For those of you who rue having to write Christmas cards every year, spare a thought for the Queen of England, for her list is long indeed. But, who does receive a Christmas card from Queen Elizabeth?
Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, jointly send out approximately 750 Christmas cards — all of which are personally signed. Also included in the card will be a royal photo and it is a tradition that she has held since coming into power in 1952.
According to the official royal family website, the following people will be recipients of royal Christmas cards.
“Family, friends, and Members of The Royal Household will likely be the recipients of The Royal Christmas Card, but British and Commonwealth Prime Ministers, Governor-General and High Commissions may also be sent one.”
In addition to the joint Christmas cards, Prince Philip will add another 200 cards to the list for those “different regiments and organizations close to him.”
The Queen is not the only royal to send out Christmas cards. Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton also send out many Christmas cards at this time of year.
Recently, some of the royal Christmas cards that have been sent over the years were auctioned off, according to BBC News. A total of 35 cards were in the bundle. All were signed by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and ranged in date from 1959 and 2001. The auction, which was held in Cirencester, Gloucestershire last year, saw the selection of Christmas cards sell for a total of £1,530 (approximately $1,104.00 USD).
“The cards have created a fascinating record of the Royal Family growing year by year, with photographs taken by The Duke of York, Lord Snowdon, and official photographers,” a spokesperson from the auction house who sold the royal cards said at the time.
“The top individual lot price was the £280 paid for the earliest cards – those from 1959, 1960 and 1961.”
In addition to cards, Queen Elizabeth will also send out royal presents at Christmas time. According to News.com.au, “all members of the Royal Household will receive actual presents from the Queen.”
These gifts will include 1,500 plum puddings that will be given to “palace staff, court post office workers, and palace police.” This is a tradition that has been upheld since the time of Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, as well as her grandfather, George V. Alongside these gifts, the Queen will also donate Christmas trees to various cathedrals, churches, and schools in the area.