Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, are sticking to peculiar royal traditions during their upcoming stay at Sandringham House on Christmas Day. The future king and queen will spend the morning apart, thanks to an archaic custom where royal women and men spend the morning of the holiday apart since ladies presumably take longer to get ready for the day than gentlemen.
For centuries, royal ladies have had their light Xmas morning breakfast delivered to their room, while the men gather in the dining room for a heavier meal.
"On Christmas Day, the ladies generally opt for a light breakfast of sliced fruit, half a grapefruit, toast, and coffee delivered to their rooms — the Queen’s tray is delivered at exactly 9:00 AM," former royal chef Darren McGrady told a publication in 2017.
He continued: "The male royals, meanwhile, come downstairs to the dining room for a hearty breakfast at 8:30 a.m., with eggs, bacon, and mushrooms, kippers and grilled kidneys, to set them up for the 11:00 AM church service at St Mary Magdalene. When they return, it’s straight into pre-lunch drinks."
This is one of many unique royal Christmas traditions that are believed to still be in effect during the Sandringham holidays.
One custom is called "the weigh-in," which was a particular favorite of Elizabeth II's and one of Diana, Princess of Wales's most dreaded. Starting during the reign of King Edward VII in the 1900s, the tradition finds guests weighing themselves on scales as they arrive and later depart from the grand country home. This was the King's wish to ensure his family and guests were "well-fed" during their stay.
Diana allegedly despised the weird practice, in large part because she struggled with both bulimia and anorexia during the 1980s. It is unknown if King Charles III has maintained the ritual, but it is believed he kept the tradition of the royal family all gathering to open their presents on Christmas Eve and not the next morning as many of his subjects do. This is a German practice first reported to have begun during the reign of Queen Victoria in the nineteenth century.
Elizabeth II also ordered all her family and guests to be in front of the television to watch her annual Christmas Speech at 3 PM each Xmas Day. It was reported that Charles III made watching his address "completely optional" during his first Sandringham holiday as monarch last year.
Both senior and junior British royals are also fans of buying and wrapping "cheap gag gifts" for one another each year. This is presumably due to their immense wealth and ability to buy themselves what ever they want, whenever they want.
InStyle reported on William and Kate's Christmas tradition.