Queen Elizabeth Spends $40,000 on Christmas Gifts Each Year, Source Says
Like many people, the British royal family‘s Christmas is going to look very different this year. Though they traditionally come together to visit, dine, and exchange gifts, the pandemic will undoubtedly keep them separate. Still, that won’t stop them from exchanging gifts.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry have reportedly exchanged gifts with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William via mail. Also, Queen Elizabeth II is known to spend $40,000 each year on Christmas gifts each year.
This is how the British royal family typically celebrates Christmas
Since the death of the queen’s father, King George VI, in 1952, she has spent Christmas with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at Sandringham estate. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she and Prince Philip will spend Christmas at Windsor Castle this year.
Traditionally, the royals all gather for Christmas, attend church, have a Christmas lunch and dinner, and exchange gifts by the Christmas tree. The royals also have an extensive Christmas Eve tea, and Queen Elizabeth sits at the head of the table and shares corny jokes with her family as they eat.
Since the queen’s father died on February 6, 1952, the royals also spend New Years at Sandringham, taking their holiday decorations down in Feb. to commemorate the late king.
The British royal family has their own gift tradition
With so much money at their disposal, the royals do not get each other traditional gifts each year. Instead, they opt for hilarious gag gifts which they open on Christmas Eve. Former royal chef Darren McGrady told Express, “The royals are of German descent, so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations. After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition.”
The gag gifts are hilarious. One year, before he met his now-wife, Kate gifted Prince Harry a “Grow-Your-Own-Girlfriend” kit. Also, during her first royal Christmas, Meghan gifted the queen a singing hamster.
Once Princess Diana gave Prince Harry fake dog poo. McGrady told People, “The crazier and the more quirky is what they love. It’s not about something really amazing or a Cartier watch.”
Queen Elizabeth typically spends $40,000 on Christmas gifts each year
Though gag gifts are the tradition, Queen Elizabeth still spends an immense sum on Christmas gifts each year. In addition to her family, the monarch also purchases gifts for her staff. According to The Sun, there are 620 people on her gift list.
A royal aide told The Sun, “The presents are usually a book token or a small piece of china from the palace gift shop, and most years she gives them a small Christmas pudding in a box as well.”
Traditionally, the staff all gather together as the queen hands out the wrapped gifts, thanking them each for their service over the year. With so many staffers, she typically spends £30,000 (around $39,000) each year.