When it comes to Christmas, every family has their own way of doing things. Diehard royal fans will know that the Windsors typically spend the silly season at Queen Elizabeth’s residence of Sandringham House in Norfolk, England with the big day consisting of the annual church service at St Mary Magdalene’s. Followed by a 50-minute lunch and tuning in at 3 pm for the Queen’s pre-recorded speech.
Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis usually attend, with the exception of Christmas 2016. But, over the years we’ve also learned about the sweet traditions the Middleton family have in place every year.
Since Kate’s mom Carole Middleton owns her own company Party Pieces, she certainly knows a thing or two about throwing a memorable Christmas celebration. In the exclusive chat with the UK Telegraph, self-described “list-maker” Carole said she starts planning the festivities just after Halloween complete with wrapping paper themes.
Then on Christmas Day, the family, who live in the British county of Berkshire, attend church in the morning, go on a walk and then open presents. She and Michael are now grandparents of five to George, Charlotte, and Louis as well as Pippa and James Matthews’ children Arthur and Grace. What’s more, in 2021 the Middletons officially welcomed Alizée Thevenet to the family when she married youngest son, James Middleton.
Keep reading to see how Michael, Carole, Kate, Pippa, and James (as well as their expanding family) celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Christmas Trees Galore
Speaking to The Telegraph in 2018, Carole revealed that she likes to have as many Christmas trees as possible in her home, Bucklebury Manor, including one in the grandchildren’s rooms, “so that they can decorate it themselves.”
In 2021, the Middleton matriarch remarked on Instagram: “Once again this year we plan to have two Christmas trees: one for the children to decorate and one which I do myself. My beloved tree-top angel is looking a little worse for wear after years of service so it’s time to invest in something new.”
In a post shared to Carole’s company Party Pieces’ Instagram, the mother-of-three shared a sweet anecdote about the festive season when Kate, Pippa, and James were children.
“I find that the smallest present can be the one that gives the most enjoyment and entertainment to children,” she wrote. “I remember that when they were young, my children found flexi-figures like these totally absorbing. A good choice of stocking fillers can give one extra time, undisturbed in bed on Christmas Day. Invaluable!”
All About the Children
At the heart of the celebrations are the children so it’s safe to say George, Charlotte, Louis, Arthur, and Grace are always spoiled when December rolls around. Though families were separated during Christmas 2020 due to the pandemic, Carole revealed how she kept the little ones involved.
“For me, what really matters is that my family feels connected,” she wrote on Instagram. “I normally let my grandchildren help me decorate the tree. This year, I’ll ask them by video call to decide which decoration should go where. It may need to be tastefully rearranged later…!”
In 2016 when the Cambridge family spent Christmas with the Middletons, royal fans were delighted to see the young prince and princess attending the church service at St Mark’s Church in Englefield. George and Charlotte were even snapped enjoying some candy canes as they left the service, something that royal children don’t typically attend at Sandringham until they are at least fours years old.
Taking the Silly Season Literally With Fancy Dress
We always knew that Christmas at the Middletons would be a less formal affair than the Sandringham one, but it turns out patriarch Michael really loves to show his fun side at this time of year!
“My father has developed this funny tradition of surprising us at some point by appearing in fancy dress,” Pippa told the Spectator in 2015. “He buys a new costume each year and typically gets a bit carried away — a couple of Christmases ago, he appeared in an inflatable sumo outfit.”
A Flexitarian Menu
If you ever get the opportunity to enjoy a Christmas at Bucklebury Manor, make sure to go with an empty stomach! While Christmas lunch is smoked salmon with champagne, the full Christmas dinner is served in the evening. In 2018, Carole mentioned that she also served a vegan option too as she’s a flexitarian. “If I go to someone’s house for dinner, I’m not going to make a fuss. For Christmas, I’d probably have two options — very traditional and something vegan,” she told The Telegraph at the time.
James previously mentioned that Christmas is a traditional day in the Middleton family calendar with all the trimmings.”There’ll be turkey, champagne and some wine…For me it’s all about family… It’s one where we can all regroup,” James said in an interview on German TV channel, Leute Heute.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.