The 62-year-old, who served as a footman for the Queen before becoming Princess Diana’s personal butler, said the monarch does not get involved with the cooking but loves her rubber gloves to tackle the washing up while her lady-in-waiting stands by with the tea-towel on drying duty. He also claimed the Queen shows great restraint at the festive table and eats only “tiny portions”.
She is stood there with her Marigolds on and she washes up and the lady-in-waiting dries
Mr Burrell told Vicky Pattison’s The Secret podcast: “She does like to go on picnics but the food is all prepared.
“She likes to wash up. She puts on the Marigolds and when she goes out to the log cabin at Balmoral she is stood there with her Marigolds on and she washes up and the lady-in-waiting dries.
“She only ever eats very little portions.
“She doesn’t eat a Christmas dinner like we do where it is piled high and you can’t see each other across the table.
“If you say anything about the Queen I think the most important thing to say is she has something which the rest of them don’t have – she has great self discipline.”
The Queen likes to get stuck into the washing up on Christmas Day
Like the rest of the country, the royal Christmas will be heavily impacted by coronavirus restrictions and the Queen will have to decide which two households will join her and Prince Philip for the festive season.
The rules state three households will be allowed to form a “Christmas bubble” between December 23 and 27.
The bubble must be exclusive for the entire five-day period, meaning people cannot shift from one group to another.
As a result, the Queen will have to choose just two other households to celebrate with which could prove a difficult decision as she and the Duke of Edinburgh have four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
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The Queen pictured at her Balmoral highland estate
The Queen eats only ‘tiny portions’ of Christmas dinner before donning her rubber gloves
Last year, the monarch was joined by six other households including Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and her then-fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Anne and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
There are a number of options the Queen could take and it is understood she has yet to make a final.
Prince Charles and Camilla could join the Queen’s Christmas bubble but this would mean the Duchess would be unable to spend the festivities with her children and grandchildren.
The Queen may also decide to invite her other children, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew or Prince Edward.
But only two of her children’s households would be able to mingle with the Queen over the five days.
The Queen may decide to invite William and Kate as one third of the bubble with their three children, Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two.
The Cambridges usually spend the Christmas period with the monarch at Sandringham, but on several occasions the couple have also spent the festivities with Kate’s family in Berkshire.
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Royal family tree
As a result, it is not clear whether Kate and William will join the Queen and Prince Philip this year, as they could choose to bubble up with Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, at their home in Berkshire.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie are unlikely to return to the UK this Christmas, so they will not be expected to form part of the Queen’s Christmas bubble.
The Queen, 94, will also have to decide whether it is safe to have two households join her and Prince Philip, 99, for the festive period as their age makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.