What makes this year's royal Christmas celebrations at Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham retreat in rural Norfolk, England even more magical than usual? A new royal baby in the mix — heir to the British throne Prince George, to be precise! Kate Middleton and Prince William are enjoying their very first holiday season as parents to baby George, five months — and Us Weekly has all of the details on the planned festivities so far.
Midday: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 31, arrive at Sandringham — with valets carrying gifts to the red drawing room, arranging them by recipients on linen-covered tables. (Kate, meanwhile, packs up to five outfits for each day!)
5 p.m. Tea time — and gag gift exchange time! George's great-uncle Prince Edward and others nibble scones, sip tea and, per tradition, exchange gag presents! Past goodies have included wacky aprons, whoopee cushions, a casserole dish and slippers featuring the Queen's face!
8 p.m. After slipping into black tie, adults descend on the saloon for gin and tonics and then tuck into a candlelit meal (with dishes like halibut in cream sauce). Prince George and his young cousins, meanwhile, stay behind in the nursery with nanny Jessie Webb. "Kids aren't allowed in the dining room until they can conduct themselves!" former Kensington Palace chef Darren McGrady tells Us.
10 p.m. All the ladies — including the Queen and her corgis — retire, leaving the men (also including Prince Charles and recently returned–from-South-Pole Prince Harry) to their after-dinner port.
8 a.m. "The family awakens to stockings stuffed with small gifts and fruit at the foot of their beds," esteemed royal watcher Robert Jobson says.
11 a.m. With the queen leading the way, the group walked to the estate's church of St. Mary Magdalene. George will likely stay behind, says Jobson: "The younger royals didn't go when they were tiny."
1 p.m. A buffet is set, complete with two turkeys carved by the head chef. For dessert: a flaming Christmas pudding! Upstairs in the nursery, a second chef carves turkey food Prince Edward's children, Louise, 10, and James, 6.
3 p.m. Attendance in the fire lit saloon for the queen's TV speech is mandatory.
8 p.m. More food! This time's it's a three-course meal and a chocolate yule log.
Reporting by Libby Galvin
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