Christmas is just around the corner and I can hardly believe it! In today’s post we will look at what the Cambridges do for the Christmas season and there options for Christmas 2018!
Christmas Season Traditions
The Cambridges may have a plethora of Chrismas traditions but we are only privy to two of them!
The first is a trip to the Thursford’s Santa’s Magical Journey near Norfolk where their country home Anmer Hall is. We first got a story about The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge taking Prince George to the Christmas event in December 2014 when the Duchess was pregnant with Princess Charlotte. The general manager of the display told PEOPLE:
“There was no special treatment for them. They walked through like everyone else. People were just happy to see them, like all the other families enjoying the experience. Like all the children, George was excited by what he saw and excited to meet Santa.”
And then in 2016 The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted once again taking Prince George and Princess Charlotte to see the display. We did not got any stories like these for the 2015 and 2017 Christmas season but I think we can assume this is a tradition for the Cambridges! We have never gotten photos of the family at Thursford.
Prince William and the then Catherine Middleton visited the Thursford Christmas Spectacular in December 2010 to help raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust on their first engagement after announcing their engagement in November 2010.
The second Christmas tradition is lunch at The Queen’s London home, Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty (or as the kids know her, GanGan) hosts this Christmas lunch every year to allow her to catch up with her extended family that are not invited to spend Christmas day with her. The Duchess of Cambridge has attended every year since 2010 and the kids have also attended every year since they were born. We only get arrival shots from the event. The pictures below are of The Duke and Duchess arriving at the luncheon last year with their children, George and Charlotte, and the children’s Nanny, Maria.
Prince George and The Duchess:
You can find more arrival and departure shots from previous years by searching it on GOOGLE.
We never are certain when the luncheon is because it is a private event and not on the calendar but in previous years (except 2016) it has been on the Wednesday before Christmas so that would be December 19th this year! So watch out for That!
Official Christmas Portraits
The Cambridges are pretty inconsistent when it comes to when they release Christmas portraits. They did not release anything in 2011 & 2012 (the first two years of their marriage) as well as in 2013 (the year Prince George was born) and 2016.
In 2014 they released three adorable snaps of Prince George on the steps of their Apartment at Kensington Palace:
In 2015 they released an adorable shot of the family of 4 taken in October at Anmer Hall:
And finally, they’re picture that was released last year (2017) was taken by Chris Jackson in July 2017 at Kensington Palace:
So it is all a guessing game on whether or not they will release a photo this year. I personally think they will and it will probably be a photo taken in September of this year by Chris Jackson and part of the same photoshoot from Prince Charles’ 70th birthday portraits. Although those shots were gorgeous, I hope they decide to release more recent one considering Prince Louis was less than 5 months old when those pictures were taken and he will be almost 8 months old by the time Christmas roles around
In 2014, the photos were released on December 14th and then in both 2015 and 2017, they were released on December 18th. So if we do it get something, it’ll be around then!
The Cambridges have two locations that they can “choose” from to spend Christmas Day.
The first is on the Sandringham Estate with the rest of The Royal Family. Since 2014, if they were at Sandringham for Christmas, they stay at their country home, Anmer Hall (click on the name to read the post I have about the home), which is on the estate and not the main house.
Sandringham is one of the Estate’s that The Royal Family privately owns and does not belong to The Crown unlike Windosr Castle but like the Balmoral estate in Scotland. Some history on the Estate:
“In 1862 Sandringham and just under 8,000 acres of land were purchased for Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, as a country home for him and his fiancée, Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Between 1870 and 1900, the house was almost completely rebuilt in a style described by Pevsner as “frenetic Jacobean’. Edward also developed the estate, creating one of the finest shoots in England.”
Christmas at Sandringham is very traditional mixed with family moments. The members f the Royal Family invited to spend Christmas at Sandringham are The Queen and Prince Philip’s immediate family including their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as well as the family of The Queen’s sister, the late Princess Margaret.
The celebrations begin on Christmas Eve with members of the Royal Family arriving at the main house by order of succession. So, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family are some of the last to arrive. After tea and everyone had arrived, they make their way to the Red Drawing Room where they exchange gifts (a German tradition of gift giving on Christmas Eve the royals still carry on).
There is also a Christmas Eve soccer game The Duke of Cambridge used to participate in but has not recently. In 2014, The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger brother, James Middleton, joined Prince Harry for the royal match!
Prince William (2011):
Prince Harry and James Middleton (2014):
After the day’s events, The whole family come together to have dinner on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day starts off with two Christmas services at St. Mary Magdelene church. The church is just northwest of the main Sandringham House and is close by.
The first is in the early morning where The Queen takes her communion. Since marrying, The Duke and Duchess Cambridge have attended this service twice (2011 & 2013). I think they now opt to stay at home to watch their children open their Christmas presents.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Early Church Service (2011):
The Duchess of Cambridge Greeting The Queen at the Early Church Service (2013):
The next service is around 11 a.m. and usually the whole family attend. They take the public walkway so that they can greet the public who wait outside of the church for them. Since marrying in 2011, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended 5 of these services during the 5 Christmases they have spent on the estate (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017).
After church, the whole family head to the main house for Lunch where they eat Turkey. They then head to a room and watch The Queen’s annual Christmas address.
Since 2014, when renovations on their country home Anmer Hall was finished, The Cambridges would host Catherine’s family at their home. They split Christmas day between the two families so it is likely they do not participate in all of the royal events.
Which brings us to the second location that The Cambridges can choose to spend Christmas day at: Buckelbury Manor. Buckelbury Manor is the Georgian mansion owned by Michael and Carol Middleton, the parents of The Duchess of Cambridge. The home was purchased by the Middletons in 2012 when their previous home was deemed to public for their family.
After Prince George was born in 2013, The Duke and Duchess spent several weeks with their infant son at the manor to bond with their son before making their way back to Anglesey where Prince William was based with the RAF. The Cambridge kids spend lots of time at their maternal grandparent’s home and looking at the pictures below you can tell why!
Since their wedding in 2011, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent two Christmases (2012 & 2016) in Berkshire with the Middleton family. In 2012, it was said The Duchess of Cambridge wanted to spend her last Chsirtmas before motherhood with her family but she was also still suffering from Hyperemisis Gravidarum while pregnant with Prince George so it was better for her to spend Christmas in a more relaxed environment. There was no official reason given for why they spent 2016 Christmas in Buckelbury but if I were to guess it maybe had to do with the fact they knew 2017 was going to be a busy year and the first year they would officially become full-time royals.
While they are in Buckelbury, they attend a Christmas morning church service at St. Mark’s Church in Berkshire.
Pippa Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister, got married in this church on May 20th, 2017.
Christmas in Buckelbury seems so lovely and, personally, more appealing to m than Christmas at Sandringham! This is coming from someone who spends Christmas day in her pajamas and I would not dream of changing up to 7 times a day like the royals do. In her first ever interview in connection with the 30th anniversary of Party Pieces, Carole Middleton, the mother of The Duchess of Cambridge, revealed that she loves to put a Christmas tree in her grandchildren’s room at her home so that they can decorate themselves. I am sure George and Charlotte, and eventually Louis and Arthur, enjoy that very much!
Now we have to wait a mere 24 days to see what The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decide is best for their family this Christmas season. That is unless we get official confirmation from Kensington Palace.
Up until last month I was almost sure that it would be a Sandringham Christmas but now I can see it going either way. This year there have been two Middleton grandbabies, Prince Louis and Arthur Matthews (Pippa and James Matthew’s son), and they might want to spend it all together but I do not know if Anmer Hall is big enough to fit the whole gang so maybe it will be a Buckelbury Christmas. Wherever they decide to spend it, I am sure they will enjoy this amazing time of the year!
I think wherever they decide to spend Christmas and go to church, we will see at least one of the kids. If they spend it in Buckelbury than I can see both George and Charlotte going to church like they did in 2016 (maybe Louis but he’ll be to young) but if they spend it at Sandringham, I am 99.9% sure Prince George will join them for the Christmas walk.
P.S. I know we have done this on Instagram but down believe leave a comment saying where you thing they will spend the holidays and why! I look forward to reading your comments!