Her Majesty hosts the fifty-strong luncheon every year for the entire extended family, many of whom are spending Christmas with their own children and grandchildren rather than joining the annual gathering at Sandringham. It is one of very few occasions where so many members of the Royal family are assembled together. The royals usually stay for a couple of hours before departing. It is said the Queen takes attendance at the luncheon very seriously and family members rarely miss the event.
Last year Meghan attended the luncheon for the very first time following the engagement announcement. This year, she’s a fully fledged member of the family and she and Harry will once again enjoy the festivities with the Royal family at Sandringham next week. It’s been a hectic year, and I’m sure they are both looking forward to unwinding in Norfolk.
The Cambridges arriving.
Below, Prince Philip arriving from Windsor; Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, the Wessexes and Peter Phillips and his family.
Buckingham Palace is beautifully decorated for Christmas. I imagine the children in particular adore seeing the trees and ornaments on display. Every year, three trees are placed in the Marble Hall – and a garland is fixed along the grand staircase. The custom of displaying Christmas trees was introduced to Britain in the late 18th by Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III, although it was a yew tree rather than a fir that was used. The trees are grown in Windsor.
The royal kitchens are particular busy at this time of year creating delicious festive treats. Chefs will create over 12,000 mince pies for receptions and lunches this month.
‘Give yourself plenty of time,’ says royal pastry chef Kathryn Cuthbertson — It’s her number one tip to anyone making mince pies this Christmas. ‘Pastry is not something that likes to be rushed,’ agrees Chef de Partie, Victoria Scupham, who Kathryn hired six years ago to work alongside her. They also recommend ‘having cold hands’ when working with pastry, which will help keep it at the right consistency.
We can also see Meghan accessorised with her Cartier Galanterie stud earrings. She wore the pair on her wedding day.
We’ll see Harry and Meghan on Christmas morning for service at Sandringham!