Since 1862, when then Prince Bertie, the Prince of Wales, brought Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England to be his country retreat residence, the property had been the private country home of the British sovereigns. The house witnessed the death of the two monarchs, King George V and his son, King George VI (the father of Queen Elizabeth II). Since the reign of George V, royal family members spend Christmas at Sandringham Estate.
So where's the royals go during Christmas holidays?
The British royal family members headed by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh traditionally spend Christmas at Sandringham Estate and attend a church service at St. Magdalene Church then at 12:00 noon everybody will gather at the living room to watch the Queen deliver her annual Christmas message to the British people via television.
Sandringham is a 25,000 acre estate of the British sovereign, since it is a private home and not merely a crown property, it does not automatically pass to the next monarch unless he is the first born son of the ruling sovereign. It has a beautiful and sprawling country house, cottages and apartment inside the estate. One of the apartments is the Parkhouse, a ten bedroom building which had been a previous home of the family of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana spent her childhood there until 1975 when her father, John Spencer, became the 8th Earl of Althorp, a Spencer estate also located at Norfolk, England.
The traditional gift giving to the staff and family members usually happens at Christmas eve. According to Paul Burrell in his book "A Royal Duty", the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh personally hand their gifts to every staff and servant during this season and extend their thanks and wishes. Cool!
So it's Christmas once again and everybody is excited to spend it with their family. I am going home too to be with my family and enjoy the rest of the holiday break. It's still pretty nice to hear and read news from royalty where they spend their Christmas holiday.
This Christmas marks the first time that the Duchess of Cambridge will going to Sandringham to be with the rest of the royal family and I heard that Prince William invited Kate's younger sister, the ever visible Pippa Middleton, to join them on Christmas celebration because Kate might be isolated with the rest of the royal family members, arrrrgh!So this is the first time that they will invite a real outsider to the exclusive Christmas celebration of royalty? I doubt how the other blue blooded royals react to this news.