FESTIVE ROYAL FUN
2018 marks new bride Meghan’s first Christmas as an official member of the Royal Family, and her mother Doria Ragland was also invited to join in the Queen’s Yuletide festivities this year, though she respectfully declined the offer.
The Royal Family traditionally visits their “country house” in Norfolk, every year, with the Queen typically making the journey by public train about a week before Christmas. The estate is actually smaller than most Royal residences, so only the Queen’s closest family usually stay there. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stay at their nearby home, Anmer Hall.
Sporty brothers Prince William and Prince Harry recently started a new Christmas Eve custom of their own, teaming up with estate workers to play a football match with nearby villagers for charity. The event usually includes some friendly sibling rivalry, with Prince William once asking a ref to give his brother a yellow card!
After the athletic antics, the Royals reconvene back at the estate for an afternoon tea. After this they exchange jokey gifts, according to the Queen’s nephew Viscount Linley, Prince Harry once reportedly gave his grandmother a shower cap with the phrase “Ain’t life a b*tch” on it!
In the evening the Royals sit down to a black-tie dinner, where the Queen is known to read out corny jokes from the Christmas crackers and indulge in Dubonnet-and-gin cocktails. Nobody overindulges, however, because there’s an early wake-up call the next morning.
The Royal Family first attends a private Christmas Day service at 9 a.m. when the Queen takes communion, and then walk back to the church of St Mary Magdalene for public worship at 11 a.m.
After church, the Royals go back and tuck into their main meal: a lunch of roasted turkey, traditional sides, and Christmas pudding. During the afternoon, like the rest of us, they sit down to listen to the Queen’s annual Christmas message that’s broadcast around the world.
This year, the monarch can congratulate Prince William and Catherine on the birth of Prince Louis, along with Zara and Mike Tindall on the arrival of baby Lena, not to mention the two royal weddings that went down in 2018 and the royal baby on the way. There’s definitely no shortage of news worth celebrating!
Following a lighter buffet dinner, evening activities include charades, jigsaw puzzles, or a film projected onto a screen in the ballroom. The Queen apparently does excellent impressions of heads of state she’s known through the years. Boxing Day marks the close of the main festivities, although the Queen will stay on at Sandringham through February. Prince Philip usually hosts a traditional pheasant shoot on the estate. Prince Harry will reportedly miss out this year to avoid upsetting his animal-loving wife, who strongly opposes blood sports and refuses to wear fur. Good on her, we say.
Anyway, 2018 was a very big year for the Royal Family, and it is looking like 2019 will be too, so we wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and look forward to a Happy New Year of Royal Life!
Included in this issue:
- The End of a Busy Year for Her Majesty
- Royal News
- Competition – Royal London
- The Cambridges Bring Christmas Cheer
- Meet Royal Warrant Holders – Molton Brown
- Their First International Tour Together – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Down Under cont…
- Happy 70th Birthday to The Prince of Wales
- A Time for Remembrance – Lest We Forget
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