The royal family is full of traditions that don't always make complete sense to the general public, let alone to anyone across the pond. That may make them seem intimidating to some, but at the end of the day, the royal family is just that: a family. The holiday season is a time to reflect on what brings people together and here is a list of 10 royal family traditions that might resemble some of your own.
Holiday traditions never look the exact same from family to family. Some families may decorate a Christmas tree with a star on top, while others may opt for an angel. Some families like to gather at home for a big lunch or dinner, while others choose to eat out instead. One of the best parts of the holiday season, though, is seeing how everybody else chooses to celebrate.
And this year is set to be big for the royal family. Not only will it be Prince Louis' first Christmas, but Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting their first child together. The Duchess of Sussex may not be due until the spring, but she's got to be receiving some baby-related gifts this Christmas, right?
As the royal family continues to grow, some of their traditions have changed. And this list highlights the best of the old and the new.
1. They All Go To Grandma's House For the Holidays
Or, in this case, Grandma's estate... but you get the picture.
For Christmas, all of the royals head to Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, according to Hello! Magazine. The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, tend to arrive at the estate a week before everyone else, the magazine reported.
2. They Like To Play Soccer On Christmas Eve
Recently, it's become tradition for notorious soccer fans Prince William and Prince Harry to play a game alongside workers on Christmas Eve, according to PopSugar.
As with any good game of soccer, there's a fair bit of trash talk that goes on, even with royals. As PopSugar reported, Prince William once shouted to the referee about his brother, "Give him yellow, give him yellow — backchat!"
3. They Gather Together For Christmas Eve Tea
Everyone usually arrives at Sandringham Estate in the early afternoon, according to People; the family gathers together in the White Drawing Room at 4 p.m. for some nice snacks and tea.
4. They Open Presents Together...On Christmas Eve
A lot of families prefer opening their presents on Christmas Eve now and it seems the royal family is no exception. As reported by People, they all gather in the Drawing Room after tea to open their presents together.
5. The Royal Family Exchanges Gag Gifts, Too
Gags gifts are probably one of the best part of the holidays. Although the public usually sees the royals when they're all poised and proper, they like to have a little fun amongst themselves, too.
One year, for instance, Prince Harry reportedly gave his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, a hat that read, "ain't life a b****," according to news.au.
6. They All Sleep In the Same House Together
Sandringham Estate isn't as big as other royal estates, so when the family gathers for Christmas, it means they have to get creative with their sleeping arrangements, according to PopSugar, just like the rest of us do when crowding in at Grandma's.
7. They Attend Church Services On Christmas Day...Twice
It makes sense that the royal family opens their presents on Christmas Eve, since their actual Christmas day is packed.
The family first attends a private service at 9 a.m. before walking back to the church of St. Mary Magdalene for public worship at 11 a.m. (where the kids score their candy canes), according to Good Housekeeping.
8. They Eat Christmas Lunch Together
After church, the royal family gathers back together for lunch which, according to Good Housekeeping, consists of roasted turkey, traditional sides, and Christmas pudding.
9. The Youngest Royals Head Off To See Santa
10. They'll All Listen To Queen Elizabeth's Annual Christmas Message
Every year, Queen Elizabeth gives a Christmas Message. The tradition started with King George in 1932, according to The Kingston Whig Standard, and Queen Elizabeth has given it since 1952.
In fact, according to The Telegraph, Queen Elizabeth used part of her speech to officially welcome Meghan Markle last year, so who knows who or what the queen will shout out this year!
It has been a busy year for the royal family. But, it's nice to see that, just like the rest of us, they all take some time together during the holidays.
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