Prince Harry and Meghan will not be spending the festive period with any of the Royal Family due to coronavirus travel restrictions. However, they will not be missing out on much as the traditional Sandringham Christmas has been cancelled by the Queen, who has opted to spend the holiday shielding with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not spend last Christmas with the royals either, but did the two years before that.
At Meghan’s first royal Christmas three years ago, she took part in the family’s tradition of getting each other cheap, joke presents to make each other laugh.
For Her Majesty, Meghan bought a singing hamster toy, which the monarch loved.
Unfortunately, one of her dogs got hold of the toy later on in the day and broke it.
Prince Harry was even more daring one year when he gave his grandmother a shower cap with the slogan ‘Ain’t Life a B****’ on it, which she reportedly found very funny.
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Meanwhile, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge once bought a savage gift for Harry before he met Meghan ‒ a grow your own girlfriend kit.
All these gifts are opened up in front of the entire family.
Sadly, the tradition will not be carried out in the same way this year due to the pandemic.
A Palace source said: “The Queen is acutely aware of the need for caution throughout the crisis and the Christmas period is no different.
When Princess Diana spent her first Christmas with the royals, no one told her about this particular protocol and she ended up buying everyone expensive luxury cashmere scarves.
She was mortified when she realised this was not the done thing.
This gift-giving ceremony, which is overseen by Prince Philip, is done on Christmas Eve in line with the family’s German heritage.
Trestle tables are laid out in the Red Drawing Room, with sections marked off with tape showing where each family member’s gifts should be placed.
The gifts are given out in order of precedence in the family.
On Christmas Day, the family enjoy a fantastic turkey dinner, before watching the Queen’s Christmas broadcast.
Then, on Boxing Day the family go on a shoot in the grounds around Sandringham House.
Camilla is usually the first to leave, because she wants to see her children and grandchildren at some point during the festive season.
Then, the other members of the family drift off leaving the Queen at the Norfolk estate until February 6, her accession day and the anniversary of her father’s death.