Prince William and Kate Middleton are, like millions of others worldwide, getting ready for the Christmas celebrations. As tradition dictates, the royals will celebrate the holidays at their Sandringham estate, though this year will mark the first time they will do so without their beloved Queen Elizabeth.

William and Kate reunited with their children last week after returning from the US. Yet amidst the family fun, Harry and Meghan’s new documentary has cast quite the shadow on the Royal Family, with new accusations and revelations coming to the surface.

And while the holidays are a time of joy, William and Kate are once again in mourning. Just months after the Queen’s death, the royals have now reportedly recieved heartbreaking news about another tragic passing.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have plenty of stuff on their hands as they inch closer towards Christmas. Though they’re sure to get help with things surrounding the holiday, the royal couple has plenty of things they’ll be expected to do themselves. Royal duties are very much active during the holiday season – just the other week, the couple left the UK for their first US trip since 2014.

Like millions of families worldwide, the Royal Family also has its own Christmas traditions.

For decades, Queen Elizabeth always held tightly to those traditions. She spent much of early December at Buckingham Palace, giving all her staff Christmas presents and attending a carol service in the Royal Mews.

The royals have always spent the Christmas holidays at the Sandringham House in Norfolk. Queen Elizabeth would travel by train to her country estate. From there, she sent out about 750 Christmas cards every year to her family, friends, and other royal household members and government officials.

Some might think that Christmas with the Firm would mean massive Christmas decorations, a tree some 30 feet tall, and their own choir to sing on command. Perhaps that is what will happen this holiday season, but when the Queen was alive, that wasn’t the case at all.

Elizabeth’s former chef, Darren McGrady, revealed that she used to place several Christmas trees around the house at Sandringham. Most of them were real trees, but the one tree in the living room at the Norfolk estate was artificial – the Queen had owned it for more than 30 years.

“The Queen is not lavish, so the décor is minimal,” McGrady told Good Housekeeping in 2016.

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