During her life, the history-making monarch would take the train from London to Norfolk in December to spend Christmas at the country residence. She would usually stay at Sandringham until the anniversary of her father King George VI's death and her accession to the throne in early February.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the royal family was separated for the past two Christmas holidays. In 2020, the Queen and Prince Philip spent the holiday at Windsor Castle apart from other family members. Queen Elizabeth was joined at Windsor Castle by Charles and Camilla last year after plans to return to Sandringham were scrapped due to rising cases of coronavirus.
King Charles will likely be joined at Sandringham by many members of the family including his siblings — Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — as well as his son Prince William, daughter-in-law Kate Middleton and their children.
Andrew Milligan/Getty King Charles and Queen Camilla
Each Christmas, the royal family makes a trip to St. Mary Magdalene church for mass, followed by greeting well-wishers. They then head back to Sandringham to enjoy a traditional turkey holiday feast.
This year, King Charles will record his first Christmas broadcast, which the family traditionally watches at 3 p.m. local time.
Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince William and Prince George at Christmas 2019
Last week, one month to the day before Christmas Eve, the Royal Collection Trust unveiled the Christmas décor in Windsor Castle. Visitors can tour the ornate displays throughout the British royal family's ancestral home through Jan. 2, 2023.
Guests will feel the spirit upon arrival, with foliage and wreaths fastened to gates and lampposts throughout the grounds. The Grand Staircase of the state apartments has been laced with garland, unmissable before moving into St. George's Hall. The festive focal point of the Christmas presentation is displayed there — a 20-foot Nordmann Fir tree, sustainably grown nearby in Windsor Great Park and shimmering with hundreds of ornaments.
One tree just wouldn't be enough for the cavernous castle, and another evergreen rises in the Crimson Drawing Room, which visitors can explore along with the Semi-State Rooms. The impressive Waterloo Chamber is also dressed up for Christmas, with an elaborate display of Royal Collection items arranged on a table.
Three days in December will have an extra festive touch to a visit. On Dec. 8, 9, and 12, carolers will perform at the tree in St. George's Hall — where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had their royal wedding reception and introduced their son Archie, now 3, to the world!