How Many Christmas Cards Does Queen Elizabeth Send Out Every Year? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

During the holiday season, millions of people write out Christmas cards for their friends, family, and other associates. This is true for Queen Elizabeth II as well although the number she sends out every year is more than most people — a lot more.

Read on to find out how many cards the monarch mails out each year, plus what gifts she gives her hundreds of staffer members for the holiday, and why she keeps her Christmas decorations up so long.

 Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth has to start signing Christmas cards in the summer

In addition to her large family and her friends, politicians and world leaders who celebrate the holiday may also get a card from the head of state at Christmas time. So the number of cards she has to sign can really add up.

According to the royal family’s website: “Each year, the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh send around 750 Christmas cards, which will usually feature a family photo. The card is signed ‘Elizabeth R’ and ‘Philip’ and features their official ciphers. Family, friends, and members of the royal household will likely be the recipients of the royal Christmas Card, but British and Commonwealth Prime Ministers, Governor-General and High Commissions may also be sent one.

“The Duke of Edinburgh has a further 200 cards sent out at Christmas to different regiments and organizations close to him.”

With so many cards to be mailed, it’s no surprise that the queen gets an early start filling those out. The royal family matriarch starts writing out those season’s greetings in the summer — that way, she has them done before the Christmas rush.

The presents she gives her staffers every year

Queen Elizabeth II and Santa
Queen Elizabeth II and Santa | Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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When it comes to giving presents, Queen Elizabeth doesn’t forget her hundreds of staff members during the holidays and always gets them each a gift.

The family’s website states that they receive a gift or book voucher. The dollar amount on those can vary depending on how long that person has worked in the household. The queen also carries on the tradition her father and grandfather had of giving staffers 1,500 Christmas puddings (desserts) to share between them.

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Why the queen leaves her Christmas decorations up until February

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | John Stillwell/PA Wire

Exactly when to take down Christmas decorations is something that’s always been up for debate. Some people opt to take them down by New Year’s, while others like to leave them up into the first week of January. But Queen Elizabeth keeps hers up much, much longer.

The queen’s elaborate holiday decorations remain up into February. Yes, you read that correctly. So why does she choose to have them up for that long?

The reason is because the queen’s father, King George VI, died on Feb. 6, 1952, at the Sandringham House where and the royals spend the holidays. After Christmas, the queen stays there for several weeks while the rest of the family goes home so she can mark the anniversary of her father’s death in private. Once she leaves, the Christmas decorations come down.