10 Great Holiday Traditions Within The Royal Family To Borrow For Ourselves
We know for a fact that the Royals have some pretty interesting customs the entire family has to follow, no matter how bizarre they might seem. Like most families, the Royals also have their own special traditions dedicated specifically to the holidays. While some are typical, other traditions might leave you baffled. Let's take a look at some of them.
1. Christmas card obsession
Christmas card preparation might sound like a basic task. However, when you're the Queen, you can't wait until the last minute for something like this. An insane amount of 800 cards need to be personally signed and sent out before the celebration, so Queen Elizabeth begins her signing during her summer holiday in Balmoral, according to Popsugar.
The other royal couples, such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are expected to do the same. Not the same amount, of course - but all couples must prepare an annual card as well.
2. Attending church is a must
Most of us attend Christmas usually on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. If you're a royal, you don't get to choose - the royal family has to attend both services. The tradition begins with Her Majesty receiving her own private communion, from her chaplain, according to Express.
The service begins at 9 a.m. and then the rest of the family walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church for public worship at 11 a.m. For family members that stay around for the New Year, another mass is in order at Sandringham, while in the springtime an Easter service is held in Windsor Castle.
3. Christmas is spent at Sandringham Estate
The royal family has owned the property since 1862, so this tradition has been a long-standing one. All members are expected to come together and celebrate at the location. As a gift, the Queen gave Will and Kate a place of their own in the estate, Anmer Hakk. After the wedding, Harry and Meghan were given one as well in Sandringham - York Cottage.
6. Prince William and Prince Harry battle it out in a soccer match
According to staff on the estate, William and Harry, alongside the workers, go up against each other in a soccer game - a tradition that was adopted recently. In a Popsugar article, it was mentioned that the princes also "wear the socks of their favorite teams (Aston Villa for William and Arsenal for Harry)."
5. Stepping on the scale
Most of the traditions so far sound pretty usual, but this is something that an outsider definitely needs some time to get accustomed to - or at least warned out beforehand. There is a long seated tradition that dates all the way back to the 1900s when King Edward VII insisted that every guest weighs themselves before, and after, their Christmas dinner.
Apparently, the King wanted to ensure that every member is "well fed." Meghan Markle was introduced to the tradition back in 2017, so by now, she's probably used it. Doria Ragland (her mother), though, might be in for a shock when she joined the family for the first time.
6. Gifts galore!
Many might think that the Royals go all out on gifts, spoiling each other with the most luxurious presents. But it's actually the opposite. Silly and funny gifts are preferred over anything that's too pricey. A former royal chef, Darren McGrady, told People, "The crazier and the more quirky is what they love. It's not about something really amazing or a Cartier watch."
Here's an example: Queen Elizabeth received a shower cap from Prince Harry that said "Ain't life a b*tch" on it, meanwhile, Kate Middleton gave Harry a "Grow Your Own Girlfriend" kit (obviously before Meghan came around).
7. Accepting gifts from the public
Commoners are welcome to join in! The family has made it a tradition in the springtime, to involve the public in their celebrations as well. Easter is one of the times of the year when the doors to Windsor Castle are opened up to the locals. Her Majesty receives a bouquet of flowers from the local children, once the service comes to an end.
8. Giving, and not just accepting
The royal family makes sure to give back to the public as well, instead of just receiving. Queen Elizabeth enjoys giving out a special, little gift called "Maundy money." The specially minted coins are given on Maundy Thursday, three days before Easter. The Queen annually travels to a different town, and personally hands out the coins to (usually elderly) people.
9. It's no holiday without a drink - or two
The Royals also enjoy relaxing with a glass in hand. McGrady mentioned that alcohol flows throughout the celebrations. He told The Daily Mail that on Christmas day, "the Queen has a gin and Dubonnet, while Prince Philip has a beer. Everyone else will sip a glass of Veuve Clicquot. The Queen enjoys drinking Gewurztraminer, an aromatic white wine."
10. Taking a breather
In a lot of ways, this family is just like any other. Christmas is a day that's dedicated to relaxation, and the royals definitely don't deny themselves of this pleasure too. After Queen Elizabeth's annual Christmas address, the family comes together to solve jigsaw puzzles or exercise on the estate. They'll usually do a movie night in the ballroom once they're finished up, projecting it onto a pull-down wall.
Although they might sound weird to us, some of these customs have been passed down through centuries and generations to be followed, with their own unique explanation behind each one. Which royal family holiday tradition were you surprised by the most? Do you and your family follow any of the same traditions the royals do? Let us know in the comments!