Queen Elizabeth II Goes to Bed at the Same Time Every New Year’s Eve

New Year’s celebrations around the world are quite different for everyone in 2020. Many people had to scrap their traditions and plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that includes the royal family.

 Queen Elizabeth II isn’t celebrating the way she normally would but she still may go to bed the same she does every New Year’s Eve. Here’s what time the monarch actually stays up til and how she and Prince Philip usually celebrate the holiday.

 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip | Leon Neal – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

How Queen Elizabeth II usually rings in the new year

In 2020, Queen Elizabeth did not travel to Norfolk like she typically does for Christmas as she and the Duke of Edinburgh remained at Windsor Castle.

In years past, the royal family would celebrate the festive holiday together at the queen’s Sandringham Estate. The Sandringham House is not as large as some of the other residences so it does get a bit crowded. In order to accommodate all of the guests some sleep in the staff quarters.

As one former staffer said, “There are so many people staying that some of the minor royals have to sleep in what would normally be staff accommodation. Some of the servants have to make do with cottages on the estate or digs in surrounding villages.”

The royal family and guests stand in from of The Sandringham Estate.
Sandringham House | Adrian Dennis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

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On any other New Year’s Eve close friends and family, who did not spend Christmas with the monarch, would go to Norfolk to ring in the New Year with her. Then on New Year’s Day, she would attend a church service in the morning before organizing a pheasant hunt for later in the day.

But what time does Queen Elizabeth stay up till the night before with her guests?

Time the queen goes to bed on New Year’s Eve and when everyone else can

According to the Express, the queen “always rings in the New Year at midnight. She heads to bed after midnight, [at] which time other members of her family and invited guests are permitted to go sleep.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

All the royal family matriarch’s guests are expected to stay up with her and don’t call it a night before she does. That applies for the rest of the year too, not just on New Year’s Eve.

The Express noted that the monarch’s former private secretary Sir William Heseltine, who worked at the palace from 1986 to 1990, said that Princess Diana, in particular, found the rule difficult to follow.

“For Diana the long royal evenings were agony,” Heseltine revealed in a previous interview. “There’d be an hour or so in the sitting room of everyone sitting around making conversation, and nobody felt it right to go to bed before the queen did. And Diana was driven to such extremes that she’d excuse herself and go to bed which was thought to be rather bad form, going to bed before the queen.”