A Royal Christmas

The Royal Family round the Christmas tree.
In 1904, a ladies’ magazine detailed a Royal Christmas Day as follows: “The first sound to greet the guests at Sandringham is that of bagpipes… the little Princes and Princesses are in a high state of excitement, for has not Santa Claus, in the darkness of night, been distributing his bounty with lavish hands?

The Royal Family keep up Christmas at Sandringham in a right Royal and old-fashioned way. Tasteful decorations with holly and mistletoe about everywhere.

Everyone comes down to the dining room where breakfast is taken en famille. After Christmas, the Royal Family and guests go on tour to view the decorations; and then, if the weather went fine, they walk to church.

Then comes luncheon, which is the children’s dinner—attended of course, by all members of the family. The Christmas pudding is brought in, blazing up merrily.

Some part of the afternoon is devoted to walking and riding; a tour of the stables and kennels is a great feature! Pets are visited and fed with sugar by Royal hands.

Afternoon tea is an informal meal, partaken of in the Grand Salon, the Queen presiding at the tea-table.

And now, comes a very exciting time for the children. The doors of a certain saloon have been kept rigorously fastened… Her Majesty and other members of her family having duly dressed a large Christmas tree therein. The door is opened and the royal children evince the greatest delight at the Christmas tree ablaze with lights and weighed down with presents. Afterwards, all sorts of games are entered into with a heartiness and zest that must surely appeal to everyone.

Dinner comes along at 8.45. On the table, there is a brilliant display of glittering plate and glass, and the servants look resplendent in the Royal liveries. Nor are the servants forgotten, for they have a Christmas dinner, though not on the actual day. but when it does take place, it is right merry gathering.”

This text was taken from Jan Barn’s Etiquette for a Traditional Christmas (Etiquette Collection S.), published by Copper Beach, 2000. 

Click the image on the right side and check out  everything you need to know, from "mulled wine and mistletoe; mince pies and cakes; crackers and decorations," to make your Christmas a "truly delicious and traditional festive celebration."


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