Queen Elizabeth II Buys Her Staffers the Same $8 Present Every Year

Christmas has looked a little different the past two years for so many people around the globe amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and that’s true for the royal family as well. Queen Elizabeth II usually hosts a festive lunch the week before the holiday but canceled that this year to cut down on large gatherings. This has some royal fans wondering about the monarch’s other Christmas traditions and if they’ll be happening this year.

Here’s how the royal family matriarch is reportedly spending the holiday, plus the gifts she gets her household staffers annually that has also been a tradition for decades.

Queen Elizabeth II wearing red and smiling as she tours RAF Valley
Queen Elizabeth II wearing red and smiling as she tours RAF Valley | Christopher Furlong-WPA-Pool/Getty Images

Where Queen Elizabeth II usually celebrates Christmas

The royals usually spend the Christmas holiday at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

In past years, Queen Elizabeth would travel there a few days ahead of the rest of her family who would all meet there on Christmas Eve. The estate is also where the late Prince Philip made his full-time home after he retired from royal duties in 2017. However, plans changed in 2020 due to the pandemic as both the queen and Philip spent the holiday at Windsor castle. Because of the same concerns this year, the monarch will again celebrate at Windsor instead of Sandringham.

This will be her first year without Philip, who died on April 9, 2021. But the Prince of Wales’ Clarence House residence announced that the queen will not be alone for the holiday as some family members including Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will be on hand to celebrate with her.

The present Queen Elizabeth’s staffers always receive

Queen Elizabeth II wearing blue and smiling as she tours Queen Mother Square
Queen Elizabeth II wearing blue and smiling as she tours Queen Mother Square | Samir Hussein/WireImage

When it comes to gift-giving during the holidays, the queen always remembers her staff of around 1,500 employees and opts to give them all the same thing each year. So just what do they get from the monarch?

The royal family’s website has the answer stating: “Continuing the tradition from her father, King George VI and her grandfather, George V — the queen also gives Christmas puddings to her staff. About 1,500 Christmas puddings paid for by the queen (through the Privy Purse) are distributed to staff throughout the palaces, staff in the Court Post Office, and Palace police. Each pudding is accompanied by a greeting card.”

The Mirror noted that in the past, staff would receive a “luxury” pudding from Harrods or the royal grocer Fortnum & Mason. But according to Hello!, times have changed and the queen now gives out a £6 ($8 USD) Tesco version.

The unique gifts members of the royal family give one another

Members of the royal family walk to Sandringham Church for the traditional Christmas Day service
Members of the royal family walk to Sandringham Church for the traditional Christmas Day service | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Some people are curious about the royals’ gift-giving traditions amongst themselves.

They exchange presents on Christmas Eve but instead of buying each other expensive jewelry or clothes, they give cheap gag gifts. Over the years these have included a shower cap Prince Harry gave to his grandmother which read: ‘Ain’t life a b**ch,’ a ‘Grow Your Own Girlfriend’ kit for Harry (pre-Meghan Markle) courtesy of sister-in-law Kate Middleton, and a stuffed singing hamster from Meghan to the queen.

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