The Queen is reportedly feeling much better after spending the last couple of weeks resting under doctor’s orders and is looking forward to hosting her entire immediate family, save the Sussex’s, this Christmas. It’s likely a relief to the royal family, who are eager to support Her Majesty as she spends her first Christmas without her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.
This last year has been incredibly challenging for the Queen. Between losing her husband and dealing with the increasingly brazen antics of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, she’s likely looking for a break and festive occasion to spend with her family.
She is reportedly “looking forward” to the family’s annual celebrations, which take place at her home, Sandringham House.
Royal Christmas’ at Sandringham is a long-held tradition, with the grand house being used by members of the royal family all the way back to the 1880s. It has been the preferred Christmas location for the family since 1988, after the family had to move celebrations away from Windsor Castle during a rewire.
For most people, the royal Christmas’ would probably seem quite elaborate.
Family members attend a black-tie dinner on Christmas Eve and also exchange gifts. On Christmas morning, the entire family, including the children of appropriate ages, walk from the estate to the local church St. Mary Magdalene. During the last part of the walk, right outside the church, they are greeted by the public and reporters, who brave the cold to see the entire royal family gathered together.
The vast majority of the royal family stays in the House itself, while Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, stay at their country estate Amner Hall, which was a gift from Her Majesty shortly after they married.
This year, most of the family is expected to attend, but it will also look a little different his year.
In 2020, Princess Anne announced that her son Peter Phillips was divorcing his wife Autumn Kelly after 12 years of marriage. As the Queen is reportedly close to Autumn, it will be interesting to see if she spends Christmas with the royal family or with her own in Canada. It could also be that she still joins her ex-husband and children at Sandringham, as there is no telling when the Queen will have her last Christmas.
If the royals participate in the Christmas walk, which hopefully they do, Prince Louis may make his debut.
The youngest of the Cambridge’s children, Prince Louis has yet to make that exciting walk to the church on Christmas morning. In 2019, his siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte made their first appearances.
No doubt, the public would love to see the children.
The only could that’s not expected to attend are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are allegedly remaining in California for the holiday. This will be the third Christmas the couple have missed, after Meghan spent two at Sandringham in 2017 as a fiancé and in 2018 when pregnant with Archie.
Though it would lovely, for the Queen’s sake, if the couple attended so that the family could see baby Lilibet and Archie, it’s questionable whether an invitation was even extended.
At this point, Harry’s mostly received a frosty reception from his family as of late, no surprise given his tell-all with Oprah Winfrey, but relations in the family had obviously soured before then.
Though this perhaps didn’t make front-page news, there’s a rather famous video clip where Meghan attempts to talk with her brother-in-law, but he is clearly much more interested in fixing and adjusting his scarf than he is to playing up their relationship to the cameras with her. It’s now rather infamously known as being “scrafed.”
It would be fun to see William do that again, but probably most of the family is glad to be rid of the Sussex drama for yet another Christmas.