How to celebrate Christmas like the Queen

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  • This is is how Her Majesty spends the festive season, according to The Royal Family's official website

    We all have our Christmas traditions – new pyjamas, Bucks Fizz at breakfast, the post-lunch walk and a game of charades might be among them. But have you ever wondered how Her Majesty spends the festive season? Well we have, so we did a little research.

    If you’d like to spend Christmas like the Queen, here’s how to go about it.

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    1. Head to the countryside


    Famously, the Queen spends every Christmas and New Year at Sandringham – her country estate in Norfolk. It’s not always been the case. In the 1960s, when Princes Andrew and Edward were small, the family would celebrate at Windsor Castle. However, they’ve spent every Christmas since 1988 back at Sandringham. And this year, they’ll need to dig out an extra chair from the Royal attic, as Prince Harry’s bride-to-be Meghan Markle will be joining them.

    2. Get everyone to help decorate the tree


    You might think it was Prince Albert that introduced the custom of decorating a tree to the UK. But – fact fans take note – it was actually Queen Victoria’s great grandmother Queen Charlotte. Our Queen likes to put the finishing touches to the tree at Sandringham herself, with help from the family.

    3. Donate to charity

    Her Majesty likes to donate money to charities in Windsor every Christmas, and gives Christmas trees to churches and schools in the Sandringham area. If you can’t stretch to trees, why not buy charity Christmas cards, or make a donation to your favourite good cause?

    4. Give presents on Christmas Eve


    Image credit: Chris Everard

    When it comes to presents, the Queen follows the example of her German ancestors, and opens them on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. The website tells us that, ‘On Christmas Eve, The Royal Family lay out their presents on trestle tables and will exchange their gifts at teatime.’

    And if you are wondering what you could possibly get a woman who is the head of state in 32 countries and the owner of one sixth of the earth’s land, apparently ‘humorous gifts’ or something homemade go down well.

    ‘I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, “Gosh, what should I give her?”,’ said Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, during an interview for ITV. ‘I thought back to what would I give my own grandparents and I thought, “I’ll make her something” which could have gone horribly wrong. But, I decided to make my granny’s recipe of chutney.’

    ‘I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table.’

    Related: The Queen proves she has a cracking sense of humour with comedy cushion choice at Balmoral

    4. Go to church on Christmas morning

    The Royals need a very good excuse to miss the morning stroll to St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham on Christmas morning . Last year, the Queen missed the service for the first time in nearly 30 years due to a heavy cold.

    Dating back to the 16th century, the country church has been patronised by the Royal Family since the reign of Queen Victoria.

    5. Get your Christmas pud from Tesco


    Image credit: Charlotte Tolhurst

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    In keeping with a tradition started by her grandfather, George V, all 1,500 of the Queen’s staff are given a Christmas pudding as a gift, along with a greetings card from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Her Majesty used to favour Fortnum & Mason puddings, but according to Hello! now plumps for ‘Tesco’s Finest Matured Christmas Pudding’. Well, Every Little Helps!

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