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.
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.
The sisters loved to perform plays for friends and family and there are photographs of the pair performing in Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin 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 royalcollection.org.uk/shop and Royal Collection shops for £9.95, and at various bookshops for £12.95.
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