The Duchess of Sussex will be spending her second Christmas with the Royal Family at Sandringham House in Norfolk. But Meghan could be in big trouble if she makes a faux-pas during the Christmas Eve present exchange, rather than relaxing with her new family. Expert Martin Townsend warned Meghan that she has to follow one of the strict Christmas rules the Queen has imposed on her relatives to avoid any trouble.
“They have present giving and they are not allowed to give serious presents. Any suggestion that Meghan will give away cashmere jumpers or anything like that – if she makes that mistake she’s in big trouble. Everyone has to give away jokey little presents. That’s the rules. There’s a lot to remember for her.”- Mr Townsend told Nine Network.
The giving “gag” gifts tradition goes back decades and falls in step with two more Christmas rules the Queen will see followed, which include waiting for Prince Phillip’s permission to open any presents and the cheaper the present, the better.
Prince Harry once gifted his grandmother a shower cap with the words ‘ain’t life a b***h’ emblazoned on it. Kate reportedly once gave Harry a ‘grow your own girlfriend’ kit, before Meghan Markle entered his life. And last year it was up to the Meghan to prove she could live up to the family’s expectations for novelty gifts and gave the Queen something rather bizarre.
According to the Daily Star, weeks after announcing their engagement, Meghan gave The Queen a singing toy hamster.
Wanting to make a good impression on the Queen during her first Christmas at Sandringham in 2011, Kate revealed she opted for a more personal present.
“I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas,” she said. “And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, ‘Gosh, what should I give her?’ I thought, ‘I’ll make her something,’ which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny’s recipe of chutney. I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table.”-Kate revealed in a documentary interview in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Kate will be spending Christmas Day with the Royal Family at Sandringham, ending a tradition established of splitting the day between the Queen and the Middletons to allow Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to spend more time with the Queen and Prince Philip.
“It’s all very, very regimented. All the Royals arrive on Christmas Eve apart from the Queen, obviously, who went up on Thursday already on the train. All the rest of the Royals have to arrive in strict order of importance which already will cause a bit of friction. Arrive in order of importance and then the whole of Christmas Eve is lined out. Have an afternoon tea, have a black tie meal in the evening. There are lots of dress changes required.”-Mr. Townsend said when asked about the schedule for Christmas at the royals.
Meghan and Harry were originally planning to stay with Kate and William at Anmer Hall. But Prince Harry and Meghan will, in fact, be staying with 30 other guests at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, according to Royal sources.
All members of the ‘Fab Four’ stayed together at Anmer last Christmas but this year they will go their separate ways.
On Sunday, 30 of the Queen’s closest friends and relatives will arrive at the Sandringham house, which is small by Royal standards and has been described as “cramped”.
“Everybody is on parade when they go to Sandringham. This is not a family sitting around having a jolly time relaxing. They are all eyeing each other up and seeing who is up and who is down the pecking order. It’s full of tension. Rather like Camilla, who is said to hate Sandringham, Harry and Meghan will be out of the door as fast as they possibly can.”-a Royal insider told Mail.
Speculations of a rift between Meghan and Kate may reignite due to the fact that they will not be staying together for Christmas. Some sources claim Meghan and Kate are “very different people” and simply “don’t get on”.