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.
The royal family’s Christmas traditions
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.
“The royal family has a large Christmas tree and a large silver artificial tree in the dining room, which is about 30 years old.”
Like many other families, the Royal Family exchange presents on Christmas Eve after enjoying afternoon tea.
Prince William and Kate keen on giving children a “normal” life
These days, with many young children and grandchildren, royal Christmases are certainly more hectic and louder than before.
According to a US Weekly source, Prince William and Kate Middleton are keen on celebrating Christmas with their family at Sandringham as they want to give their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, a yearly family tradition. Not only because it’s fun, but because the couple wants to give their kids as “normal” a life as possible.
“It’s important to them that their kids share childhood traditions like their school pals,” the insider told Us Weekly in 2018.
“They’re going all-out to make it extra special.”
This year, Charles will celebrate Christmas as King for the first time. Elizabeth used to hand out presents to her household at Buckingham Palace and Windsor and give her staff Christmas pudding.
The Royal Family has a formal dinner on Christmas Eve, often including Norfolk shrimp and lamb.
At 10 P.M., the Queen always signaled that it was time for the women to go to bed, as the men traditionally enjoyed a brandy. At least that was custom until 2021 when Prince Philip passed away.
Upon waking up, the family enjoys a classic English breakfast consisting of eggs, sausages, bacon, and beans. Then, after the traditional visit to St Mary Magdalene Church, they eat a Christmas lunch, the main course of which is a roast turkey.
Kate criticized by Meghan in documentary
US Weekly has previously reported that the family members have also upheld Henry VII’s tradition of “weighing in before and after Christmas lunch.”
At 3 P.M., the Royal Family sits down to watch the annual Christmas speech on television – Queen Elizabeth’s annual speech was a highlight for many. This year will mark King Charles’ first time doing the speech.
Christmas time is best spent with your beloved family and friends. It’s also a time to put to be arguments or feuds that’ve been going on over the year; the time to do your best to try and make amends.
Of course, one can assume that won’t be the case for the royals this year. Harry and Meghan’s feud with the Royal Family has been ongoing for some time now, and it didn’t exactly get better with the release of the first three episodes of their Netflix documentary series last week.
The episodes in question mainly explore Harry and Meghan’s childhood. Moreover, the couple give insight into the early days of their relationship and even a sneak peek at the messages the two sent each other during that initial phase.
The episodes included new intimate interviews and never-before-seen footage of the Sussexes. But despite the first part of the series mainly being about the couple’s early life together, it also introduced some negative ideas that the royals are sure to take umbrage over. For example, when recalling their first meeting, Meghan took a swing at Kate Middleton.
At the beginning of the documentary, a statement reads: “Members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content within this series.”
Prince William and Kate refused to watch the series
And despite that it has now been some days since the series aired, William, Kate, and the other members of the Royal Family don’t appear to be interested in talking about it.
One can imagine that the royals are curious about what’s in the documentary, but it seems like the Prince and Princess of Wales are trying to stay as far away as possible. In fact, it’s been reported that neither William nor Kate will even watch it.
As reported by The Sun, officials from both Kensington and Buckingham Palace were watching the first episodes of Harry and Meghan’s documentary series. But William and Kate refused to watch it, as they were reluctant to engage in any sort of unpleasant battle.
At the same time, if things are present in the series that are “blatantly wrong,” the couple are of the opinion that it’s “only right that they are corrected.”
“The trailers already have some glaring errors and misrepresentations, which doesn’t bode well for the full series,” the royal insider said. “But the plan is to keep schtum and carry on.”
Moreover, King Charles and William have instructed aides to issue a “swift and robust” if needed.
Harry and Meghan reportedly have already declined Charles’ invite to spend Christmas at Sandringham this year. Yet after the release of the aforementioned series, reports also suggest that Charles – and by extension other Royal Family members – doesn’t want them there anyway.
Prince William and Kate to send Archie and Lilibet gifts
Yet there remains hope.
Despite them not spending Christmas together, there might be a time when the family can reunite this spring. King Charles’ coronation will take place in May and, according to The Daily Mail, the royals still regard Meghan, Harry, and their children as ‘much-loved’ family members and intend to invite them to the coronation.
For Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, Prince Charles, Princess Charlottee, and Prince Louis, the feud, of course, has no real significant meaning. They will be surrounded by their loving family for the holidays and will probably be lost in the excitement of opening Christmas presents and looking for Santa Claus.
As per reports, William and Kate won’t be sending any gifts to Harry & Meghan, and it can be assumed that the Sussexes will follow suit. However, reports also suggest that the Prince and Prince of Wales will send gifts to Archie and Lilibet.
“In the absence of goodwill between the couples, William and Kate will not deprive three-year-old Archie and Lilibet, one, of a present under the tree,” Royal commentator Roya Nikkhah wrote in The Times.
“And in one royal tradition that Team Sussex is still on board with, Harry and Meghan have also dispatched gifts for George, Charlotte and Louis, who are nine, seven and four. There will be no presents exchanged between the adults.”
Nikkah added that William is still very “fond” of Archie and Lilibet, even though he hasn’t seen them in the flesh for around one and a half years. Only time will tell when the future King gets the chance to meet Harry and Meghan’s children again.
Prince William and Kate’s friend dies in plane crash
The royals have been grieving the loss of Her Majesty’s passing for months. Even though the mourning period is over and the family members are back to work, they will undoubtedly continue to miss and remember Queen Elizabeth moving forward.
Sadly, now, William and Kate Middleton have released another heartbreaking statement.
Through their official Twitter account, the Prince and Princess of Wales revealed that their close friend, Mark Jenkins, tragically died in a plane crash. The crash, which also claimed the life of Jenkins’s, occurred as Mark flew over the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. The Cessna sky wagon fixed-wing aircraft crashed at 11 A.M. on Thursday.
Pilot Mark Jenkins and Prince William met during the latter’s gap year, and have remained fast friends since then.
“Mark Jenkins, and his son Peter, were tragically killed when flying over Tsavo National Park while conducting an aerial patrol. Tonight, I’m thinking about Mark’s wife, family and colleagues who’ve sadly lost a man we all loved and admired,” he added.
“Yesterday, I lost a friend”
An investigation has been launched after the crash, with early reports saying that they had been trying to drive goats, cows, and other animals out of the park.
“KWKenya Wildlife Service and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) teams are at the scene to investigate the circumstances of the crash,” a statement read.
“KWS wishes to express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the deceased.”
As reported by Mirror, a tribute by the Frankfurt Zoological Society read: “Mark was a lifelong conservationist and experienced bush pilot, who dedicated his career to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks.
“Passionate, principled, and strong-willed, Mark was never afraid to speak his mind and stand for what he believed in. He was a commanding presence and made an indelible impression wherever he went.”
The statement continued: “Those of us who worked alongside him remember him for his determination, thoughtfulness, his energy, his mischievous smile, and his deep love of wildlife and wild places.”
On Twitter, William and Kate wrote that Mark was “a man we all loved and admired.”
“Yesterday, I lost a friend, who dedicated his life to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks,” the Prince’s statement read.
Rest in peace.
Here’s to wishing Prince William and Kate well as they come to terms with yet another loss.