Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive at carol concert
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The Firm traditionally spends Christmas and New Year at the Queen’s country estate in Norfolk, Sandringham House. Most years, Her Majesty also invites her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to join her at Buckingham Palace for a pre-Christmas lunch. This gives the monarch a chance to see family members unable to travel to Sandringham on Christmas day.
This week however the Queen has cancelled the traditional pre-Christmas lunch amid fears over spiking coronavirus cases across the UK.
The decision was reportedly a precaution as the Omicron variant spreads across the country and puts Christmas arrangements for everyone at risk.
For Christmas day Kate and Prince William are still expected to take part in the Queen’s Christmas celebrations along with their three children.
Over the years the Cambridges have split their time during the festive period with both of their families.
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Yet a 2020 book claims that Kate refused her first-ever invitation she received from the Queen to celebrate Christmas with the Firm.
In “Battle of the Brothers” Mr Lacey claims that when the monarch first extended an invitation for Kate to join the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas lunch in 2006, the then 24-year-old declined.
Mr Lacey, who works as a historical consultant on Netflix’s “The Crown”, claimed Kate wanted to wait until she was engaged to William before taking part in the Royal Family’s festive celebrations.
The historian said: “[Kate] would go to Sandringham on Christmas Day only when she was engaged and had a ring to prove it.”
Kate and Willian met in 2001, when they were both students at the University of St Andrews.
They became housemates a year later with several other university friends, while they made their first public appearance as a couple in 2006 when attending the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles.
Despite a brief split in 2007 the pair quickly patched things up and were engaged three years later.
Kate ultimately made her first appearance at Sandringham for the Royal Family’s Christmas celebrations in 2011, eight months after she wed the Duke of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey.
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Since then, the royal couple have divided their time between each of their families over Christmas.
In 2018, Kate, William and their three young children, enjoyed Christmas with the Middletons.
When asked about her Christmas plans Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, told the Telegraph: “I try not to be too set when it comes to the schedule.
“Generally, we go to church in the morning, then a walk, open a few presents.
“Then champagne and smoked salmon for lunch and the main Christmas meal in the evening ‒ but with young grandchildren maybe we’ll move that forward and have it at lunchtime.”
When the Royal Family are together in Sandringham, they usually exchange their presents with each other on Christmas Eve, to honour their German heritage.
According to the official royal website: “On Christmas Eve, the Royal Family lay out their presents on trestle tables and will exchange their gifts at teatime.”
They also reportedly follow a tradition in which they each gift each other a joke present.
One of Prince Charles’ favourite gifts is rumoured to have been a white leather toilet seat from Princess Anne.
Kate also reportedly once gave Prince Harry a “Grow Your Own Girlfriend” kit.
“Battle of the Brothers” was written by Robert Lacey and published by William Collins. You can find it here.
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