Here’s all you need to know about how the Royal Family celebrate Christmas

Take a look back at the best festive moments through the years.
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If there’s one family who knows how to celebrate Christmas traditions, it’s the Royal Family.

Whether it be a gala, charity event, or attending their son’s nativity play (young Prince Harry endeared the crowd as a shepherd in 1988), there are always royal engagements to attend.

No matter the decade, the world’s most famous family never fails to disappoint during their public appearances.

From elegance to style, every member has left a lasting impression during the festive season, even the little royals!

WATCH: Princess Diana Made a Royal Faux Pas During Her First Christmas with the Family. Article continues after the video.

This year, the Royal Family are set to spend their Christmas Day celebrating by taking part in their usual Christmas traditions. 

The festivities have already begun for the Royal Family… the annual Christmas cards have been released and on December 8, Princess Kate’s third annual Together at Christmas carol service was held at Westminster Abbey. 

The family are expected to step out for the traditional walk to Church at Sandringham on Christmas Day. This tradition occurs each year… the Royal Family go to St. Mary Magdalene church for holiday mass and then enjoy a traditional turkey holiday feast at Sandringham House.

So what other Christmas traditions do the Royal Family have?

The official Christmas card for 2023. (Credit: The Royal Family)

1. Christmas cards 

Like many families, the royals also send out annual holiday cards. 

According to the royal family’s official website, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would send around 750 Christmas cards each year.

The cards were sent to well-wishers around the world and usually featured a family photo and was signed ‘Elizabeth R’ and ‘Philip’.

King Charles and Queen Camilla are now the face of the the annual Christmas card.

2. Christmas presents

The Royal Family don’t open Christmas presents on Christmas day.

On Christmas Eve, their presents are laid out on trestle tables and they each exchange their gifts at teatime.

In his memoir Spare, Prince Harry talks about his Christmas Eve traditions.

“We were at Sandringham in a big room with a long table covered with white cloth and white name cards. By custom, at the start of the night, each of us located our place, stood before our mound of presents,” he wrote.

“Then suddenly, everyone began opening at the same time. A free-for-all, with scores of family members talking at once and pulling at bows and tearing at wrapping paper.”

The 2023 Christmas tree in Windsor Castle. (Credit: Getty)

3. Christmas tree

Each year we see the Royal Family’s stunning Christmas tree. Queen Charlotte is thought to have been the one who introduced the Christmas tree to the Royal Family.

However, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert helped spread the custom throughout the country due to their enthusiasm of the tradition.

Windsor Castle gets it’s festive makeover each year, but this year is extra special as it marks the 675th anniversary of the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior order of chivalry in Britain. 

AT the start of December, Prince William, Princess Kate and their three children were spotted shopping for Christmas trees at Windsor Great Park.

“It’s no surprise that Prince William and his family picked their tree from Windsor Great Park,” a source told HELLO!

“The late Queen always sourced Windsor Castle’s Christmas trees there, and King Charles did so last year, too. He is keeping with the family tradition.”

RELATED: Take a look inside Windsor Castle during Christmas time

4. The annual Christmas broadcast

Each year Her Majesty would address the Commonwealth and the world through her annual Christmas broadcast, delivering us all a message of hope and peace.

After over 70 years of Queen Elizabeth delivering the speech, we saw King Charles step into the role for the very first time in 2022.

Last year, King Charles paid a touching tribute to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth.

This tradition has occurred each year since 1952 however it was first televised in 1957.

RELATED: King Charles’ Christmas speech

Sandringham House, a royal residence on the Sandringham Estate in North Norfolk, England. (Credit: Getty)

5. Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth would her hold annual lunches in the week leading up to Christmas.

The luncheon is held for extended members of the family and was typically held at Buckingham Palace, however, since the Queen’s passing, King Charles and Queen Camilla are now in charge of this affair.

Last year they hosted the lunch at Windsor Castle – perhaps this will happen again this year.

This affair is generally very private and we don’t get to see what happens, however there are often photos taken of the family going to and from the event.

6. Spending the holiday at Sandringham Estate

The family typically spend the holidays at Sandringham House. Sandringham House a royal residence on the Sandringham Estate in North Norfolk, England, just 100 miles north of London.

To mark the occasion the Queen used to travel there by train to King’s Lynn Station in Norfolk.

We expect to see them there again this December, with Queen Camilla’s family.

According to ITV’s royal editor, Chris Ship, the family will be joined by Queen Camilla’s children and grandchildren at their annual Christmas lunch.

It’s time to take a festive trip down memory lane and have a peek into the royal family’s Christmas photo album. Scroll on to see some of our favourite pics…

william and kate
(Credit: Getty)

Spreading the Yuletide cheer, the Cambridges hosted a party for military families in 2018.

archie christmas card
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Little Archie sure stole the show as the Sussexes celebrated their first Christmas as a family of three in 2019.

prince william
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Prince William dressed up for the occasion back in 1987, even donning a helmet!

princess charlotte
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Princess Charlotte was cute as a button, mesmerised by a candy cane at the 2016 church service.

beatrice and eugenie
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Princess Beatrice and Eugenie clearly made Santa’s nice list in 1997. The sisters left the Sandringham church service laden with presents.

george 2019
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One must put one’s muscles into it! William, the Queen and Charles watched George make a pudding in 2019.

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, invited sick kids to meet one of Santa’s reindeers in 2019. Aww!

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At a 1992 gala, Princess Diana studiously avoids disguised pollies’ Jeffrey Archer and Denis Healey’s presence.

kate 2019
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The Duchess of Cambridge jollied along preschool kids picking out a special tree in 2019.

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The Queen delivering her Christmas message in 2014, cuts a festive figure.

prince harry nativity play
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Prince Harry in character as a shepherd for a nativity play in 1988.

princess elizabeth 1943
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In 1943, Princess Elizabeth boosts wartime morale on the home front, assuming the title role in panto production of Aladdin at Windsor castle, opposite her sister, Margaret.

eugenie, beatrice and their mum sarah
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Eugenie, Beatrice and their mum, Sarah, Duchess of York, put in their requests to Santa at a charity bash back in 1999.

william and harry 1990
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In 1990, William and Harry took Saint Nick’s sleigh for a spin. “On Dasher, on Dancer…”

princess elizabeth cards for soldiers
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Young Princess Elizabeth sent cards for Christmas in 1942 to Grenadier guards fighting in World War II.

prince charles christmas lights
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He comes bearing light in 2006, the village of Ashover in Derbyshire invited Prince Charles to turn on their Christmas lights.

the queen 2014
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Her majesty received posies from one of Santa’s helpers at the 2014 Christmas Day service.

prince harry troops
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No white Christmas here! Prince Harry donned Mrs Claus braids and a Santa hat while serving with troops in Afghanistan in 2012.

meghan nursing home
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‘Tis the season… to give back. Meghan made decorations with nursing home residents in London’s Twickenham in 2018. Bless!

camila 2012
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Camilla inspects Father Christmas’ cheery transport upgrade in 2012.

camila and charles christmas card 2017
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Charles and Camilla’s 2017 Christmas card adorned their glittering tree at Clarence house.

prince william 1997
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Prince William accepted gifts from a myriad of well wishers as he arrived at the Christmas service in 1997.

queen, prince andrew and edward
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The Queen reads with her sons, Princes Andrew and Edward, as part of her Yuletide message to her beloved Commonwealth in 1971.

charles 2012
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Better not pout, Charles – Santa’s about! He and Camilla met the jolly old fellow before turning on the lights in Cornwall in 2012.

charles, diana and william
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Charles and Diana doted on wee William, celebrating his first Christmas in 1982. Aww!

queen and mother 1998
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The Queen and the Queen mother were rockin’ around the Christmas tree at Buckingham Palace in 1998.

queen's address in 1952
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No nerves here! The Queen was a picture of poise while delivering her inaugural Christmas broadcast in 1952.

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Camilla seemed to be giving this portly gentleman quite a ticking off at a horsey event in 2012. Bah, humbug – but one is amused!

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There’s no mistaking whose bauble this is – it’s her tree’s crowning glory!

queen decorating tree
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The Queen gets into the spirit in 2018, adorning a public tree in London.

diana 1987
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Always a royal rebel, Diana ditched the traditional red and green dress code for the 1987 Church service at Windsor castle.

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