King Charles Will Continue Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Tradition with the Royal Family

For the first Christmas following Queen Elizabeth's death in September, King Charles III and Queen Camilla will return to a beloved holiday tradition.

The royal family is set to spend Christmas at Sandringham, the late Queen Elizabeth's beloved country estate in Norfolk.

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.

A view of The Church of St Mary Magdalene on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate on June 5, 2015 in Norfolk, England. This is where Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, the daughter of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge will be christened on July 5th 2015.
A view of The Church of St Mary Magdalene on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate on June 5, 2015 in Norfolk, England. This is where Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, the daughter of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge will be christened on July 5th 2015.

Radcliffe/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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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.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, waves as they leave Dunfermline Abbey, after a visit to mark its 950th anniversary, and after attending a meeting at the City Chambers in Dunfermline where the King formally marked the conferral of city status on the former town on October 3, 2022 in Dunfermline, Scotland.
King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, waves as they leave Dunfermline Abbey, after a visit to mark its 950th anniversary, and after attending a meeting at the City Chambers in Dunfermline where the King formally marked the conferral of city status on the former town on October 3, 2022 in Dunfermline, Scotland.

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.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince William and Prince George at Christmas 2019

Meanwhile, Windsor Castle is already decked out for Christmas.

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.

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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!