Conjure up a traditional royal Christmas at Sandringham in your mind, and perhaps you think champagne and decadence, towering pine trees and piles of presents. Yet royal insiders have insisted that Princess Charlotte and Princes George and Louis ‘won’t be lavished with expensive gifts' this year.
Like many families that sort-of skipped Christmas 2020, the Cambridges are expected to pop into three family gatherings this year and even though that means triple Christmas, Prince William and Kate Middleton are apparently determined to make it 'normal' – and definitely not spoil the children.
Kate and William want a small Christmas at Anmer Hall in Norfolk with George, seven, Charlotte, six, and three-year-old Louis, OK! Magazine reported. This will be followed by more formal family gatherings with Kate’s family and, of course, the Queen at Sandringham. Without the presence of Meghan and Harry.
Duncan Larcombe, author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story told the magazine: “I think we’re looking at three Christmases rolled into one for William and Kate and their children.”
He added: “But something we know for sure about William and Kate is that they want their children to feel normal and so they certainly won’t be lavishing them with expensive gifts, that’s for certain. They won’t let them be spoiled.”
According to former Royal commentator Duncan, lavish presents have never been a big part of Sandringham traditions. Instead, family members are more likely to exchange “token gestures or jokey presents” as opposed to anything of “real value.” They may even get just one present each because, as he points out, we never see Range Rovers arriving at the palace piled high with presents.
We can’t even imagine the pressure of buying a gift for the Queen – the woman who has literally everything – but one sweet detail we know about Kate’s first-ever Christmas with the Royals was that she agonised over that one significant gift.
Luckily, Kate absolutely smashed it, gifting Her Majesty some chutney she made using her own grandmother's recipe.
Thinking back to the 2013 festivities, she said in the 2016 ITV special Our Queen at Ninety: "I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?' I thought back to what would I give my own grandparents and I thought, 'I'll make her something', which could have gone horribly wrong, but I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney." How thoughtful.
Last year was a very quiet Christmas for the whole family. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent what turned out to be his final Christmas at Windsor Castle, instead of Sandringham, for the first time in decades. While Kate, William and the children stayed in their family bubble at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Let's hope they all manage to get together this year.
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