According to an insider, the twosome wanted to make Archie’s first Christmas “super special.”
“The drama surrounding the couple has caused a huge amount of stress,” the source said, referring to Harry and Meghan’s decision to take legal action against the British media and the prince’s rift with his brother, William. “They’re making their family their No. 1 priority right now.”
“Having considered all the appropriate advice, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in December 2020 of the couple, who began isolating at Windsor Castle in March 2020 as COVID-19 spread throughout the world.
The Queen sends roughly 750 Christmas cards each year to family, friends, members of the royal household and British government officials. William and Kate traditionally release a new family photo for the holidays as well.
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"The Queen is not lavish, so the décor is minimal,” the queen’s former chef Darren McGrady told Good Housekeeping in 2016. “The royal family has a large Christmas tree and a large silver artificial tree in the dining room, which is about 30 years old."
Members of the family, including the queen’s great-grandchildren, help put the finishing touches on the tree on Christmas Eve.
The royal family exchanges presents on Christmas Eve after afternoon tea. The queen also personally hands out presents to members of her royal household at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Plus, she gives Christmas puddings to her staff!
On Christmas morning, the family wakes up to stockings stuffed with small gifts and fruit at the foot of their beds.
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The family has a formal dinner on Christmas Eve, which often includes Norfolk shrimp, lamb and a tarte tatin or soufflé. While the queen signals it’s time for the women of the family to go to bed at 10 p.m. after dinner, the men traditionally enjoy a port or brandy — a custom they upheld with Prince Philip prior to his April 2021 death. (Royal expert Stewart Pearce told Us in December 2021 that the monarch will plant trees on the grounds of Sandringham in honor of her late husband.)
On Christmas morning, the group eats a traditional English breakfast, which typically consists of bacon, sausages and eggs.
After church, the family enjoys their main meal, a Christmas lunch. While the main course is roast turkey, the meal includes several side dishes and Christmas pudding.
A source previously told Us that family members “weigh in before and after Christmas lunch.” The tradition was started by Henry VII.
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The family goes to St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas morning every year.
“The queen regards the festive season as a deeply religious occasion,” an insider previously told Us.
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The Queen’s Broadcast
The family tunes into Queen Elizabeth II’s annual Christmas speech on TV at 3 p.m.
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Boxing Day Hunt
The day after Christmas, the family enjoys a traditional feast before participating in a Boxing Day hunt.