Royal Family Christmas Day: How Queen Elizabeth celebrates the festive season
As with everything in royal life, the festive season follows a particular rhythm, and preparations for the day are well under way.
The Queen usually takes public transport from King’s Cross to Norfolk, with pictures of her boarding the train shared each year
But despite the Queen’s vast wealth, the celebrations are not ostentatious.
Christmas begins with the Queen and Prince Philip travelling to Sandringham the week before, around the 19th December. The Queen usually takes public transport from King’s Cross to Norfolk, with pictures of her boarding the train shared each year.
The rest of the family joins them on Christmas Eve, and the night is spent together for a formal dinner.
Men wear black tie suits and women wear gowns, jewellery and tiaras, according to The Telegraph.
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Gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day, as is the German tradition – the family are of German descent and are said to like to try and weave some elements into their celebrations.
Christmas Day starts with a walk to St Mary Magdalene Church, with a service lasting around 45 minutes.
As for Christmas Day lunch, former royal chef Darren McGrady has revealed exactly what the family enjoy.
Speaking to GoodHousekeeping.com, he said: “After church, that’s when they have a big lunch that includes a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert. They stick with the same meal year after year.”
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After their meal, they watch the Queen’s speech, before enjoying afternoon tea with Christmas fruitcake.
In the evening, they feast on a buffet with the chefs carving at the table. Amongst all the traditions, there is one unusual element to the buffet.
Darren said: “Right before the Christmas buffet, the senior chef on duty goes into the dining room and carves the rib roast or turkey or ham and once he’s done, Her Majesty presents the chef with a glass of whiskey and they toast.
“That’s the only time the chef goes into the dining room and has a glass of whiskey with the royal family. It’s one of the chef’s favourite traditions.”