Royal Family's Christmas traditions through the years to be revealed in new book

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
The Queen in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace after recording her Christmas Day broadcast in 2017 (Getty)

The royal family are always prominent during Christmas time, from the Queen’s speech to the annual church service.

Now their festive traditions are set to be explored in a new book, from their Christmas dinners to personal gifts.

A Royal Christmas, published by the Royal Collection, looks back at how Britain’s royalty has celebrated through the generations. The illustrated book will feature photos and documents from the Royal Archives, many of which have never been seen before. 

One of the most fascinating aspects are the Christmas dinner menus.

Menu for Queen Victoria’s dinner, Christmas Day, 1899 (Royal Archives / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018)

Queen Victoria’s in 1899 was elaborately decorated, written in French and headed “Her Majesty’s Dinner”.

It included numerous courses including roast beef, mince pies and plum pudding, as well as an indulgent buffet of Baron of Beef, Boar’s Head, Game Pie, Woodcock Pie, Brawn, Roast Fowl and Tongue.

The publication gives details of royal presents, including a jewelled brooch, given to Queen Victoria by husband Prince Albert in 1841 as well as handwritten cards by a young Princess Elizabeth, now Queen, and her sister Princess Margaret.

Portrait photograph of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret as a Christmas card, 1939 (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018)

The sisters loved to perform plays for friends and family and there are photographs of the pair performing in Sleeping BeautyAladdin and Old Mother Red Riding Boots at Windsor Castle.

The book also charts the history of the monarch’s Christmas Broadcast, watched each year by millions of people around the world.

A Royal Christmas is available from October 18 from and Royal Collection shops for £9.95, and at various bookshops for £12.95.

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