The royals exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, in keeping with their German heritage, but they always give each other cheap, joke presents. However, no one thought to tell the young Princess of Wales and she bought expensive Cashmere scarves and other luxury times for her in-laws. The presents, which are opened up in front of everyone, caused much hilarity, to Diana’s embarrassment.
In return for a Cashmere jumper for Princess Anne, she received a toilet roll holder.
Some examples of these joke presents over the years have been a white leather toilet seat, which Princess Anne gave to her brother Prince Charles, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s savage gift to Prince Harry before he met Meghan Markle ‒ a ‘grow your own girlfriend’ kit.
Even more bold was a shower cap Prince Harry gave to his grandmother the Queen, which bore the slogan ‘Ain’t Life a B****’.
Meghan Markle once gave the Queen a singing hamster toy, but it was broken later that day by one of the monarch’s dogs.
Princess Diana at Christmas
Christmas for the Royal Family is usually at Sandringham House in Norfolk
Princess Diana, too, got into the spirit of the gag once she was aware of it, buying Sarah Ferguson a leopard print path mat a few years later.
The gift exchange, which is supervised by Prince Philip, takes place in the Red Drawing Room at Sandringham House in Norfolk.
Trestle tables are laid out with red tape marking out a section for each member of the family.
During the day, royals sneak in and lay out their presents, and then at 6pm they all gather to open them.
Princess Diana outside church with the rest of the Royal Family
Christmas at Sandringham works like clockwork and, after the gifts are exchanged, they move to the hall for drinks.
A Martini mixed by a servant is a popular option, but Prince Harry and Prince William prefer to have a Sandringham cider, which is brewed from the estate’s apples.
After drinks, they retire to their rooms for a bath and a change of clothes.
It is said that there are numerous wardrobe changes during a royal Christmas, with Sarah, Duchess of York once complaining that she was obliged to wear seven outfits in a 24-hour period.
Every year the Queen does a Christmas speech that is broadcast at 3pm
For dinner, the men dress in black tie and the women in evening gowns and jewels.
After a gong for pre-dinner drinks at 8pm, the family sits down to a three-course dinner at 8:15pm.
After food, the men are offered liqueurs while the women move to another room for coffee.
No one is allowed to go to bed until the Queen does and she often does not go until after midnight.
The next day, the Royal Family starts with a full English breakfast, before going to St Mary Magdalene’s church near the estate.
Around 1000 well-wishers usually gather to watch the family go in and come out.
The royals often stop and talk to people after the service.
Back at the house, the Queen and her family sit down to a traditional Christmas lunch with Norfolk turkey, a selection of cold meats and an array of side dishes.
Like Christmas Eve, this day works by a strict timetable with junior staff eating at 11am, senior staff at midday, the royals at 1:15pm, the junior kitchen staff at 2:15pm and then everything stops while the Queen’s speech is on at 3pm.
Only afterwards do the senior footmen and butlers get a chance to eat, with the royal chef last to eat at around 4pm.
In the afternoon, the royals may go for a walk with the dogs, play charades or watch TV.
On Boxing Day, it is traditional for them to go on a shoot.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is usually the first to leave Sandringham, because she wants to spend some time with her children from her first marriage, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes.
The Queen is the last to leave Sandringham, as she stays until the anniversary of her father’s death, her accession day, and insists that the Christmas decorations are left up until then.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK