Christmas is a little over a month away, and speculation is mounting about where theRoyal Family will spend their first Christmas without Queen Elizabeth II.
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A longstanding tradition
Throughout the Queen’s seventy-year reign, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip usually spent the winter monthsat their Norfolk estate, Sandringham House. Other members of the Royal Family would traditionally join the Queen over the festive period.
The Royal Family typically exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. Members of the Royal Family attend the St Mary Magdalene Church Service on Christmas Day morning, a tradition started by Queen Victoria, according to South China Morning Post.
During the pandemic, the Queen opted not to spend Christmas at Sandringham House because of the Covid-19 guidelines that were in place at the time. In 2021, the Queen spent Christmas at Windsor Castle instead.
However, it is likely that King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, will restore the tradition and host Christmas at the Norfolk Estate.
Although, the festivities may be tinged with bittersweet memories as the Royal Family will be celebrating for the first time without the Queen.
A glimpse inside Sandringham
Sandringham Estate was privately purchased for Prince Albert before he became King Edward VII and was reportedly a favourite of King Charles’ great-grandfather, King George V and his grandfather, King George VI.
Unlike Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, the Queen privately owned Sandringham Estate. Likely, ownership has now been passed on to King Charles. The grand House boasts several rooms, such as a saloon, a ballroom and a big dining room.
Because it is a private Royal residence, there are few interior photos. However, Express has pieced together some of the images shared by the Royal Family over the years.
The most recent snap of the inside of Sandringham House was posted in February of this year for the seventieth anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne.
The Queen is pictured sitting on a cream armchair with a floral design. Her Majesty was propped up with matching cushions. It would seem that there is a second floral armchair next to her. The room looks like a sort of study with dark, wooden wall panelling and dark wooden tables. On a table in the background stands a floral porcelain lamp with a photo of the late Queen’s father, King George VI, pictured with one of his dogs.
In the 1970s, a photo of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles was published.
In it, the Royals are standing in front of a beautiful fireplace. Light blue vases and statue candle holders flank an antique clock in the middle of the mantelpiece. A sizeable ornate rug covers the floor, and it looks like a tapestry dominates the wall above the fireplace. There are some plain cream armchairs, leading to believe this could be a living House.
The house also has a small drawing room, from where the Queen recorded her Christmas message in 1992 after the fire at Windsor Castle.
- Express: Inside Sandringham as Royal Family prepare for first Christmas without beloved Queen
- South China Morning Post: How does Queen Elizabeth celebrate Christmas? 10 ways the British royals get into the festive spirit, from Kate Middleton’s family celebrations to Buckingham Palace’s patriotic lightshow