From the Archives: The British Royal Family’s Christmases

Every year, the British royal family gathers at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, to celebrate Christmas. It’s a tradition that Queen Elizabeth II, now 90, has been taking part in since she was a little girl and her father was the King of England.

The family is photographed every year walking toward the church on the grounds of the estate, dressed in their Christmas best.

British Royal Family Christmas
King George VI and his family walk to Christmas Day church services.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

When she took the throne, Queen Elizabeth II also gave an annual Christmas message over radio and TV. In 1957, she wore a shimmery printed dress and a pair of black pumps.

British Royal Family Christmas
Queen Elizabeth II after her Christmas Day message broadcast on radio and television.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

Before her tragic death in 1997, Princess Diana, Prince Charles’ former wife, also attended the family’s Christmas events. The fashion icon brought her own style to the formal events and wore bright coats with chic pumps.

British Royal Family Christmas
Princess Diana wore a red coat and black pumps on Christmas Day.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

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British Royal Family Christmas
Princess Diana (left) and Lady Rose Windsor attending Christmas Day church services in Windsor, England.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

When Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ sons William and Harry grew into teenagers, they often greeted the visiting crowds at Sandringham, and when Prince William married Kate Middleton, she began doing the same.

British Royal Family Christmas
Kate Middleton and Prince William at a Christmas event in Norfolk.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock
British Royal Family Christmas
Kate Middleton in black knee-high boots on Christmas Day.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

William and Kate’s young children, George and Charlotte, have not been captured visiting Sandringham at Christmas yet, but perhaps they could this year. In 2014, the family released special Christmas portraits of 3-year-old George.

British Royal Family Christmas
Prince George’s 2014 Christmas portrait.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock

Click through the gallery to see more royal family Christmases through the years.

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