Queen Camilla continued a cherished holiday tradition the night after the glittering Diplomatic Reception
Queen Camilla is getting into the Christmas spirit at Clarence House!
On Wednesday afternoon, the Queen, 76, welcomed children supported by the Helen & Douglas House and Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity to help decorate the Christmas tree at her primary royal residence, where she lives with King Charles. The festive decorating party is an annual tradition for Queen Camilla, who has served as the patron of both charities for years and has invited families supported by both organizations to the event since.
Though Buckingham Palace is synonymous with the British royal family, King Charles and Queen Camilla don't actually live there. The couple are based at their longtime London home Clarence House as the palace undergoes extensive restoration, and shook up past precedent when they opted to sleep at home instead of their designated Parliament bedroom the night before their May 6 coronation.
Queen Camilla was all smiles as she chatted with her guests. In addition to the main tree decorating task, guests were treated to a performance by the Band and Bugles of The Rifles. Queen Camilla has served as Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment since July 2020, when she took over the role from Prince Philip.
The Queen also had a special surprise up her sleeve — a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer! The royal smiled for a photo with Santa, who is known as Father Christmas in England, and gently petted a reindeer bedecked in bells.
Helen House became the world’s first children’s hospice when it opened in 1982, and Helen & Douglas House today cares for terminally ill children from Oxfordshire and surrounding counties. The hospice provides medical, emotional and practical support for the children to live life to the fullest, and Camilla became patron in 2007.
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity has a similar mission, providing specialized nurses and other care for seriously ill children with some of the most complicated health conditions in the U.K. Buckingham Palace explained in a statement that many of the kids supported have multiple conditions, requiring lifelong specialized care. Today, there are over 120 Roald Dahl Nurses working with over 33,000 seriously ill children, and the specialized nurses uniquely serve as a lifeline for the whole family as they reduce emergency room visits, hospital admissions and coordinate care. As the Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Camilla became patron in 2017.
It’s already been a busy week for Camilla, who helped host the Diplomatic Reception with King Charles at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night. Prince William and Kate Middleton also attended the event, which welcomes hundreds of members of the Diplomatic Corps to the State Rooms of the palace for a celebration of their presence in London. According to the Royal Collection Trust, as many as 1,000 guests attend — though the King and Queen aren’t the ones sending invitations!
“The invitation list is coordinated by the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps and invitations are sent to all the ambassadors and high commissioners at the foreign missions in London, as well as past Prime Ministers, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other public figures,” the Royal Collection Trust says.
The glam annual event also calls for the ultimate royal accessory — tiaras! Queen Camilla and Princess Kate, 41, both sported sparklers that they’ve previously reached for this year.
Queen Camilla accessorized her white gown with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. She made her debut in the headpiece less than two months ago, when she and King Charles visited Mansion House to take part in longstanding traditions marking a new monarch's first visit to the City of London.
The tiara is closely associated with the late Queen Elizabeth, who wore the accessory numerous times throughout her 70 years on the throne, including in depictions of her on some British and Commonwealth banknotes and coins.
Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Meanwhile, Princess Kate shimmered in for her go-to headpiece for such occasions: Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara. The Princess of Wales had a total royal repeat by pairing the tiara with the same Greville Chandelier earrings and glittering pink Jenny Packham gown that she first wore to the royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Princess Rajwa in June.
King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Princess Kate will likely reunite in just a few days at Kate’s third annual Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey. The festive event will be held on Friday, Dec. 8 (the same date that was accidentally leaked on the royal family’s website!) and later air on ITV on Christmas Eve, as it has in years past.
This year's concert is linked to Princess Kate’s Shaping Us campaign and organized to “thank all those who work to support babies, young children and families in our communities across the U.K. and a celebration of the golden opportunity that the birth of a new baby brings,” Kensington Palace said.
Supported by the Royal Foundation, Princess Kate spearheaded and hosted the first Royal Carols: Together At Christmas concert in December 2021 to pay tribute to the incredible work of individuals and organizations across the U.K. who supported their communities through the COVID pandemic.
Last year’s rendition of Royal Carols: Together At Christmas honored Queen Elizabeth following her death in September 2022, and King Charles and Queen Camilla attended for the first time.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.