7 Rituals That The British Royal Family Always Do At Christmas, This Year King Charles Breaks Tradition

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British royal family. Photo: Instagram.

Queen Elizabeth II's death marked the end of her era, ushering in a new era with King Charles III as king of England. With updated titles and newly designed coins and notes, a lot has changed in royal circles and this could influence how the royal family celebrates Christmas this year.

This year, the senior royals began their first Christmas celebrations without Queen Elizabeth II on December 15, at the second annual Royal Carols: Together at Christmas service at Westminster Abbey. Those in attendance included King Charles III, the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and two of their children, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte.

King Charles will host his first annual Christmas lunch as monarch on December 20. As the Daily Mail notes, these royal family gatherings are usually held at Buckingham Palace, before senior royals depart for Sandringham.

However, breaking with tradition, the King has chosen to host lunch this year at Windsor Castle. The lunch will reportedly be attended by members of the wider family, including Princess Anne's son-in-law, Mike Tindall.

While King Charles has broken at least one royal party tradition, Buckingham Palace confirmed on December 19 that the King and Queen Consort will host senior members of the royal family at Sandringham Estate for Christmas this year. The following are some of the British royal family's Christmas rituals.


1. They always spend their holidays at Sandringham House

British royal family. Photo: Instagram.

It is tradition for the royal family to spend Christmas and New Year at Sandringham House, the King's country estate in Norfolk. They began spending holidays there in 1988 and senior members of the royal family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, are usually invited to attend.


2. They play a football game on Christmas Eve

The Christmas Eve football game is another festive tradition for the royal family. Supposedly, Prince William and Harry play it every year with the Sandringham Estate workers wearing their favorite team's socks. However, amidst the ongoing feud, it's safe to assume that Harry won't be taking part anytime soon.


3. They have tea together on Christmas Eve

The royal family has tea together on Christmas Eve in the White Drawing Room at Sandringham. This tradition dates back to Queen Victoria and according to royal experts, the royal family has been doing it every year since her reign.


4. They exchange gifts on Christmas Eve

British royal family. Photo: Instagram.

During high tea on Christmas Eve, the royal family also exchanged gifts, opting for the German tradition of opening gifts ahead of Christmas itself. Despite being surrounded by luxury, the royal family reportedly gave each other cute gifts that weren't too expensive.


5. They attended two services on Christmas

Senior members of the royal family attend the Christmas morning service in St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, a village also visited by Queen Victoria, which dates back to the 16th century. This is a personal service so that the King can receive communion. After changing their clothes, they attended a public service at 11.00.


6. They all enjoyed Christmas lunch together

After the church service, the royal family got together for Christmas lunch. This lunch includes a salad with shrimp or lobster and a roast turkey and all the traditional side dishes. The royal family survived on the same diet year after year.


7. They ended Christmas with a big dinner together

Finally, the royal family ends Christmas like most of us do, by having dinner together. After enjoying fruit cake with tea, they have a buffet dinner with 15 to 20 different items.


Always a buffet with the chefs at the carving table. They don't serve appetizers on Christmas day instead appetizers and canap├ęs are reserved for New Years Eve.

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