‘Same meal every year!’ Queen’s Christmas dinner traditions laid bare by former Royal chef

Archie and Lilibet: Expert on spending Christmas at Sandringham

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There are just 47-days to go until people around the world celebrate Christmas. Like so many people, blue-blooded members of Britain’s Royal Family have their own long standing festive traditions that go unchanged every year.

In fact, it is well-known the Royal Family even brought one much celebrated Christmas tradition to Britain.

While it is said Queen Victoria and her German-born husband Prince Albert popularised decorating Christmas trees in the UK, it was King George III and his German wife Princess Charlotte who first imported the fir tree festive custom from the continent in the 1790s.

The modern day Royals opt to come together to celebrate Christmas at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

However, as COVID-19 Christmas restrictions were imposed on the UK in 2020, this year could be a long-awaited return to the Firm’s interesting festive traditions.

One tradition includes the 95-year-old monarch making the 110-minute train journey from Kings Cross to King’s Lynn en route to her Norfolk residence.

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Another custom, this time dating back to the early 1900s, sees members of the Royal Family reportedly weigh themselves both before and after they tuck into their Christmas dinner to ensure they are “well-fed”.

However, an ex-Royal chef has revealed that the Firm sticks to what they know when it comes to their Christmas dinner.

Darren McGrady, 59, now based in Texas, has cooked for several members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and Princess Diana.

According to MyLondon, McGrady recalled: “It was the same meal every year.

“They’re actually boring when it comes to festivities.

“They didn’t do hams or anything, just traditional turkeys.

“We did three turkeys for the Queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children’s nursery and then more for the 100 or so staff, so everyone had a Christmas lunch.

He added: “The turkey is served with mashed and roast potatoes, chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce and bread sauce.

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“Vegetables include brussels sprouts, carrots and roast parsnips.”

When it comes to Christmas pudding, which is served after dinner, the ex-Royal chef said it is “decorated in holly, doused in brandy, and the Palace steward would carry it, flaming, into the royal dining room”.

Following the Queen’s recent health scare, which saw Her Majesty miss the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the 95-year-old monarch has reportedly been told to lay off any booze ahead of next year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

However, McGrady said the Queen’s pre-meal festive drink of choice is a gin and dubonnet cocktail before she enjoys a glass of German white wine with her food.

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