Probably, each of us, especially in childhood, wanted to feel like royalty. But few people think that belonging to the “blue bloods” is not only an honor and status, but also a life under the close attention of society. Observance of traditions, rules of etiquette and Royal duties is an integral part of the life of the monarch’s family.
The signing of Christmas cards, which depict the Royal family, begins long before Christmas, or rather-since the summer, the Queen personally has to autograph 750 greetings. These include letters for heads of other States, relatives, and best friends. Some of her Majesty’s cards are official and signed-Elizabeth R., where R is the first letter of the word “Queen ” in Latin. Others sign less formally-Elizabeth. Close relatives and friends receive congratulations with a simple and quite family signature-lilibet. Younger members of the Royal family also maintain the family tradition by posing for a Christmas photo shoot every year.
Gifts are chosen in advance
The question of the bulk of Christmas gifts is also decided in the summer, because in total, their number is about 620 pieces. A few weeks before the big holiday, all employees of Buckingham Palace in a solemn atmosphere receive small gifts from the hands of the Queen herself. This is usually a certificate to a bookstore or a porcelain figurine.
There is another funny tradition of the Royal family. Christmas puddings are given to Palace employees, the court post office and the Palace police (the total number of them is about 1,500). They are also paid for personally by the monarch. This tradition was first started by the Queen’s grandfather, king George V. In addition, schools and churches located near the Sandringham estate, where the Royal family celebrates Christmas, receive Christmas trees as a gift from Her Majesty.
Celebrate in the family circle
The windsors do not celebrate Christmas at their main residence. Since the great fire in 1992, Buckingham Palace has been periodically opened to visitors. It was decided to restore the Palace apartments at the expense of funds received from tours of the Royal possessions. The Royal family at this time goes to their small estate Sandringham, which can accommodate only 25 people. Included in this family circle are exclusively direct descendants of the Queen, their spouses and children. Close friends, distant relatives and even lovers of “blue bloods ” will not be able to visit this secluded place. An exception was made only for the future wife of Prince Harry-Meghan Markle. At the same time, the observance of traditions and rules even concerns the time and order of arrival at the estate. For example, the Queen and her husband traditionally travel to the Christmas holiday destination in the first class of a regular train, while renting an entire carriage.
All guests come with treats
Another touching tradition of the Royal family is to bring food to the common table. Of course, they do not cook for the most part themselves, entrusting this honorary mission to their cooks. However, every dish brought with you for the holiday will be honored to stand on the Royal table. So Prince Charles every year pleases family members with plums from his garden.
On Christmas eve the princes play football
A useful tradition in the Windsor family is outdoor games with which they entertain themselves on the morning of Christmas eve (December 24). The Queen’s grandchildren prefer to play football. Princes William and Harry become the captains of the two teams, and anyone who is at this moment in Sandrigham can take part in the match, even employees of the estate.
Gifts should be inexpensive and funny
As a rule, members of the Royal family exchange gifts during a festive tea party. In the Queen’s inner circle, it is not customary to give fancy and expensive gifts. Relatives give each other inexpensive surprises, and the most ridiculous and absurd gifts are encouraged. So, Kate Middleton once handed Prince Harry a popular toy in the form of a naked girl, which increases in size in the water, and he pleased his grandmother with a funny shower cap.
It is customary to dress up for a Banquet
The main festive Banquet, which takes place on the evening of December 24, has a black-tie dress code. This means that men must appear in tuxedos, and women in floor – length evening dresses. Ladies sparkle with family jewels, and their heads are decorated with sparkling tiaras.
At Christmas – Board games or movies
After the main celebration on December 24 and attending several mandatory Christmas services on the morning of December 25, it is time for the Royal family to have a simple family holiday. They spend their time in quiet and fairly mundane pursuits. This can be charades (in which, they say, the Queen has no equal), collecting puzzles together, or watching a Christmas movie.
Christmas decorations are valid until mid – February
Despite the fact that most of the guests after Christmas begin to gradually leave the family estate, the Queen and her husband continue to stay here until mid-February. All the Christmas decorations remain intact. This is a tribute to the father of the monarchy, king George IV, who died in Sandringham on 6 February 1952.