The British royal family’s relentless schedules do not let up over the holiday season. With their pre-Christmas lunch, the queen’s Christmas address, Christmas Eve dinner, and church, the royal family’s holiday celebrations are full of long days and traditions.
While many of us lounge on the couch with our families in matching pajamas, the royal Christmas festivities involve lots of formal attireIn fact, Queen Elizabeth wears up to seven different outfits on Christmas Day alone.
Inside the royal family’s Christmas itinerary
The British royal family kicks things off on Christmas Eve with a Christmas tea as they decorate the queen’s tree at her Sandringham Estate house.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady explained the tea menu to Hello! Magazine. “It was always the chocolate Yule log, which was a twist on the chocolate birthday cake, scones, mince pies, different types of sandwiches and the Christmas cake,” McGrady said.
After tea, dinner is served at 8:30 p.m., with guests donning black-tie dress. Then, the family exchanges their traditional gag gifts. Because the royals are very wealthy, they don’t believe in spending a ton of money on presents.
The following day after their traditional church services — one private and one public — the royals have their Christmas Day lunch.
Queen Elizabeth changes her outfit many times from Christmas Eve into Christmas Day
In her book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser and the Wardrobe, Queen Elizabeth’s royal dresser Angela Kelly revealed that there is no such thing as a relaxing time at Sandringham.
“The queen is just as busy as she would be in London, with more guests to entertain,” Kelly said, according to Harper’s Bazaar. “There may be several outfit changes in one day—it could be as many as five or even up to seven.”
Making sure the queen has all of the essentials for her Christmas wardrobe requires a great deal of preparation.
“I lay out sketches of evening dresses for the queen to look through and choose what she would like to wear that evening and, occasionally, she may have to pick out a dress for a cocktail party,” Kelly explained.
Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting and guests must never clash with her outfits
The queen must choose her dresses in advance, so others can have the opportunity to pick out their outfits. After all, clashing with the queen is a massive faux pas.
“Once Her Majesty has chosen her dress for dinner, a handwritten notice is pinned up in the Dressers’ Corridor detailing what she will be wearing so that the Queen’s ladies’ maids can select an appropriate dress for the lady they are looking after,” Kelly explained.
All of this seems like a great deal of time and preparation, and we think we’re most content with our matching pajamas and fuzzy socks.