A trip to Canada and decades-long traditions: Exactly how the royal family will spend Christmas.


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It’s certainly been a tumultuous year for the British royal family.

From rumours of a royal feud to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s telling documentary appearance to Prince Andrew’s “nuclear explosion level bad” BBC interview, 2019 has been described by some as the beginning of the end for the British monarchy.

But as the year comes to an end, many have begun to question how the British royal family will spend Christmas – and whether all members of the family will attend.

Wondering what actually happens at a royal Christmas? Post continues below.

Here’s what we know so far about how the royals are spending Christmas.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Every year, the British royal family make their annual trip to the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, where the family spends Christmas together.

This year, however, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are skipping the family event to spend Christmas in Canada with their son Archie, where the couple are currently taking a six-week break from royal duties.


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to be joined by close friends as well as Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, during their trip.

On Saturday, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed their Christmas plans.

“As has been reported, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are spending private family time in Canada. The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both,” the statement read.


“The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.”

Before the travel plans were confirmed, a video was released of Prince Harry recording a message for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which is a charity that supports children who have lost a parent while serving.

“Yes, losing a parent is incredibly hard, but I know that every single one of you, by helping each other out that you will have an amazing future ahead of you and you’re going to have an amazing Christmas as well,” Prince Harry said in the video.


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent Christmas Day at Sandringham with the Queen in both 2018 and 2017.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have also spent Christmas away from Sandringham in the past, with the couple previously spending the holidays with the Middletons in Bucklebury in 2012 and 2016.

“This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the royal family, and has the support of Her Majesty the Queen,” a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said, referencing William and Kate.

Prince Andrew

In November, Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein sparked major backlash.

In the interview, Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, denied allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by his friend Epstein, who ended his own life in a U.S. prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

At the time, Prince Andrew’s bizarre responses to the interview and lack of empathy or concern for victims sparked outrage.

Mamamia Out Loud discuss Prince Andrew’s horrifically bad BBC interview. Post continues below.

Since the scandal erupted, many have questioned whether Prince Andrew will make an appearance at Sandringham Estate.

Although it has not been confirmed whether Andrew will make an appearance on Christmas Day, the 59-year-old did attend the Queen’s annual pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace last week.


The Times‘ royal correspondent, Roya Nikkhah, has also claimed that Andrew will be present for church at Sandringham on Christmas Day.

“[Prince Andrew] will join the Queen and the Royal Family for church at Sandringham, where crowds gather every year to see the royals, in what is set to be a litmus test of the public mood on Prince Andrew,” she said.

Following his disastrous BBC interview, Andrew did not attend his daughter, Princess Beatrice’s, engagement party last week.

The Duke of York’s 60th birthday party, which was scheduled for February 2020, has also reportedly been cancelled.

Christmas at Sandringham

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Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service in 2017. Image: Getty.

While Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and baby Archie will spend Christmas privately, the rest of the royal family is expected to travel to Sandringham in Norfolk as usual.

This year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to attend with their children.

The family normally arrive at the estate on Christmas Eve day, before sharing afternoon tea and exchanging gifts (which are usually gag gifts).

On Christmas Eve, there is traditionally a black-tie dinner.

On Christmas Day, the entire family attends two Christmas church services together – including a private family service and a more formal public service.

Ahead of the public service, everyone other than the Queen walks to church together.

After the church services, the family gather for Christmas lunch before the Queen's annual Christmas address airs at 3pm, which has taken place every year since 1952.

Feature Image: Getty.

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