LIFE & CULTURE

The 5 Weird Christmas Traditions The Royal Family Must Follow

From the sentimental to the downright wacky

The British royal family is famously off-beat when it comes to their Christmas traditions and with utterly bizarre festive customs dating back nearly a century, you can be sure the British monarchs’ Christmas celebrations differ a fair bit from us commoners. 

The festive season for the Royals is often full of pomp and ceremony, but amongst the many afternoon tea’s and decadent banquets are all sorts of weird and wonderful family traditions that range from the sentimental to the downright wacky. 

From the old to the new, these are all the weird Royal Christmas traditions.

The Queen used to read the corny cracker jokes

There have been many Royal reports that say no other member enjoyed the corny Christmas jokes inside the crackers like Queen Elizabeth, so much so, that Lizzie used to insist she read the gags herself. A source told Express.co.uk that when the Queen was younger she used to make up her own jokes after the pulling of the crackers to amuse the rest of the family.  

the queen christmas tradition

A royal soccer match 

A tradition that was started by Prince Harry and his big brother William, the two Royals team up with their estate workers to play the nearby villagers in a (highly competitive) game of soccer. The game was played on Christmas Eve and is usually for charity, but considering the brothers didn’t play on the same team it’s also played for some winners bragging rights. With the enduring rift between the two, the future of the competitive match is in the air.

prince william harry christmas tradition

Christmas decorations don’t get taken down until February

The Christmas festivities are held at the Royals estate in Sandringham each year, and while most guests leave on Boxing Day to celebrate with other family members the Queen and Prince Charles may remain until the second week of February, and the Christmas decorations won’t go down until they leave. This tradition was started by Queen Elizabeth, who would stay in Sandringham to honour her father, who passed away at Sandringham on February 6, 1952. 

elizabeth and king george
Elizabeth and King George

Family members are weighed before and after Christmas dinner

Now onto the wackier side of things…According to Royal expert and editor of Majesty, Ingrid Seward, each member of the Royal family is weighed before and after dinner. Yes, you read that right. 

The Christmas tradition dates back to King Edward VII, who decided the royal weighing was an apt way to determine if his guests had all been sufficiently fed. While this royal tradition dates back to the early 1900s, it is still done today.

christmas traditions
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Christmas Day, 2017

Exchanging gag gifts on Christmas Eve 

Contrary to popular belief, the Royals are not fans of extravagant gifts for Christmas. The rule in the Royal household is ‘cheap and cheerful’ gifts only – the funnier the better – and all presents are to be opened on Christmas Eve. Royal biographers have reported on many gag gifts over the years, but some of our favourites would have to be Kate Middleton gifting a then-single Harry a ‘grow your own girlfriend’ kit, Anne gifting Charles a leather toilet seat cover, and Harry giving the late Queen a shower cap with “Ain’t Life a B*tch!” printed on it.

meghan markle the queen

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