The royal family gathering at Sandringham House on Christmas Day has been a staple part of the royal calendar for decades—and last year, King Charles showed that he intends to continue the tradition. However, this year there will apparently be an updated guest list, with reports saying that Camilla’s children and grandchildren will be joining the royals for the first time.
ITV’s Royal Editor Chris Ship penned a report this morning describing “major alterations” to the Sandringham Christmas. He quoted a source saying, "The Queen has invited her children and grandchildren this year which is different from previous years:"
Camilla has two children and five grandchildren. Her son Tom Parker Bowles has Lola, 16, and Freddy, 13. Her daughter Laura Lopes has Eliza, 15, and twins Gus and Louis, 13. Camilla’s three grandsons were all her pages at the coronation, alongside her great-nephew Arthur Elliot.
Ship wrote that the addition of the Queen’s family means that extra space is needed and so Christmas lunch will now be served in the ballroom of Sandringham House rather than the dining room. Guests will include Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, who will reportedly stay at Wood Farm on the estate. William and Kate do not need Sandringham accommodation as they have a country home, Anmer Hall, nearby.
Last Christmas, the line-up of royals pictured walking to church on Christmas morning was very similar to those present in Queen Elizabeth’s era—perhaps in a deliberate attempt by the King to emphasize continuity on the first Christmas of his reign. Those attending and walking with the King for the 11am service at St Mary Magdalene Church included Prince William and Kate and their three children, as well as more extended members of the family such as Charles’s niece Zara Tindall and his cousin Sarah Chatto.
Guests have traditionally arrived at Sandringham on Christmas Eve when a black tie dinner is held. During an appearance on the House of Rugby podcast in 2018, Mike Tindall revealed that Christmas Day lunch after church has traditionally been a buffet. "Christmas Day is a little more quiet because it's actually a cold buffet because they give everyone the day off,” he said.
It is not clear yet whether Queen Camilla’s children and grandchildren will walk to church with the royals on Christmas morning and Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the reports today.
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