Royal family 'could surprise Queen at Christmas' says expert
Her Majesty joined Prince Charles, Prince William and her great-grandson Prince George as they helped volunteers at the Royal British Legion‘s (RBL) Together at Christmas initiative last year. They were pictured together mixing the festive puddings together, which is said to bring good luck. They even placed four commemorative sixpences into the mixture for people to find when they took a bite as an extra surprise. Now the mince pies the royals made have been sent to families in the UK, others in Spain and Fiji, and to service personnel deployed in Bahrain this Christmas.
Julian Groves, 59, is part of the RBL as he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps for 11 years.
He has been getting regular calls from the Legion’s Telephone Buddy service to help with his social isolation during the pandemic this year.
Mr Groves said: “It’s incredibly special to be part of Together At Christmas and I was amazed to discover the sixpence.
“I’ve never done anything like this before but the sense of comradeship it created made it feel like being back in the forces.
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“No matter how tough things are, the Legion always rallies round, making sure everyone is looked after.”
RBL director-general Charles Byrne added the festive treats helped “bring people together” after the pandemic brought lonliness to many people’s lives.
He said: “Christmas can be a time when people’s financial worries or feelings of loneliness, isolation or anxiety are heightened, this year more than ever as people continue to adapt to life during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We want all those within our community who may be feeling the pressures of the season to know that there is extra support available and the Legion is here for them.
“Bringing people together, combating loneliness and helping individuals and families feel connected is an important part of our work all year round.”
The Royal Family’s Instagram posted last year: “Four generations of The Royal Family have come together to support The Royal British Legion’s ‘Together at Christmas’ initiative.
“The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George, joined forces to prepare special Royal British Legion Christmas puddings at Buckingham Palace this week.
“The Queen is Patron of The Royal British Legion and the puddings will become the centerpieces of next year’s “Together at Christmas” get-togethers, hosted by the charity.”
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The post was accompanied by three pictures of the four royals with The Royal British Legion’s care home chef Alex Cavaliere , along with four veterans, Colin Hughes, Liam Young, Lisa Evans and Barbara Hurman.
The Legion’s first Together At Christmas events were due to be hosted at high street locations, care homes and Legion branches.
However, the pandemic meant the gatherings had to be moved to online.
Veteran Poppy Appeal volunteer Vera Parnaby, 81, from Consett, County Durham, also received a special Christmas pudding after raising more than £1 million.
The royals will be carrying out Christmas traditions differently this year as well due to the pandemic.
The Queen’s biggest Christmas tradition – her annual televised speech – will also be slightly different year this year too.
Her message will be available through Amazon’s Alexa smart devices this year,
People can also listen on Amazon Echo speakers around the world, with language settings of British English, or American, Australian, Canadian or Indian varieties of English.
Eric King, director of Alexa Europe, said: “After a challenging year, millions of people from across the Commonwealth will be eagerly awaiting Her Majesty the Queen’s message on Christmas Day.
“By creating this world-first innovation, just as we did in 2012 with the release of the Queen’s Christmas speech on Kindle, we hope that even more people will be able to enjoy the uplifting words of Her Majesty.
“This really is one for the history books and showcases just how far technology has advanced since the very first speech was delivered back in 1932.”
It is likely the Queen will speak about the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic this year, as well as praise those who have helped the nation this year.
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