Christmas with the royals! The members of the British royal family have several traditions for the holiday season.
According to a royal source, Prince William and Duchess Kate, who share sons Prince George and Prince Louis and daughter Princess Charlotte, prioritize family traditions, including celebrating with Queen Elizabeth II at the monarch’s 20,000-acre estate in Norfolk, England.
“It’s important to them that their kids share childhood traditions like their school pals,” the insider told Us Weekly in December 2018. “They’re going all-out to make it extra special.”
While 2017 marked the first year that Meghan Markle attended the festivities, she and Prince Harry opted to spend Christmas with her mother, Doria Ragland, in 2019. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex traveled to Canada for a lengthy vacation with their son, Archie.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month. Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, [the couple] will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother, Doria,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement in November 2019. “This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the royal family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
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.”
Harry and Meghan announced their step back from the royal family in January 2020 and permanently relocated to the U.S. in March of that year.
The royals faced additional changes in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Amid the crisis, the queen chose to forego her usual Christmas celebrations at Sandringham Estate and her annual holiday party at Buckingham Palace.
“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.
A source told Us in December 2021 that the queen would once again host Christmas at Sandringham, noting, “It’s going to be a big family affair.”
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Scroll through for everything we know about the royal family’s holidays: