What Christmas looks like at the Queen’s house


As for most individuals, issues kick off with journey house. For the Queen, that normally means heading to her nation property of Sandringham for the household’s annual Christmas retreat.

Instant relations have historically gathered to have a good time the festive season on the Sandringham property in Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London, although they did relocate to Windsor Citadel within the ’60s when the monarch’s youngsters have been nonetheless tiny.

If the household is ready to congregate, the Queen will in all probability take nice pleasure in reclaiming her internet hosting duties, after breaking with custom to have a quiet Christmas final yr due to the pandemic. However it is going to even be bittersweet for the matriarch because it’ll be the primary vacation season because the loss of life of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years.

The Queen usually makes her approach to Sandringham a couple of days earlier than the remainder of her clan for a ultimate verify of preparations. It isn’t but recognized when or how the monarch will relocate to her rural bolt gap, however in previous years she’s usually hopped on board a traditional scheduled practice from King’s Cross station in London to make the journey.

The Queen boards a train at King's Lynn railway station in Norfolk, as she returns to London after spending the Christmas period at Sandringham House.

In contrast to Buckingham Palace or Windsor Citadel, Sandringham is the Queen’s privately owned home. Being there offers her time together with her family members, away from cameras and the general public’s watchful gaze. It is a possibility to unwind and luxuriate in one another’s firm, however due to area points, invites to Christmas are normally solely prolonged to speedy household.

The Queen has once in a while made notable exceptions, resembling when she welcomed the then Meghan Markle to the property earlier than she wed Prince Harry.

As soon as visitors have arrived at Sandringham — the bulk reportedly on Christmas Eve — the enjoyable begins. We are able to assume that merriment begins with afternoon tea to get everybody settled. Later, the royals don their most interesting apparel for a swanky black-tie dinner, having laid out their items on close by trestle tables.

After the glitzy meal, it is time to open presents — a German customized embraced by the Queen’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, when she married Prince Albert.

December 1848:  The Royal Christmas tree is admired by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children.

Christmas morning options one other custom inherited from Victoria, courting again to the 16th century — the household’s pilgrimage on foot to St. Mary Magdalene Church, which can also be positioned on Sandringham’s sprawling 20,000-acre property (the Queen travels there by automobile). Whereas the Queen is a deeply non secular particular person, it’s not but clear whether or not the occasion will have the ability to happen because the UK grapples to curb the unfold of the Omicron variant. It will not escape the Queen’s ideas that her household’s presence might invite the general public to collect alongside the route.

Then it is again house for lunch earlier than the household hunkers down to observe the matriarch’s pre-recorded Christmas broadcast to the nation on the TV. The afternoon brings a rustic stroll adopted by a night of parlor video games.

Prince William revealed “meals is sort of necessary to me at Christmas” in an interview with a hospital radio station this week. The duke stated: “There’s all the time a tiny little little bit of area left in my abdomen someplace for a bit extra turkey or sausage or, you already know, a little bit of wine.”

He added: “Bringing the household collectively at Christmas time is all the time beautiful” and “when see my youngsters meet up with my cousin’s youngsters they usually all have an exquisite time taking part in collectively, it’s extremely particular.”

Boxing Day — as December 26 is understood within the UK — brings yet one more long-standing occasion, with relations heading out for a pheasant shoot within the grounds.

How lengthy the Queen stays in Sandringham tends to range. It is develop into a practice that she stays there till after February 6, the anniversary of her father’s loss of life, so she will mark it privately. However she’s going to usually attend an area engagement, conscious that the date additionally marks the start of her reign.

The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla talk in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020 as they wait to thank key workers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic and over Christmas.

Away from Sandringham, there are different traditions to be upheld. Household, pals and the royal family normally obtain one of many 750 playing cards that includes a treasured household photograph that the Queen sends out annually. Different recipients can embrace British and Commonwealth Prime Ministers, Governors-Common and Excessive Commissions.

The Queen’s employees within the Royal Family also can count on Christmas puddings from the monarch — a conference additionally adopted by her grandfather George V and her father King George VI. Some years, the Queen personally palms out the items to a few of her employees at royal properties.

With the loss of life of Prince Philip, and her nation nonetheless within the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the previous 12 months have been a making an attempt interval for Britain’s monarch. It additionally hasn’t helped that she herself suffered a well being wobble and needed to cancel public engagements towards the tip of the yr.

“In 1992 the Queen, in a well-known speech on the Guildhall, stated ‘that is my annus horribilis, my horrible yr’ and I do assume that she would possibly say it about this yr as properly,” royal historian Michael L. Nash instructed CNN.

Whereas some might be involved, given her advancing age, the Queen’s escape to the privateness and the embrace of her household in Sandringham might be one other indication that she is again on the mend. There isn’t any query she’ll be wanting ahead to the yr forward and hoping to get again out and about amongst her topics.


The Queen and the Sultan.

Elizabeth II was all smiles as she welcomed the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq Al Stated, in particular person at Windsor Citadel on Wednesday. The Center Japanese ruler was accompanied by his spouse and first girl, Sayyida Ahad bint Abdullah Al Busaidiyah.

The monarch greeted the Sultan of Oman on December 15.

Charles and Camilla unfold Christmas cheer.

Extra royal relations are stepping into the vacation spirit with Christmas solely every week away. The Prince of Wales and his spouse, Camilla, met volunteers and help employees at a foodbank in southwest London on Tuesday. Throughout the go to, the pair expressed their gratitude to these working there to help the neighborhood. A day later, Camilla obtained a bit of assist adorning the Clarence Home Christmas tree when youngsters from two charities of which she is patron paid her a go to. Her particular visitors have been handled to festive musical preparations carried out by the Band of the Welsh Guards. You may watch a clip of the enjoyable and video games right here.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall invited children to help decorate the Clarence House Christmas tree this week.


Lewis Hamilton is made a Knight Bachelor by Prince Charles.
Formulation One famous person Lewis Hamilton obtained a knighthood from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Citadel on Wednesday for his stellar profession and contributions to motorsport. Hamilton’s knighthood got here simply days after the Brit fell agonizingly wanting profitable a file eighth title following a dramatic showdown with Max Verstappen on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 36-year-old is the fourth F1 driver to be knighted, following within the footsteps of Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart. Hamilton, although, is the primary to be awarded the honour whereas nonetheless racing. (Reporting by CNN’s Duarte Mendonca)


Traditionally, the royals adore Christmas bushes. In actual fact, Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, is credited with having launched the customized to the royal household. That fervor additionally prolonged to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who helped popularize the custom throughout the nation. Today the Queen and her household normally put ultimate touches on their Christmas tree collectively.

The Queen additionally donates bushes yearly to Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. She additionally sends bushes to church buildings and colleges within the Sandringham space.

Try this magnificent time-lapse of employees at Windsor adorning the fortress’s superior centerpiece in St. George’s Corridor, which took a whopping 13 hours.


The pandemic led to some main disruptions for households throughout the UK final yr — and the royal household was no exception. Restrictions meant that we did not get as many royal moments over the festive interval — the standard Christmas day household stroll to church, for instance.

Nevertheless, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall did file a particular studying of the poem “Twas the Night time Earlier than Christmas.” A few of the well-known faces to hitch the star-studded studying included actors Maggie Smith, Ncuti Gatwa and Tom Hardy. It was all to lift funds for The Actors’ Benevolent Fund — a charity of which Charles is patron, which helps actors and stage managers. Have a look:


Sweden's Icehotel has just unveiled a brand new suite designed by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and his business partner Oscar Kylberg.

A room match for a prince.

The Omicron variant could be pushing Covid-19 instances again up as soon as extra however that is not stopping us from persevering with so as to add to our journey bucket lists. Undoubtedly one of many coolest locations on the earth is Sweden’s Icehotel, and it is simply launched its 32nd incarnation with a splash of royal magic. That is as a result of it includes a brand-new room designed by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden! Named “Midsummer Night time’s Dream,” the deluxe suite options partitions adorned with ice blocks full of colourful flowers and fauna and a surprising ice chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The seasonal resort is positioned 124 miles north of the Arctic circle in Jukkasjärvi. Discover out extra right here.
Crown Princess Mary, seen on September 25, 2021 in Jelling, Denmark

Crown Princess of Denmark checks optimistic for Covid-19.

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, has examined optimistic for Covid-19, in keeping with a press release posted on the Royal Home’s web site Wednesday. “Her Royal Highness is staying in isolation at Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg. There isn’t a indication that others within the household are contaminated,” the assertion learn. The palace added that the Royal Home was “receiving recommendation from the Danish Affected person Security Authority regarding detection of an infection. The Crown Princess will stay in isolation till it’s as soon as once more secure to finish the isolation in keeping with the relevant pointers.” (Reporting by CNN’s Martin Goillandeau)

Princess Amalia visits the Council of State in The Hague for her introduction on December 8, 2021.

Dutch royals break Covid-19 guidelines.

The Dutch king, Willem-Alexander, has admitted it “was not proper” to throw an out of doors occasion for Princess Amalia’s 18th birthday, falling exterior authorities Covid-19 pointers. In line with a letter despatched by Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the Dutch parliament, dated Thursday, the royals hosted 21 folks within the park close to the royal palace the Saturday earlier than. Present authorities recommendation means folks within the Netherlands shouldn’t have any greater than 4 guests over the age of 13 of their house per day. The park is taken into account a part of the personal house of the royal household, a authorities spokesperson instructed CNN. Learn the total story.

“My father, as Lord Excessive Admiral himself, was extraordinarily happy with his hyperlinks to this School, and it was right here that my mom and father first met within the Captain’s backyard, whereas my grandfather, King George VI, carried out the inspection of your predecessors. For myself, it’s considerably alarming to assume that 50 years in the past I used to be standing the place you might be as a part of Blake Division on the eve of my very own Naval service which, to this present day, I nonetheless look again on with nice fondness and satisfaction.”

Prince Charles displays on his household’s shut ties to Britannia Royal Naval School in Dartmouth throughout a go to on Thursday.

Charles attended a six-week course on the naval faculty in September 1971, after which he served on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates. Later in his navy profession, he certified as a helicopter pilot and joined the 845 Naval Air Squadron, which operated from the commando service HMS Hermes.

Thanks for studying right this moment’s ship — hopefully we introduced a little bit of festive cheer to your Friday. We cannot be sending out an version subsequent week on Christmas Eve however might be again the next week. To those that are celebrating, we hope you have got a restful vacation season together with your family members. Blissful holidays!

–Max & Lauren