In a letter from 1990, the late Princess Diana talks about how her sons loved the holiday. Even during the days before Christmas morning the kids usually have to use every ounce of their being to restrain themselves from opening the gifts neatly seated under the Christmas tree, just begging to be opened. And it seems that Princess Diana found it especially difficult. Princess Diana has admitted that she has struggled with waiting to tear into her gifts even as an adult, with her sharing that habit with her eldest son Prince William.
“A parcel of any shape or form has never been safe with me,” Diana wrote in a 1985 letter to a friend. “And I fear that William has also picked up this dreadful habit from his mother, as I find wrapping paper undone in the most extraordinary places.”
Christmas is always a jolly affair with the royals. Back when Prince William and Prince Harry were kids, Prince Charles and Princess Diana would include lots of fun during their royal duties, such as walking to church while greeting the public, which the boys began doing at ages 6 and 4, respectively.
In another letter from 1990, Princess Diana wrote about how much her sons loved the holiday.
“The boys are thrilled at the prospect of Christmas on the horizon and have searched high and low for any parcels that might be coming their way!” she wrote.
The kids aren’t the only ones having fun during the holiday, as it is sort of a tradition for the royals to exchange inexpensive gag gifts on Christmas Eve, something which Meghan Markle nailed at her first Christmas with the royals, giving Prince William the perfect novelty gift. Princess Diana, unfortunately didn’t have such luck as she was unaware of the tradition, giving her sister-in-law, Princess Anne, an expensive cashmere sweater. She was quite surprised when she got toilet paper cover in return. Luckily she quickly caught one and became one of the royals famed for their prank presents, especially with her sons. One year she pulled a prank on Prince Harry by putting fake dog poo in his stocking.
After her early death in 1997, the holiday became even more important for the two brothers. As adults, both have worked with bereaved children, with Prince Harry dressing up as Santa last year to deliver a video message for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which supports kids of fallen British Forces.
“I hear there are 190 of you there this year, so please cause as much chaos as humanly possible,” he said with a smile. “I also want to encourage you guys to look around and realize that you are part of a family…. Yes, losing a parent is incredibly hard, but I know that every single one of you, by helping each other out, that you will have an amazing future ahead of you and a fantastic Christmas as well. Your parents, they will never be forgotten, and you will never be forgotten.”
This year, due to the global pandemic still being at large, Christmas will be different for the royals. The Queen has cancelled her annual gathering at Sandringham estate, the monarch will instead spend the holiday season with her husband Prince Phillip at Windsor Castle, the place where they have spent the majority of the year in isolation.
Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will be spending the festive period at their country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk. This year Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be celebrating their first American Christmas away from the royal family with their son Archie in their new home in Montecito, California.
And when it comes to gift giving, reports say that the royals have already mailed the gifts they had to their closest.