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Inside the Queen’s perfect Christmas at Sandringham – ‘Very good hostess’

Queen 'determined' for Sandringham Christmas says Sacerdoti

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Last year, the Queen and Prince Philip spent what would be the Duke’s last Christmas at their Windsor Castle home due to Covid restrictions. But this year, the Royal Family is likely to reunite at the Queen’s private residence of Sandringham in Norfolk for a traditional royal Christmas. After experiencing issues with her health in recent months and the death of Prince Philip in April, the Queen is thought to be looking forward to a family Christmas once again.

Etiquette expert and former royal butler Grant Harrold spoke to Express.co.uk about just how important Christmas is to the monarch.

Mr Harrold said: “Christmas is a huge thing for the Queen, a massive thing, there is no secret in that.

“I think it has been documented well enough that she is quite strict with the Christmas get-together with family.

“She invites all the immediate family to be gathered at Sandringham, and they normally arrive on Christmas Eve traditionally. The Queen is normally there a week or a couple of weeks before.”

According to Mr Harrold, the Queen is a “very good hostess” and she pays scrupulous attention to everything from the family Christmas meal to the decorations.

Mr Harrold explained: “She inspects tables, I think people don’t realise that. When it comes to meals and get-togethers, as well as a Queen, she is also a very good hostess.”

He added: “I think it’s the same with Christmas decorations. Obviously, there are a team of people to do it, but I have no doubt at all that she will check things to make sure things have been done the way she likes them.”

On Christmas Eve, the Royal Family enjoy an afternoon tea together and they sit down to exchange presents.

The royals follow the German tradition of giving gifts on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.

And according to Mr Harrold, who runs The Royal Butler website, the family enjoy exchanging “fun” presents with each other, although some lovely gifts are also likely to be given too.

Mr Harrold explained how Christmas consists of three elements for the Queen, “the religious part, the traditional part and the family part”.

As the head of the Church of England, the religious aspect of Christmas is known to be very important to the Queen. And on Christmas Day, the Queen will always visit the church in the morning, usually arriving by car.

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Members of the Royal Family will also join the Queen at the nearby church of St Mary Magdalene on Christmas Day morning for the traditional service.

Royals will normally stop and chat with well-wishers who line the route to the church.

And after church, the Royal Family spends what is likely a fun-filled day together at Sandringham House.

Like most of the nation, reports have indicated the Royal Family watch the Queen’s pre-recorded Christmas Speech on Christmas Day together. However, it isn’t clear whether the Queen watches this with her family or not.

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