Every family around the globe has specific Christmas traditions that they indulge in every year, whether it be a special pie recipe from a great aunt that gets made annually, a special Christmas tune that gets played over lunch, or a specific Christmas gift tradition. While some are just quirky and fun, others can be downright strange.
One such strange tradition is practiced by the royal family: members of the family are weighed both before and after Christmas lunch, according to The Sun.
Royal expert and editor of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward has claimed that the entire family, including Princes William and Harry and their wives Catherine and Meghan, will be weighed on Christmas Day to gauge the effects of their turkey lunch.
According to Seward, Queen Elizabeth II requests that each guest arriving at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk weigh themselves using a pair of antique scales before tucking into their meal. The tradition is reportedly to ensure that all guests have been well fed on the holiday. This year, the list of weighed guests will include Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, who has secured an unprecedented invitation to join the royal family for Christmas.
The tradition is not an original of the Queen’s reign, and dates back to King Edward VII’s reign from the early 1900s. Much like most other families around the festive season, the royal family gorges themselves on a turkey dinner for their Christmas meal, which is then followed up by a “gargantuan iced cake” with afternoon tea.
Because of the focus on food on Christmas, the royals decided they needed to ensure that all guests joining in on their Christmas dinner are being sufficiently fed after the meal.
Other traditions that are observed at Christmas in the royal family include that the members of the family must enter the dining room in order of succession, the chef carves the turkey after everyone is seated, and everyone but the Queen wears traditional Christmas paper hats.
Before enjoying their tea, the family takes a walk around the estate to walk off their lunch, and later enjoy dinner in a “candlelit dining room.”
While Christmas dinner at Sandringham is usually reserved solely for the senior members of the family, the Queen has decided this year to break the rules and extended an invitation to Meghan’s mother. This honor has never been offered for the parents of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.