A royal holiday: How the royal family celebrates Christmas
From Princess Diana and her sons William and Harry to the newest royals Kate and baby George, there has been a fascination with the royal family for a very long time. Long before the beloved People's Princess stole our hearts, the glamorous life of the royals has been admired by many.
- Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret join in singing Christmas carols as they attend the Royal Choral Society's Christmas concert. It was the little Princesses first visit to a public concert.
- The King and Queen, accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Princess Elizabeth, attended church at Sandringham, where they stay during the holidays.
A confectioner from London works on a cake in the shape of Princess Elizabeth's Welsh cottage. Oh, no big deal. Just a small Christmas dessert...
- Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret perform in a Christmas pantomime "Old Mother Red Riding Boots" at Windsor Castle.
- The sisters perform on stage in the Christmas pantomime.
- The Christmas tree in St Paul's Cathedral, London, which was brought from the royal estates at Windsor.
- Prince Charles and Princess Anne leave Clarence House for King's Cross in the company of their nurses, 22nd December 1950. They are on their way to Sandringham to spend Christmas with their grandparents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
- Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip look at their decorated Christmas tree during the filming of a television special about life in the British royal family.
- Diana, Princess Of Wales, arriving at Gloucestershire Cathedral for a Christmas service wearing a kossack style Russian hat and muff.
- Diana and Charles pose with baby Prince William during the holiday season.
- Princess Diana attends a Christmas concert, looking lovely in black with a white lace collar.
- Such a regal little Prince! William, his cousins Zara and Peter Phillips and Lord Frederick Windsor attend a Christmas day service with Princess Diana.
- What. a. cutie! Prince Harry dresses as a shepherd for his school's Christmas play.
- William wears a coat by Catherine Walker (one of his mother's favorites!) as he tries on a fireman's hat while at Sandringham.
- Princess Diana and Prince Harry attend young William's Christmas play.
- Zara Phillips and Prince William are stylin' as they attend church on Christmas day.
- Princess Di takes her sons to a Christmas carol concert at Wetherby School. We love their matching uniforms!
- Diana is stunning in houndstooth as she and William attend church in Sandringham.
- A wind-blown Prince! Cutie William and his aunt Princess Anne attend the royal Christmas service.
- Princess Diana looks gorgeous in red with a broad-brimmed black hat.
- Diana smiles at William as they walk to the Christmas service.
- Proud mom and her boys.
- Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie attend a Christmas pantomime with their mother.
- The young Princes hold gifts given to them by the public as they attend Church in Sandringham.
- Sarah, Duchess of York, with her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
- Prince William looking adorable in a navy coat and stylish plaid scarf.
- Prince Harry smiles at the public on Christmas day.
- The Queen Mother walks with Prince Philip outside of the church.
- The Princes attended a service in Norfolk, England in 2003.
- Members of the public know just how to get into the royal family's heart! Princess Anne greets a couple with two corgi pups.
- Um, points for THE cutest flower-givers ever!
- Okay, she rivals the backpack boys.
- The Queen and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
- A bearded William and dapper Harry walk with little Arthur Chatto.
- Whoa, check out Princess Eugenie's Michael-Jackson-inspired hat.
- The Queen decked out in all red.
- Harry and Zara Phillips chat outside the church on Christmas day.
- Happily engaged William and Kate attended a Christmas reception.
- The Prince all bundled up.
- These sisters know how to rock a statement hat.
- We're sure the Queen's head was toasty warm in this fluffy fur hat.
- Hey, if the Queen wears a fur hat, Camilla can too!
- Underprivleged children help Camilla decorate the Clarence House Christmas tree.
- Queen Elizabeth delivers her Christmas message, standing in front of her tree in Buckingham Palace.
- The royal family takes a stroll from the church in Sandringham on Christmas day.
- Kate attends her first Christmas service in Sandringham as a member of the royal family.
- A pint-sized well-wisher gives Kate flowers.
- The Queen delivers her Christmas address, showing off the impressive halls of Buckingham Palace.
- Camilla decorates Clarence House for the holidays with children from respite homes.
- Prince Harry celebrates Christmas in Afghanistan.
- Sophie, Countess of Wessex and her daughter Louise attend the Christmas service.
- Pricesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York help the Queen collect flowers on Christmas day.
In years past, when Queen Elizabeth was Princess Elizabeth, she and her sister Princess Margaret spent time performing traditional Christmas pantomimes! For four years during World War II, the sisters took part in these musical comedy stage productions. Performed around Christmas and New Year's, the pantomimes usually had no direct reference to the holiday, but were traditional children's stories. These pantomimes were a big part of their holiday celebrations at Windsor Castle, where the sisters were living after evacuating from Buckingham Palace during wartime.
So as you're gearing up for your own Christmas celebration, take a look at how the British royals have celebrated through the years. When it comes to the holidays, the royal family is just like a lot of us!(Well, aside from decorating a giant castle and spending a few weeks on a sprawling country estate...) They typically attend some events around the holidays to support and bring holiday cheer to their chosen charities, but when it gets closer to Christmas day, it's all about family. They spend time in Sandringham -- the Queen's country estate -- and attend Christmas day service together every year.
Last year, William and Kate were not in Sandringham with the royal family, but instead were with the Middletons. Kate was pregnant, after all, and wanted to be with her family. This year, though it was believed that the Middletons would join the royal family at Sandringham, it turns out they are unable to do so as William and Kate's home on the estate is not yet renovated. Instead, the Duke and Duchess will spend Christmas eve and morning with the royal family, and then whisk baby George off to his other grandparents in Berkshire. Everyone gets to see the little Prince for the holiday!
We can't wait to see what Kate will wear to the Christmas church service, and of course, what little Georgie (can we call him that...?) will wear! We're pulling for some serious argyle sweater action.
Click through the gallery to see the royal family's celebrations through the years. Brace yourself: Prince Harry... dressed as a shepherd. (age 4!)