Queen Elizabeth reportedly does her shopping at Harrods department store in London
It’s been reported that Queen Elizabeth does her Christmas shopping at Harrods in London. The Harrods owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, once said the royal family was welcome to shop there!
“We are proud of the Harrods reputation as the world’s finest store and we naturally welcome discerning shoppers from all over the world,” Al Fayed once said in a statement. “The royal family, with the exception of Prince Philip, are welcome to shop at Harrods at any time.”
Every year, we are graced with royal family Christmas cards from William, Kate, and their clan, as well as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. This was the first year we got to see a Christmas card from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!
Christmas is celebrated at Sandringham House in Norfolk.
Though the location has varied throughout the year — when Queen Liz was a young woman the family did Christmases at Windsor Castle — this is currently the go-to meetup spot. The Queen and Prince Phillip headed out early for Christmas preparations on December 20. The rest of the family usually follows a few days later, so we’re expecting them to arrive either today or this weekend.
Presents are laid out on the trestle tables and opened at teatime on Christmas Eve.
You're probably imagining the whole family receiving the finest luxury items; Harry complaining that he received a G6 again this Christmas and what have you. It couldn't be further than that: instead, the Royals have a preference for gifts that are cheap and, believe it or not, kind of funny. Yes, they forgo an exchange of extravagance for gag gifts! We wish we could get a peek at what that looks like in practice.
Let’s be real, the Queen isn’t going to give up her sense of propriety and tradition completely. At approximately 8 p.m. the entire family sits down for a dinner that’s fit for a… well, you know. And no ugly Christmas sweaters are allowed: the gentlemen are expected to wear black suits while the women don gowns, jewels, and tiaras. The family dine on Norfolk shrimp, lamb or other fresh game from the estate, and guzzle vintage champagne. In spite of all the fanciness, we imagine that this time is used for the family to catch up properly, and hopefully not get embroiled in too many little tiffs!
At 3 p.m. the Queen records her annual Christmas message.
The Queen’s Christmas message is broadcasted to the states in the Commonwealth of Nations. It gets millions of viewers a year, even beating out Downton Abbey as the most watched Christmas Day program in 2015. Typically she reflects on the events of the year’s past as well as the family’s accomplishments and updates. She has a lot to go over this year!
And finally, everyone can settle down for a delicious Christmas feast.
At this point most of the household staff is formally dismissed; the Queen is mindful that they also have families. That's fine, though, the royals help themselves to a massive Christmas buffet (turkey is prominently featured). Then they all play charades as a family.
Sometimes, William, Kate, and the kids break off from Christmas day activities and spend the holiday with the Middletons.
It should be noted that Will and Kate hold their own residence at Sandringham, Anmer Hall, establishing a degree of separation from the rest of the royals. And though it’s not every year, in the past they’ve held private Christmases with the in-laws. Their 2016 festivities, in fact, were spent at Carole and Michael Middleton’s home in Berkshire. However, Kensington Palace confirmed that Will and Kate will be spending Christmas at Sandringham this year.
Typically, partners of royal family members are only invited if they’re married.
It was, to say the least, unprecedented, that Meghan Markle attended Christmas last year when she and Harry were only engaged. The Queen has strict rules against bringing boyfriends and girlfriends to Christmas. Our very own Princess Kate wasn’t allowed to spend Christmas at Sandringham after she and Will announced their engagement back in 2010.
But we’re excited to see these new traditions evolving with the upcoming generations of the royal family… and what holiday happenings will continue to stay the same year after year.