What do The royal family eat on Christmas Day, do they have turkey and what time do they eat?

But what do they tuck into on the big day? And do they indulge in cheesy Christmas movies and open stockings in pjs?

Where do the royals spend Christmas?

Darren McGrady, the former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales and Princes William and Harry, revealed exactly how the elite family spends Christmas.

He said to Cosmopolitan that the family head to Sandringham House in Norfolk for the celebrations, with the Queen heading up early on December 19 or 20, and the family joining on Christmas Eve.

Although this year, there has been much speculation that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join's Kate's family at their lavish Berkshire mansion, and opt out of the Queen's 'military-style' celebrations.

What is the routine at Sandringham?

Presents are placed ready for family members on trestle tables at the lavish abode.

Darren revealed: “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. Christmas morning, the family eats a hardy breakfast before heading off to church.

“After church, that's when they have a big lunch”

After everyone has finished tucking into their food, the Royal Family gathers to watch the Queen’s Christmas speech.


Following this they have time to relax before meeting together later on for afternoon tea and Christmas fruitcake.

In the evening they will enjoy a lavish buffet lunch, with 16-20 different items spread out for them to choose from and chefs on hand to carve the meat.

What do they eat?

The main lunch includes a "salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert.”

As in many households around the UK, the menu for Christmas day doesn’t change and is the same year after year.

Unlike in the US, appetisers and canapés are avoided and only reserved for New Year’s Eve, but the “chocolate-loving” Queen will indulge in a dark chocolate treat over Christmas.

Another tradition that is upheld by the Queen is that of the senior chef enjoying a toast with the family after serving dinner.

Darren said: “That's the only time the chef goes into the dining room and has a glass of whiskey with the Royal Family. It's one of the chef's favourite traditions."

How is Sandringham decorated?

Although Buckingham Palace is usually lavishly decorated, Sandringham, a private residence, has more basic decorations.

These include a Christmas tree and a large, 30-year-old silver artificial tree in the dining room.

Meghan Markle is set to break royal tradition as she plans Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham this year – a privilege usually reserved for members of the Royal Family.

This will be a marked difference to the family Christmases she will have spent in previous years, as The Sun reveals a picture of her, her aunt and her cousin from her childhood.

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