Royal Christmas traditions, decorations and games laid bare

Kate Middleton greets Charles and Camilla at carol concert

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King Charles’ former butler has revealed the decorations, games and traditions that accompany a royal Christmas. Grant Harrold worked for the then Prince of Wales between 2004 and 2011 at his Gloucestershire residence Highgrove.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Mr Harrold said that members of the Firm try not to overdo it in terms of Christmas decorations.

For example, he revealed that the royals never use tinsel.

He said: “Everybody gets the tinsel but if you go to a royal home, it is a lot more greenery, baubles and lights, not tinsel.”

Earlier this week Kensington Palace released an image of the Princess of Wales standing in front of a Christmas tree at what is believed to be the Wales’ London residence.

In line with Mr Harrold’s comments the Christmas tree behind the Duchess of Cambridge does not have any tinsel on it.

Instead it has velvet maroon bows, silver ornaments and a string of lights.

Mr Harrold said that although the Queen took a strict approach in relation to her own Christmas tree the late monarch had a sweet adorable tradition for mini royals.

He said: “I heard that at Sandringham, the Queen used to arrange for one of the trees in one of the rooms to be left bare for the kids to decorate it.

“It was a tradition that she started and the grandkids would come in and they would all do a bit of decorating, which I thought was always quite a nice idea.”

This year will be the first time that the royals will celebrate Christmas without the Queen after she died at the age of 96 in September.

They will gather at the Sandringham estate for the festive celebration with King Charles having already arrived on Thursday.

On Christmas Day itself the royals will attend a service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the estate before returning home for their Christmas meal.

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Last month it was reported that His Majesty had invited Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the family’s festive celebrations despite the ongoing row between the firm and the Sussexes.

However, according to The Daily Mail, a source close to the King said: “They are unlikely to attend.”

The Royal Family have made Sandringham their base for Christmas and New Year since 1988.

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