A Royal Christmas in 2019
The Royal Family are a massive part of public life in the UK and play a key role in the stability we all enjoy. Theirs has been a constant, reassuring presence over the years and gives the whole of the UK a real sense of history. Tradition is at the heart of what the Royal Family are all about and this is especially true at Christmas. They have a long-standing set of festive traditions around where they stay and what they normally do at this time of year.
But what exactly do these traditions involve?
It all begins on Christmas Eve
The first tradition upheld each year is that the immediate members of the Royal family spend the whole festive period at Sandringham House in Norfolk. This is the Queen’s country estate and they usually stay there for Christmas and New Year. This includes people such as Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
For this special family, the excitement starts on Christmas Eve. They have a tradition to exchange and open their presents then, rather than waiting until Christmas Day. This dates back to their German ancestry as many countries in Europe swap presents on the night before Christmas. The Royals actually choose to do this after tea at Sandringham on Christmas Eve which is a black-tie affair.
Christmas Day is full of tradition also
One major Royal Family tradition Christmas lovers will find interesting is their attendance every Christmas Day at St Mary Magdalene Church for the Christmas service there. This involves the family making the short walk from Sandringham to the church at around 11am. Once they have returned to Sandringham, Christmas lunch is served at 1pm and is a traditional affair with turkey, cranberry sauce and seasonal vegetables. A Christmas pudding is then served at around 2pm with brandy butter.
Once lunch is served, another annual tradition is upheld – the whole family gather around the TV to watch the Queen’s Speech. Following this, they usually like to play fun games together on Christmas Day night before heading out for a traditional pheasant shoot on Boxing Day.
What is the Queen’s Speech tradition?
Every year on Christmas Day, a pre-recorded speech that the Queen makes to address the nation is broadcast on UK TV stations. This is a tradition that has been going since King George V made the first one in 1932. It sees the Queen reflect on the past 12 months and set out what she hopes will happen in the coming year.
Is Christmas 2019 set to follow the same pattern?
In general terms, it is fully expected that the above traditions will take place as usual in 2019. There are, however, a few points of interest to note. As Prince George is now 6, there is a chance he could be seen at the St Mary Magdalene service on Christmas Day. The other big news for the Royal Christmas in 2019 is that some key members of the family could be absent from the usual Sandringham celebrations.
Prince Harry and his wife Megan Markle have already confirmed they will spend Christmas with her mother at Frogmore Cottage instead. There are even suggestions that Prince William and his family may not spend the entire time at Sandringham as per usual.
Whatever happens, they, like all families around the world, will be looking forward to resting a little over Christmas and taking time to spend with family.