If you think buying Christmas presents for your in-laws is difficult, just think about what Kate Middleton must deal with. What does someone buy the Queen of England?
Marie Claire reports that for her first Christmas with the family, the Duchess of Cambridge decided to give Queen Elizabeth a homemade gift: she made her grandmother’s recipe for marrow chutney.
“I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present,” the Duchess told the BBC. “I thought back to what I would give my own grandparents. And I thought, ‘I’ll make her something.’ Which could have gone horribly wrong.”
Middleton admitted that she was worried about the gift, but the next day the chutney was on the table; and, for her, the simple gesture went a long way and showed the Queen’s thoughtfulness and care for everyone.
Since the Queen can buy anything she wants, it makes sense to go for a handmade gift. Maybe Meghan Markle will take a cue from her future sister-in-law? According to E! News, Markle made a surprise appearance with Prince Harry at the staff Christmas party earlier this week. And, she will also be attending a holiday party at Kensington Palace with Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton.
Markle and Harry announced their engagement last month, and they recently revealed that they will marry at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19.
When the family gives gifts to each other, they lay out their presents on tables and exchange them at teatime on Christmas Eve.
The royal Christmas is one steeped in tradition, with the entire family gathering at Sandringham from Christmas Eve until the day after Christmas, which is known as Boxing Day in the U.K. Usually it is just members of the royal family and their spouses, but this year Markle will join them, even though she hasn’t yet wed Harry.
For Christmas Eve lunch, the men wear suits and the women wear silk dresses, and then they change into black tie and gowns for dinner. On Christmas morning, Prince Philip leads the family in a walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church.
The family then enjoys a turkey dinner, and later, the royals watch the Queen’s annual Christmas speech at 3:00.
When it comes to what the Queen gets for each member of her 1500-person staff, The Daily Mail reports that she buys Tesco’s Finest Matured Christmas Pudding. She also includes a greeting card from herself and the Duke of Edinburgh.
She also gives senior staff members vouchers along with the dessert. There is a strict system to the gift-giving, with senior household staff going first, followed by clerks, domestic workers, and gardeners.
Kate Middleton and Prince William were most recently awarded the Gold Blue Peter badge for their work in Children’s mental health.