What presents the royals give each other for Christmas

BERWICK-UPON-TWEED, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meet staff and pupils from Holy Trinity Church of England First School as part of their working visits across the UK ahead of the Christmas holidays on December 7, 2020 in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, United Kingdom. During the tour William and Kate will visit communities, outstanding individuals and key workers to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andy Commins - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William and Kate during a Christmas engagement in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, in 2020. (Getty Images)

For the Royal Family, it will be the another bittersweet Christmas holiday, after the death of Queen Elizabeth came only seventeen months after that of the Duke of Edinburgh.

With King Charles the newly minted head of the family, it seems that he is endeavouring to maintain at least some of the festive traditions upheld during his late mother's reign, for instance celebrating the Christmas season at the Sandringham Estate.

The Windsors traditionally arrive to their 20,000 Norfolk home on Christmas Eve, before they take part in their annual present exchange.

What the Royal Family give each other for Christmas, explained in 9 points

SANDRINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 25:  Princess Beatrice And Princess Eugenie Waiting To Help Their Grandmother Queen Elizabeth II With Flowers And Gifts She Is Given By Children From The Crowd After Christmas Service At Sandringham  (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie help their grandmother Queen Elizabeth with Christmas presents from members of the public outside Sandringham church. (Getty Images)

When do the Royal Family get to Sandringham? Traditionally, they arrive in order of seniority, so the members of the family who are further down the line of succession get their first, and the King and Queen Consort come last. This was how it worked during the late Queen’s reign, but Charles may have other plans.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Employees pose with a 20ft Nordmann Fir tree from Windsor Great Park in St George's Hall which has been decorated for the Christmas period on November 23, 2017 in Windsor Castle, England. The Windsor Castle State Apartments are used by members of the Royal Family for hosting and events. Queen Elizabeth II resides at Windsor Castle most weekends and over the easter period and it is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
The royal Christmas trees are always a sight to be seen, this 20ft one was located in the state rooms of Windsor Castle. (Getty Images)

Does everyone in the Royal Family get invited there? The short answer is no, but before Christmas even arrives, the wider extended family celebrate together with a lunch – this year it was at Windsor Castle, but the Queen has hosted this at Buckingham Palace before. Mike Tindall has said previously that about 70 relatives attend.

(Original Caption) Christmas at Windsor Castle is shown here with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip shown putting finishing touches to Christmas tree, in a poto made recently during the filming of the joint ITV-BBC film documentary, The Royal Family.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip putting the finishing touches to their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve in 1968. (Getty Images)

When do the royals exchange their gifts? The Windsors exchange their presents on Christmas Eve, in line with their German heritage. Everyone in attendance places their gifts on a table and they're given out before the royals enjoy "lethal martinis" and a black tie dinner.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) receives gifts from children following a traditional Christmas Day Church Service at Sandringham in eastern England, on December 25, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II being given an origami Christmas gift by a child outside Sandringham Church. (Getty Images)

How much do the Royal Family spend on Christmas presents? Even though they opt for cheaper presents among themselves, they still end up spending a lot. The Queen used to buy 620 gifts for family and staff, as well as gifting 1500 Christmas puddings, totalling around £30,000.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on December 23, 2021 in Windsor, England. The photograph on the desk is of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, taken in 2007 at Broadlands, Hampshire, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. (Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II records her final Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on December 23, 2021. (Getty Images)

What kind of presents do they get each other? Despite what you might expect, given that they are royal, the Windsors opt for relatively cheap and cheerful presents for one another and are said to be fond of gag gifts as well as homemade presents.

CAMP BASTION, AFGHANISTAN - DECEMBER 12:  In this previously unissued image released on January 27, 2013, Prince Harry poses with a Christmas hat as he stands outside the VHR (very high readiness) tent at Camp Bastion on December 12, 2012 in Afghanistan. Prince Harry has served as an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps, from September 2012 for four months until January 2013. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry poses with a Christmas hat at Camp Bastion on December 12, 2012 in Afghanistan during his deployment there. (Getty Images)

What kind of gag gifts? Kate once reportedly bought Prince Harry a 'grow your own girlfriend' kit back in his single days. Prince William is said to have gifted his late grandmother a pair of slippers with her face on, and Anne famously gave Charles a leather toilet seat cover.

Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort (2L) helps seven-year-old Mayann MacNeil-Thompson feed 'Blixen' the reindeer during her annual reception for youngsters and their carers from Helen and Douglas House and Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity to decorate the Christmas tree at Clarence House, in London on December 7, 2022. (Photo by Paul Grover / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL GROVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Camilla the Queen Consort helps seven-year-old Mayann MacNeil-Thompson feed 'Blixen' the reindeer during her annual reception for youngsters and their carers from Helen and Douglas House. (Getty Images)

That's not all. Harry is said to have given the Queen a singing mounted fish, and a shower cap that featured the phrase: "Ain't life a b***h". His wife Meghan is reported to have got straight into the swing of things, presenting William with a spoon that read, "cereal killer".

KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 25: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2018 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Charles, William, Kate, Meghan and Harry walking to the annual Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church. (Getty Images)

They are also a fan of sentimental gifts. As well as presents aimed to make people laugh, the royals are known to enjoy thoughtful, homemade gifts. Kate, during one of her first Christmases with the Windsors made the Queen some chutney using her grandmother's own recipe.

BUCKLEBURY, BERKSHIRE - DECEMBER 25:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and  Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend Church on Christmas Day on December 25, 2016 in Bucklebury, Berkshire.  (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
Kate carrying a one-year-old Charlotte to a Christmas Day church service in Berkshire in 2016. (Getty Images)

Do they ever deviate from this tradition? Not as far as we know, the late Princess Diana is said to have made a faux-pas during her first royal Christmas after buying Princess Anne a cashmere sweater, unaware that the Windsors eschew expensive gifts during the festive season.

Watch: The Crown — Did Prince Charles really want the Queen to abdicate?