Royal Christmas: Family weigh themselves at Sandringham in bizarre tradition


A NEW FILM shows Princess Diana being weighed in a Royal Family Christmas tradition.

Spencer starring Kristen Stewart sees Diana, who suffered from the bulimia eating disorder, take to scales as part of a ritual on her arrival at Sandringham in the early Nineties. The movie has divided some film fans and royal experts with some criticism over the accuracy of certain scenes although the director, Pablo Larraín, has described the film as a “fable from a true tragedy” rather than a biopic.

In spite of how bizarre it sounds, standing on a set of scales on arrival and departure from the Queen’s Norfolk estate is apparently something the Windsors do.

Royal pundit Ingrid Seward once told Grazia magazine the Queen makes sure guests “weigh themselves” on a pair of antique scales in a tradition dating back to Edward VII.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria wanted to ensure company was well fed so visitors to Sandringham were required to sit on the device to see if they had put on pounds during their stay.

However, it is not clear if this is something the royals do today or if it is a chapter which should be consigned to the history books.


Spencer is a ‘fable’ about Princess Diana’s life in the 1990s (Image: John Stillwell/PA Images)

Kristen Stewart plays Diana in the film

Kristen Stewart plays Diana in the film (Image: Ian West/PA Images)

The chances guests might pile on a few pounds are good though given the sumptuous dishes available to the royals, especially on Christmas Day.

Darren McGrady, who used to work in the royal kitchens, has said: “After church, that’s when they have a big lunch that 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.

“They stick with the same meal year after year.”

This Christmas, the Queen is said to be “totally committed” to entertaining her loved ones after missing out last year because of the pandemic.

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Diana with Prince Charles on a trip to Korea (Image: Martin Keene/PA Images)

di and harry

Diana with Prince Harry in 1995 (Image: Martin Keene/PA Images)

She is currently taking some rest and is not set to undertake any public engagements until at least the weekend for the annual Remembrance Sunday service.

Last year restrictions meant the Queen and the late Prince Philip spent Christmas alone at Windsor Castle.

After losing her husband of 73 years in April, it is understood Her Majesty is keen to see everyone together.

A Palace insider told the Mirror: “This year, more than ever, it is incredibly important to Her Majesty to be surrounded by her loved ones.

“The Queen is totally committed to hosting everyone as she hopes to make it back to full health in the coming weeks.

“Her Majesty is resting under doctors’ orders with the intention of being able to fully enjoy the company of her extended family over the holiday period.

“After being forced to cancel a host of engagements, the family get-together will be the perfect tonic.”

Di and Wills

Diana with Prince William in 1992 (Image: Adam Butler/PA Images)

Set during Christmas, Spencer tells the story of Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage at a time when reports of affairs and divorce were rife though peace is decreed for the festive period.


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