Meghan Markle is spending Christmas with the royal family this year for their annual, three-day Christmas celebrations (Check out what she wore to the pre-Christmas luncheon). While that seems like no biggie considering she is engaged to Prince Harry, it does break a long-standing tradition of the royal family of only inviting members of the royal family and their spouses. Kate Middleton was forced to wait to be married before she was allowed to partake in the festivities.
Not surprisingly, this is not the only Christmas tradition the royal family has.
What does the royal family eat on Christmas day?
According to former royal chef Darren McGrady who has cooked seven Christmas feasts for the Queen in his career, the Christmas lunch always feature three turkeys – one for the Queen and her family, one for the children (children are not allowed to eat in the royal dining room until they’re old enough to behave themselves properly at the dining table) and one for the staff. It will come with the usual sides like roast potatoes, brussels sprouts and parsnips. There will always be Christmas pudding that’s doused in brandy and carried flaming into the royal dining room by the palace steward.
After lunch, the family goes for a walk and reunites to watch the Queen’s Christmas speech. That will follow with afternoon tea. McGrady says there will always be a chocolate Yule log, scones, mince pies and a traditional fruit cake with royal icing and marzipan.
Dinner is the most elaborate meal of the day with a buffet spread made of 16 – 20 different dishes such as foie gras en croute and a whole Stilton cheese . There are no appetisers and canapés (that’s reserved for New Year’s Eve. What are you, a savage?).
After the meal is served, the Queen toasts the head chef. That’s by the way the only time of the year when he gets to go into the dining room.
What Meghan Markle can give the Queen for Christmas
Surprisingly, festivities with the royal family are relatively simple. Buckingham Palace might be all decked out for the festive season but at Sandringham House where the royal family spend Christmas, the decor is minimal with the 30-year-old Christmas tree being the key centrepiece.
When it comes to gifts, the royal family doesn’t exchange baller presents. Apparently, Prince Harry once gave the Queen a shower cap that said “Ain’t Life A Bitch” on it. Maybe Meghan Markle can get the Queen her own Netflix subscription so she can binge watch The Crown over the festive season.