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Christmas at Sandringham

Prince Charles with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Christmas in 2018. Photo: Royal Family Twitter

It was announced last month that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be spending Christmas with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, instead of at Sandringham. The couple have spent the last two Christmas's with the Royal Family and, like many other royals, have decided to spend this holiday in Los Angeles with Meghan's family.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have previously attended church service in Buckleberry with the Middleton Family. Photo: Getty

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge previously spent Christmas with the Middleton's in Berkshire twice (in 2012 and 2016) but have spent their other holidays with the Royal Family. Zara and Mike Tindall have also opted to spend Christmas with Mike's family instead of the Royals before. With that being said, keep reading to find out more about what the Royals Christmas traditions are like.

Autumn Phillips, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank during Christmas in 2018. Photo: Robin Nunn

Festivities begin a few weeks before Christmas with Christmas trees usually arriving at Buckingham Palace in the beginning of December. The trees are placed in the Marble Hall and Garland is put on the grand staircase. Christmas Trees are also given to Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls Cathedral, St. Giles Cathedral, Canongate Kirk and numerous charities supported by the royal family by the Queen around this time.

Each family of working royals generally release a Christmas card sometime in mid-December. Her Majesty, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridge family and the Sussex family all released cards last year. The Cambridge's released a new family photo that was taken at their home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released an unseen photograph from their wedding night. The Christmas Cards are released online and sent to fans who send in their own Christmas wishes to the family. To learn how to send a Merry Christmas card to a member of the British Royal Family, click here.

Prince Philip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex bow or curtsy to the Queen as she departs Christmas Day service. Photo: Chris Jackson / Getty

The Queen and other members of the family are able to enjoy the decorations a few weeks later when the Queen hosts her annual Christmas Luncheon at Buckingham Palace. The entire Royal Family is invited to the luncheon, whereas only the Queens immediate family (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) spend Christmas at Sandringham with Her Majesty.

The Wessex family in 2018. Photo: HELLO! Magazine

The Family spend Christmas Eve at Sandringham House, enjoying a Christmas feast and exchanging presents. It is believed the family gives one another gag gifts (The Duchess of Cambridge allegedly gave Prince Harry a grow your own girlfriend kit a few years back).

On Christmas Day, the family wakes up to let the children open presents (Prince William said 5 am last Christmas). The members of the family who are able to then the family attends Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene. With both the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh now well into their 90's, He Majesty has driven to Mary Magdalene rather than walking for the past several years and the Duke of Edinburgh has joined Christmas Day service as he is able.

Following the service the greet members of the public before returning to Sandringham House to hear the Queen give her annual Christmas Broadcast. The Christmas broadcast began with Her Majesty's grandfather, George V, but The Queen modernized the tradition, giving the first televised address in 1957.

The Queen delivers her yearly Christmas broadcast from Sandringham House. Photo: WPA/Getty Pool

No other family members have stated if they will be attending Christmas at Sandringham or with their spouses family, so for now, it is believed most everyone else will be in Norfolk. If William and Catherine do spend Christmas with the Royals, it might be the first year George and Charlotte partake in the walk to Church with their parents now that they are a bit older. The Phillip girls, Savannah and Isla, have joined their parents before and Prince William and Prince Harry were seen during Christmas at about the same ages that Prince George and Princess Charlotte are now.

Some of the family typically remains in Norfolk until the New Year and can commonly be seen attending the first Sunday service in the New Year. xx

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