign Christmas Cards In The Summer

Christmas Cards Signed in the Summer

Queen Elizabeth is a hard-working and diligent woman, and it does not surprise us that she is signing Christmas cards while she is on her Summer holidays at Balmoral. The Queen usually writes around 800 cards. She signs them off “Elizabeth R.” to heads of state, “Elizabeth” to friends, and “Lilibet,” her childhood nickname, to her cousins.

As for her staff, she gives them gift vouchers and Christmas puddings. Moreover, Queen Elizabeth sends Christmas trees to local schools and churches.


A £54.90 Ticket

An 83 Ticket to Ride

Even though Queen Elizabeth can use the royal train, she rather travels down to the Sandringham Estate before Christmas on a regularly scheduled service, like other members of the public. One off-peak first-class ticket costs just £54.90 or $83.  However, she always takes a whole carriage for her party. The Queen makes it to the house between Dec. 17 and 20 to check how the last preparations are going, and also the rest members of the family.


The Gift-Opening Event

The royal family starts opening their presents after an afternoon tea on Christmas Eve. The Queen’s nephew Viscount Linley describes this as “a total uproar.”

Apparently, the Royals are big fans of gag gifts. One time, Prince Philip was given pepper mill. And a long time ago, Princess Diana gave a leopard-print bath mat to Sarah Ferguson. But the funniest of all is when Queen Elizabeth received from Prince Harry a shower cap printed on it with “Ain’t Life a B*tch!”.


Traditional Christmas Game

Getting Dirty

In the past few years, Prince William and Prince Harry made it their tradition to play a Christmas Eve game of soccer with Sandringham Estate’s workers.  They usually wear socks of their favorite teams. Prince William is a fan of Aston Villa whereas Prince Harry is a fan of Arsenal. And the game cannot pass by without a bit of trash talk going down. Prince William yelled once at the referee: “Give him yellow, give him yellow — backchat!”


Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Another tradition for the royals is their gathering for an afternoon tea on Christmas Eve, in the White Drawing Room at Sandringham.

Darren McGrady, who is their former chef, has revealed that “jam penny” is their favorite tea item. Jam penny are sandwiched with a circular form in the size of an old English penny.  Darren was also making scones the size of a 50-pence piece. However, Queen Elizabeth would crush them and feed them to her corgis. During the tea party, the children add the last few decorations to the Christmas tree. This year, it will be Prince George’s first time to take part in it.


Dinner and drinks on Christmas Eve

Dinner and drinks on Christmas Eve

The royal family gathers for a black-tie dinner and drinks on Christmas Eve. It was revealed that the cocktail Zaza, made from Dubonnet and gin, is the Queen’s favorite. Prince Charles favors cherry brandy. As for the royal brothers, their both favorite is a pint of Sandringham cider. They have become fans of the cider in the past few years, and now the cider it is produced on the estate.

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