This is what Queen Elizabeth II gives her staff for Christmas

In many ways, it’s safe to say that Queen Elizabeth II is not like us common folks. Not only does she own a lot of swans and dolphins (seriously!), but nearly 50 places around the world are named after her, too. But Her Majesty does have one quality that we can all relate to: She enjoys Christmas just as much as we do. She loves it so much, in fact, that she participates in every single one of these 10 royal family holiday traditions you’ll want to steal for yourself.

The Queen’s holiday season isn’t exclusively reserved for her family, though. In addition to her annual Christmas speech that’s broadcast throughout the world, she also makes time to celebrate with her royal staff members.

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Royal family on Christmas Day 2017
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Royal family on Christmas Day 2017
Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, leads members of the royal family as they arrive to attend the Christmas Day church service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle leave St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle leave St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Queen Elizabeth leaves St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Meghan Markle arrives at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince Charles and Prince Andrew lead members of the royal family as they arrive to attend the Christmas Day church service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, leads members of the royal family as they arrive to attend the Christmas Day church service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Each December, Queen Elizabeth gives each member of her 550-person staff a gift or book voucher, each loaded with a dollar amount that varies depending on how long they have worked in her service. She also gives them around 1,500 Christmas puddings to share between them, according to the official royal website. (For all the math pros out there, that’s nearly three puddings per person!) Every gift comes with a little extra something: a greeting card from Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip. Find out which royal Christmas tradition the Queen might break for Meghan Markle.

Like many other procedures in the British monarchy, however, there is a strict protocol regarding how the employees receive their gifts, according to the Express. A senior officer calls out each person’s name according to their rank, starting with the most senior household staff. Then, the Queen personally hands each staff member his or her gift. Queen Elizabeth offers another festive gesture to her staff by breaking this one tradition every Christmas, too.

The palace staff aren’t the only ones receiving some Christmas joy from the Queen. Her Majesty also donates money to charities in Windsor, plus offers Christmas trees to churches and schools around the United Kingdom. Now that’s what we call the Christmas spirit! Next, check out these 50 other things you didn’t know about the British royal family.

[Sources: Express, royal.uk]

The post This Is What Queen Elizabeth II Gives Her Staff for Christmas appeared first on Reader's Digest.

This is the easiest Christmas gift to give:

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Holiday 2018: Gift cards to give
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Holiday 2018: Gift cards to give
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