Royal Christmas tradition the Queen has cancelled

The Queen and Prince Philip will already be spending Christmas alone for the first time since 1949, and now it’s been revealed the 94-year-old monarch will have to skip another tradition this year.

Not only will the royal couple be missing the usual family Christmas gathering at Sandringham, in Norfolk, but the Queen will also miss the annual gift giving ceremony for staff.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday
The Queen's Christmas will look very different in 2020. Photo: Getty

Normally, select members from the royal households at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle will receive a gift from the Queen to thank them for their year of service.

But this year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and social distancing requirements in the UK, the Queen won’t be handing out any gifts in person.

Instead, each staff member will received their gift in the mail.


There is one element of the tradition that may be able to remain remain, however, a Christmas pudding from Tesco for all staff members, complete with a Christmas card from the Queen and Prince Philip.

It’s a tradition first stated by the Queen's grandfather King George V.

In a typical year, 1500 puddings are sent out to all staff members at a cost of around $12 each, according to The Sun.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen and Philip will remain alone at Windsor Castle for Christmas. Photo: AP

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Christmas this year will be much quieter as they will remain at Windsor Castle.

This is the first Christmas Day the couple will be without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when the Queen left Prince Charles in the UK so she could be with Prince Philip in Malta.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas at Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, but are expected to visit the Queen and Prince Philip at some point over the festive season.

Prince William and his family will likely spend Christmas at Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, or with the Middleton family in Berkshire, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will likely remain in the US for Christmas.

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