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What are the Christmas Traditions of the British Royal Family?

The British Royal Family have some of the world’s most elaborate Christmas traditions, let’s unwrap them together.


The royal family traditionally spends Christmas at Sandringham House in Norfolk, the private holiday estate of the royals. On Christmas Eve, the royal family enjoys a black-tie dinner. Next to each dinner plate is a Christmas party cracker. These rolled paper tubes contain a small toy, a joke, and a tissue paper party crown that even Queen Elizabeth was known to wear on Christmas Eve.

The tradition apparently dates back to Roman times when paper hats were worn during the Saturnalia celebration, which took place around December 25th. The royals also hearken back to their German roots by exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day in typical mainland European fashion. Usually, the family’s gifts are symbolic or humorous rather than extravagant. During her reign,

Queen Elizabeth II also started a tradition of sharing Christmas pudding with her entire house staff on Christmas Eve as a token of her appreciation for them. On Christmas morning, the royal family attends church services at St. Mary Magdalene church on the Sandringham estate. This event is open to the public, so crowds often gather by the thousands to greet the royals as they enter the church for services. After services are over, the family enjoys a festive Christmas feast together full of traditional foods such as roast turkey and vegetables and, of course, christmas pudding with brandy butter. Later in the afternoon, King Charles delivers a special christmas message to the commonwealth nations sharing a message of hope and unity.



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