• Sat, Dec 16 2006

A British Royal Christmas

Do you wonder how the royal families celebrate Christmas?

In Britain, the royal family has had traditions in place for many many years. Queen Victoria, the great-great grandmother of the reigning Queen Elizabeth, loved Christmas and called it a “most dear happy time”. At that time (1800s), her family celebrated with “decorated trees, the sending of cards, a lavish celebratory meal, and gifts to the poor”. You can read more about A Royal Christmas: Queen Victoria’s Christmas at the Royal Insight website. Below is a painting of Queen Victoria’s 1850 Christmas tree at Windsor:

Queen Victoria's Christmas Tree 1850

A lot has changed since Victorian times, but a number of the royal Christmas traditions remain the same. Here’s a rundown of what Queen Elizabeth and her family will likely be doing this year:

* The family will spend Christmas at Sandringham, in Norfolk.

* Their family Christmas tree is one that is cut from the estate and decorated by the Queen.

* On Christmas Eve, they will enjoy tea and cakes before they unwrap their presents around the tree.

* They will then have cocktails and dinner, which will be a black-tie affair by candlelight, during which they might have Norfolk shrimps, lamb or local game.

* On Christmas Day, the family will wake up to stockings at the foot of their beds, and will have an English breakfast before heading off to Christmas morning service at the estate’s St. Mary Magdalene chuch (below).

St

* Christmas lunch, which traditionally includes a giant turkey from the estate, will be served at 1 p.m.

* After lunch, they will have fun with Christmas crackers and jokes.

* At 3 p.m., they will watch the Queen’s Christmas Day speech broadcast to the nation.

I will post news and photos of the royal family’s celebrations as they become available. Meanwhile, here’s a composite of winter photos of Buckingham Palace for you to enjoy:

Buckingham in the snow

via: BBC
Images: Royal Insight

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