The Queen’s Royal Christmas Traditions

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 07: Queen Elizabeth II records her Christmas message to the Commonwealth, in 3D for the first time, in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace on December 7, 2012 in London England. Broadcast on December 25, 2012, the Queen paid tribute in her Christmas speech to Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic athletes for inspiring the nation during a "splendid summer of sport". (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Christmas is the world’s favourite season where everyone gets to enjoy some family time filled with fun and lots of activities, and the Royal family isn’t left out of the season’s fanfare. 

Like any other family, the Royal family and it’s entirety have their own unique traditions which accompany them all through the season, and they range from the very formal ballroom kind of tradition to the fun-filled outdoor kind, all guaranteed to bring the best out of the season. Curious about what the royals will be up to in this beautiful season? Well, join us as we cruise through the royals Christmas traditions incorporating a detailed royal celebration custom of the season. 

The Queen throws a Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace
First off, on Christmas royal list is the Queen’s annual luncheon for the extended royal family which takes place a week before at Buckingham Palace. 

Members of the family host Christmas parties throughout the season
The Royal family is the face and patron of many charitable organizations so it has become part of the tradition of the Royal family to host Christmas parties to support the cause of the various charity organisations. An example of such was Prince William and Kate Middleton attendance at the celebrations for military personnel deployed in Cyprus and their families back in London last year. 

The Royal Family sends annual Christmas cards to well-wishers around the world
What is a Christmas celebration without a card that expresses the family’s good wishes for the season? Yes, the Royal family like any other family also send out Christmas cards with family photos. We can imagine the number of such cards that would be sent out; according to the official website of the family, the Queen and Prince Phillip send out about 750 cards in total which are signed from the summer period by the Queen. 

The Queen takes a train to Sandringham Estate
A 100 miles North of  London is located Sandringham which is the home of the royals where they spend their holiday, and this magnificent place has the Queen every year marks it by taking a train trip to King’s Lynn Station in Norfolk.

A royal football game
Games are also not left out of the outlines activities of the Royal family as both prince Williams and Harry enjoy to play a Christmas Eve game of pick-up football or soccer. And they do this along with the rest of the family and staffs at the Sandringham Estate. The fun is that each prince has a team in which team William wears Aston Villa socks while Team Harry wears Arsenal.

The Queen donates to local charities in Windsor
The Royal family’s belief in the upholding of traditions is quite strong and is evident in their actions. Amongst the many things that the family sends out and donates, the Christmas tree is also one of them. The Royal family donates Christmas trees to Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. And not just them but also some churches and schools in the Sandringham area.

The Royals attend a black-tie dinner on Christmas Eve
What is a Royal family union without a black-tie occasion and some formality? Tradition dictates a black-tie dinner on Christmas Eve with the Queen’s favourite cocktail, the “Zaza” being served. 

Multiple Christmas trees are being decorated for the Queen
A big family deserves a big Christmas tree, but the Royal family has more than one. A tradition passed down from the great-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria in the nineteenth century entails three fir trees being brought to the Marble Hall in Buckingham Palace every year. There is also an addition of a large Christmas tree and a large silver artificial tree in the dining room at Sandringham which is decorated by the great-grandkids and great-grandma.

Gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve
Heritage is honoured and upheld by the Royal family in their tradition of honouring their German heritage by opening presents after afternoon tea on Christmas Eve instead of on the usual Christmas Day.

The whole family attends Christmas services together
Togetherness is very important as the Royal family joins the Queen at St. Mary Magdalene for a church service on the Sandringham Estate.

The Royals plays a game of charades on Christmas Day
The family comes together for a game of charades and apparently the Duchess of Sussex will be at an advantage in the game which holds after Christmas lunch every year. 

The Queen makes an annual Christmas broadcast
As part of the many rich traditions, one of them is the Queen’s speech which she does as a Christmas broadcast on an annual basis since 1952 to all Commonwealth countries. The broadcast entails her reflections on the past year and expectations for the future. It’s something the entire family sits to watch together.