What Does the Queen Do on New Year’s Day?

In the royal family, the holidays are always celebrated with a bang — including New Year’s. And, Queen Elizabeth II is typically in charge of hosting many of the family’s holidays. But, with Christmas over, many of her family members have left Sandringham House to celebrate 2019 in their own ways. So, what does the queen do on New Year’s Day? Keep reading to find that out, plus how the rest of the royal family celebrates.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II spends New Year’s Day away from some of her family members. | Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool /Getty Images

What does the queen do on New Year’s Day?

With Her Majesty’s favorite holiday (Christmas, of course) over, the Queen of England has said goodbye to some of her family members — including Prince William and Kate Middleton, who spend New Year’s with Kate’s family — and prepared for her annual New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day traditions. Find out how the queen celebrates New Year’s every year, below.

Her friends and family stay at Sandringham House

After her Christmas visitors have left, the queen — well, her staff — gets Sandringham House in tip top order to welcome new guests to the Norfolk, England abode (read: mansion). Every year, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip invite friends and other family members (those that didn’t get to spend Christmas with Her Majesty) to Sandringham House for a New Year’s Eve celebration.

She goes to bed first

In the royal family, there are rules about who gets to go to bed first — even on New Year’s Eve. Apparently, no one can hit the hay before Her Majesty. That means if those staying with her can’t stay up for the midnight celebration and the queen does, they best drink an extra cup of tea at tea time.

She attends a church service on New Year’s Day

Like Christmas, the queen welcomes the new year with a church service. Her Majesty attends service with Prince Philip and their friends and family first thing on New Year’s Day before partaking in some of her favorite activities.

She spends the rest of the day riding horses

At 92-years-old, Queen Elizabeth II still gets on her horses from time-to-time. New Year’s Day is one of her favorite (read: most consecutive) times to do a couple laps with her beloved horses at Sandringham House. Talk about a way to ring in the new year!

She hunts pheasants

There’s no word on whether or not the queen actually does the hunting, but January is pheasant hunting season and the activity is typically a must for the royals (and those staying with them) on New Year’s Day.

How does the royal family celebrate New Year’s?

While the queen and Prince Philip are busy at Sandringham House, other members of the royal family jet off on their own New Year’s Eve adventures. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle like to travel (last year they went to Monaco!), Prince William and Kate Middleton always spend it at the Middleton family’s NYE bash, and Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles head to Scotland and stay at their Balmoral estate home.

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