Daily Beast: Duchess Kate ‘revolutionized’ royal Christmas traditions


As we enter December, I’m expecting yet another round of sniping and passive-aggression from the British tabloids about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and how “normal” they are. William and Kate have tried, in years past, to modernize the traditional royal Christmas so it can be a happier, more kid-friendly event. The problem is that, as with most everything, the Cambridges seem more like Middletons than Windsors. To be fair, the Windsor family Christmas seems dreadfully dull and Germanic – no presents on Christmas, no small children at Christmas lunch – but Will and Kate have gone too far with their “modern, normal” Christmas plans and risked offending the Queen. Tom Sykes at The Daily Beast tries to put a positive spin on how Normal Will and Normal Kate have “revolutionized” the royal Christmas, but all I can think is that Carole is the puppetmaster, the man behind the curtain. Some highlights:

The royal Christmas tradition. William & Harry’s childhood Christmases included “starched clothes, church and, worst of all, no presents. They were all opened the day before on Christmas Eve, leaving the big day itself reserved for lots of God and plenty of duty. The highlight of the Royal Christmas Day was watching the Queen’s Speech on telly at 3 p.m. It was all rather joyless, not helped by the fact that only the Queen’s immediate family were invited to lunch, with in-laws being persona non-grata.”

Kate wants her kids to have normal Christmases. “Kate is said to be driven by a determination that her children grow up participating in a convincing simulacrum of normal life, and celebrating a ‘normal’ Christmas is a key part of that. Crafty Kate did not, however, rush to make changes to the royal Christmas format. For the first few years of her marriage to William, she patiently toed the line, giving her gifts on Christmas Eve and allowing them to be laid out on tables in the red Drawing Room by staff (according to the Germanic custom of the royals).”

The Queen won’t even watch her speech with the rest of the family? Christmas lunch “has to be finished well before 3 p.m. to allow guests to move through to the drawing room to watch the Queen’s speech. Adding to the iciness, the Queen splits off from her family and watches her address in private on her own.”

The segregation of children: “Sources say that children are not allowed to join the adults for any meals at Sandringham until they are 11 or 12, eating instead in a separate room. This segregation is thought to have been a deciding factor that pushed William and Kate to make changes to the festive routine, which manifested in last year’s overhaul for Prince George’s second Christmas.”

The Cambridges’ big change: Will and Kate now cut out on the Windsors after church on Christmas so they can go back to Anmer Hall with the Middleton family. They exchange gifts and have a long, relaxed lunch. This became “a clear statement that the Cambridges were unafraid to leave behind the antiquated traditions slavishly adhered to by generations of royals and inherited from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. These days, the principal influence on the Cambridge Christmas is not Queen Victoria, but Carole Middleton.”

Some aristocrats don’t like the Cambridges’ “normal” act: “But there are, of course, some old-fashioned courtiers in the palace who resent Kate and William’s remorseless modernizing and democratizing of royal custom. They do not think that it is the wisest course of action for them to strive to be ‘just like everyone else.’ One aristocrat told the Daily Beast: ‘Shouldn’t they be a bit different [from the rest of Britain]? Isn’t that part of the point of them?’”

[From The Daily Beast]

As I’ve said before, the starched, Germanic Christmas traditions sound like hell to me. Of course Kate wanted to find a different way to do Christmas so she could – GASP! – actually spend the holiday with her small children. But… I also understand why the Cambridges are ruffling so many feathers. It’s not just avoiding the Queen on Christmas day, it’s that the whole Middleton clan decamps to Anmer for weeks on end, and the Queen doesn’t even get to see George and Charlotte. And it seems like Will and Kate will always choose Carole and Mike over the Queen and the Prince of Wales. Royal Christmas is Dysfunction Junction.



Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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176 Responses to “Daily Beast: Duchess Kate ‘revolutionized’ royal Christmas traditions”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    Is it really a tragedy if the kids don’t get to open Christmas presents on Christmas Day. I mean it does sound like a long and dreary obligation but they are also some of the richest flipping people on the planet. Anyday they want can be flipping Christmas. The kids will survive one day of being a little bored.

    • vava says:

      Where I grew up, we opened gifts on Christmas Eve, then our Santa stockings on Christmas morning. No tragedy, in my opinion!

    • Betsy says:

      I agree. And it’s not as though the presents are vaporized overnight – presumably the excited little tots get to play with them when the grown ups are out shaking hands. I also came from a Chistmas Eve opening family, so whoop di do. And so what if the grown ups have to work on Christmas? Many do, any who are far less well compensated.

      More “Normal” Bill and Kate whining.

    • vilebody says:

      I’ve done it both ways (foreign mom, American dad) and I have to say that, in my opinion, opening presents in the morning is waaaay better. As a child, knowing that you get your presents once dinner ends means that from the moment you wake up, you are simply waiting and waiting and waiting for that clock to strike 9pm. Sure, you watch movies and play boardgames, but it’s always like a “great, this movie will kill 2 hours so it’ll be that much closer to dinner!” sort of feeling.

      Of course, I’m sure you could find just as many people who take the opposite view, but that’s just been my experience.

      • Pandy says:

        Agree @Vilebody. We tried opening presents on Xmas Eve one year and then the next day – Christmas Day – was just dull …. never did it again. I always wait for Xmas Day. I don’t think traditions have to stay carved in stone – especially a tradition that sounds that dull!

      • Malificent says:

        My parents are both first-generation American. My dad’s family is Scandinavian — so our big celebration is on Christmas Eve with extended family and friends. We would open those presents on Christmas Eve, and then the immediate family opens presents on Christmas morning. It works out well, too, now that we’ve got kids. Everybody meets up later in the day for a more mellow Christmas dinner. It works out especially well if a spouse’s family’s big celebration is more traditionally American on Christmas day — less having to pick and choose.

        I think the issue in the RF is less when the big celebration is than that it doesn’t sound family-friendly or very much fun. And it isn’t fair to exclude the other side of the family from being able to celebrate with their loved ones as well.

      • vilebody says:

        @Malificent — We actually do the same thing (and also half Scandinavian)! I personally think it’s the best of both worlds.

    • McLori says:

      I agree. I had normal parents that didnt always have Christmas day off as my mom was a Nurse. Some years we opened present a day early or a day late. And some yrs Christmas dinner was at the dining hall of the hospital. I don’t find that Normal Bill gets that normal people do things sometime out of obligation and having a hissy fit or getting your mother-in-law to fix it is not an option.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      It is only in the Anglo-America tradition that Christmas gifts are opened the day after Christmas Eve. To us in Scandinavia it is perfectly normal to open you presents on the eve of the 24th. It really bugs me when people assume that everyone celebrates Christmas like they do in England and the USA.

      • QQ says:

        LOL same! ( we Dominicans/Caribbeans wait til Dec. 24th after our big shindig at 12 and sure, go to town, right then and there … To Call it TRAGIC no Less LMFAO, tho as a general rule I think a Lot of Americans do THE MOST about the holidays/ and Presents, for example, my family culture is one of practicality and not coddling preciousness, and sorta austerity/not wanting a bunch of stuff around/ even people liing paycheck to paycheck so say….fairly early on we have been told/tell kids, gifts are from your parents hard work etc, and we give a lot of “well you needed ______” type gifts If at all, some years we all agree adults will get nothing and teens might get money, we are also BIGGGG on Gift cards …even to the kids though a toy type gift might be sprinkle here and there. Compared to my BF and his family or my sister’s in-laws with the whole we ALL must BE sitting at the hearth, in an all day, no one can move, everyone has to take turns, No Gift cards, possibly in PJs or some such mess, opening presents marathon, presents on presents, Gift BAGS are frowned upon cause people should take ALLL the minutes trying to open ONE thing …. its quite overwhelming display and tedious for someone not into that stuff.

        Also to that end my in laws are working two jobs around the clock to ” you know get presents” (which has me pre- Itching already cause I’m Not about to do this with ADULTS) and when working for a Mortgage company All of November i’d get calls daily asking for a deferral ” you know cause it’s gonna be Christmas” and i never ever could understand that

      • O_o_Odesa says:

        Hear hear! Some of us don’t even celebrate until the 7th of January :). Luckily all our presents are on sale!

      • vava says:

        I live in the USA, and our family tradition was to open gifts on Christmas Eve. 🙂 OK, yes, it was in Minnesota, with a strong Scandinavian influence, but still not everyone in the US does the gifts on Christmas Day. I’ve always thought it was odd to open presents on Christmas Day!!!!

      • Kasia says:

        Yes – in Poland we open the presents on the Christmas Eve. The earlier, the better! When my brothers and I were children, we always played with our new toys during the entire Christmas. How can anyone assume that the children would lose excitement over their new toys on the next day after they received it? It’s ridiculous – or these children must be completely spoilt.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        The best part of the evening is lighting the tree – the candle light in the dark is just soo cosy! When my dad was a child, his family sometimes celebrated christmas with relatives that had a large home – and he always says that the moment when the doors opened to the living room and the lighted tree was one of the best moments of christmas. Then comes the singing of carols and the dancing around the tree and then the presents.

    • bored_01 says:

      It’s normal practice in Europe to do xmas gifts xmas eve. That aspect is a non story.

    • Egla says:

      I grew up without Christmas till i was…well we still don’t do that because we haven’t for 60 years (long story short COMMUNISM). Actually i had rarely had a birthday present, this due to my family not caring for those things. Sometimes we joke that the Jehovah witness have nothing on us. We like to eat though. Every occasion is a good one. And because we have 2 official religions with 2-3 special dates we get a lot of holidays and a lot of food and everybody is happy, children included.
      Traditions can change, no biggie. It’s not the end of the world. Wait and see after the Queen dies what will happen to this family. I doubt very much Charles will have the power to bring these to close to him. I think in fact he has lost them a long time ago. Ma middelton made sure of that

    • ekaterina says:

      I think people are missing the point, The Late Diana wanted her kids to have some sense of normalcy and why are the Middle tons the bad guys? Are they not allowed to spend Xmas with their daughter,grankids? This royal life is over, too many people are suffering n the Queen needs to same up to the world does not revolve around her and her fake ass speech. Kids cannot participate till they’re 11 yrs old is plainselfish. Xmas is all about family, kids, enjoying the festivities.Queen ain’t the type so if she does not want to conform then why should they.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Mis-applying Diana’s intent again. She wanted them raised to understand, appreciate, and live up to their royal role WHILE getting to do simple things like getting sweets from the local shop.

        Diana always understood royal duty, including things like Christmas with the royals. She would never have approved William’s workshy ways and ignoring of HM’s wishes.

        The children are in a separate room having a ball without the parents around. Why is this so difficult to understand? Christmas is about family, which is all HM is asking. One day out of 364. All the others understand and respect this tradition.

        Why conform? Because HM has bent over backwards to all of their demands and STILL they disrespect her and flout her request for one simple day.

      • aaa says:

        According to reports, and I think Diana herself, she resented that royal duty took precedent over her adjusting to her role. In the early 90s she also announced her semi-retirement from royal work and requested “time and space” to figure out how to re-shape her public role while have more of a private life.

        I don’t think Diana or any parent wants a slacker for a son but I don’t know if Diana would have insisted that William be a dutiful royal and adhere to the traditions and norms of ex-husband’s family.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Diana only wavered in her support of the BRF after her marriage and time as an official royal were over. She loved her royal role and work, and announced that that was what saved her when her marriage fell apart. Until then, she understood and embraced her role and duty as a member of the BRF. She would have wanted William to honor his grandmother and his monarch by honoring her traditions.

      • aaa says:

        I don’t think that Diana in her later years gave a damn about the British Royal Family and only cared about the institution of the monarchy because it was expected that her son and her descendants would be future monarchs.

        The Queen, who a few decades prior expressed strong opposition to divorce, ordered Charles and Diana to divorce because Diana’s rogue behavior was a threat to the monarchy – of course Diana had the savvy and intelligence to know the implication of her actions like the views she expressed in the Panorama interview.

        I don’t see why Diana would be so keen on William following his grandmother’s traditions, she herself was invited to Christmas at Sandringham in 1992 and declined/boycotted, one year she upstaged the royal family by taking William and Harry on an outing on the same day as a major royal event, Royal Ascot I think.

        Given that Diana and Charles were divorced and the invitations to royal events were drying up or Diana herself was turning down invitations, I don’t know if Diana would have continued to accept spending every Christmas either separated from her sons or being with them but her plans and wishes being secondary to the BRF’s.

      • FLORC says:

        You may choose to think that, but Diana’s ations support otherwise.
        It is in no secret she enjoyed status and class she held. Monarchy also being a part of that. She may not have liked the people, but without a doubt she respected the work able to be achieved by the institution.

        If nothing else Diana found a true passion and purpose in her work she was able to do from her place in and later out of the BRF. And it’s in no to little doubt as she continued to work the same as her BRF days it would have continued on. And she would have wished her boys to also use their position to help others.

        She divorced Charles. Not her passion to help others.

      • aaa says:

        There is a distinction between royal work/duty and doing things the Queen’s/BRF’s way because of who they are.

        IMO being part of the royal family was mostly important to Diana in her later years because it was a platform for her to do humanitarian work and be a gobal superstar, and the institution of the monarchy was important to her because it was expected for her son and descendants to be future monarchs, that is different than revering and being dutiful to the Queen/BRF to the extent that Diana would disapprove of William trying to establish his own way of celebrating Christmas and expect him to adhere to the current system. Also, as I noted in another comment, Christmas at Sandringham is a 2-3 day program with multiple clothing changes and adherence to protocol and precedence.

        It is well documented that Diana did not always fall in line, and had she lived I am willing to bet that if she had to spend every Christmas separated from her sons that she would not have liked that and would have taken steps to changed that.

        By the way, I am not assuming that William and Kate’s “modernizing” means that they are going to blow off every activity associated with the current program.

  2. COSquared says:

    What is unfair is all the other in-laws aren’t present. Why should Bucklbury be present and not the others? Also, this article(can we even call it that?) makes me gag. Ugh.

    • zinjojo says:

      Yes, this article is gag-worthy! Tom Sykes, what happened to you?

    • Bearcat Lawyer says:

      I read a few years ago that the no in-laws rule was largely for space reasons. There simply are not enough rooms available at Sandringham to accommodate the entire family plus in-laws. And it did not sound like Normal Bill and Kate are willingly offering some of their spare bedrooms at Anmer to, say, his cousins to use during the holidays. But I am sure the Middletons all have guaranteed rooms at Anmer for as long as they care to stay.

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    Okay, I have never really paid attention to the royal Christmas schedule but if this is true, err … I don’t blame them. For once. Separate room for the kids during lunch? Is there a good reason for this or is just “tradition”? I know people aren’t miffed only because of Christmas, it’s their whole attitude etc. And I understand that the Queen doesn’t want to change things (if only because … seriously, who knows people her age who are that flexible?) but man, if that were my Christmas, I’d be out of there too. It sound awful.

    • Yoohoo says:

      Right? That christmas sounds awful. I think it’s time the monarchy was modernized. These old stuffy a traditions for thr sake of being traditions seem silly.

      I’m also sick of everything bring blamed on thr Middletons. So what if Will and Kate what to be around the Middletons so often? Maybe they are more fun and better grandparents. Maybe Charles doesn’t do much with his grandchildren. And does anyone really think the Queen cares that much about her grandchildren? Let’s be real. She isn’t into babies or kids. Not even her own. Will is obviously on board with more Middleton time because he wants his kids to have as normal a childhood as possible.

      • wolfie says:

        It’s just ONE DAY for the OLD QUEEN –

        Comparing Diana with Kate, once again…like “Kate” could modernize the monarchy the way Diana envisioned.

        If the Queen had known beforehand how difficult the Middleton’s’ would be, would she have thrown Kate a grand royal wedding? Thankless…The Middleton’s are UPSTARTS using Will’s love for his mum.

      • Danielle says:

        Agreed! “The poor queen doesn’t get to see her grandchildren”. Boo hoo, it doesn’t seem like little kids have any place in a royal Christmas.

      • notasugarhere says:

        All the other grandkids and great grandkids seem happy to enjoy Christmas with HM her way. Must not be too terrible if they are all happy about it. Just more excuses for W&K.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Two elderly relatives asking for ONE DAY A YEAR. FFS, the Middleton’s get every other day of the year.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Yes, the poor, poor Queen of England. She can’t do anything about seeing her grandkids.

      • The Original Mia says:

        @littlemissnaughty, those grandkids are William’s children. What would you have her do that won’t be spun into the Queen being mean to the Lamebridges and Middletons by keeping the kids from them on Christmas? She gave William Anmer to make it easier and more convenient for his inlaws to spend time with them during the holidays. And what did William do? He still refused to come unless he got even more concessions.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ Mia: I was responding to “ONE DAY A YEAR”. It sounded like poor granny doesn’t even get one day. Does anyone really think these two are holding their kids hostage or something similarly ridiculous? I’ve never read anywhere that the Queen is particularly baby obsessed so I doubt she wants to see them every second weekend. She can see her great-grandchildren for the love of gawd.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The one day HM asks specifically of her entire family is Christmas. She doesn’t demand anything the other 364.

        She only gets to see the great grandkids IF they bring them around. Remember Charles’s public plea to get more time with PGTips? There is subtext going on here that you seem to be missing.

        HM is said to love little kids. Not sure about Philip!

      • FLORC says:

        True Nota
        There’s 1 request and that’s 1 day where she can see allof her family in 1 spot. The rest they are all scattered about.

        1 day that you may not like, but it’s out of respect to your elder.
        And when the issue before was there was little room with all family they got Anmer. So really they only need to show up for a day and then return to their palaces gifted for their comfort. And some say a bribe to show up.

      • K2 says:

        In fairness, one of the reasons given for their choosing not to go is that the Queen *doesn’t* want to see the under-12s. They are banned from the festivities and sent to another room.

        It’s royal tradition, and it’s been this way for the past century and more, but for all we know, the Queen might prefer to spend Christmas just with her husband, eating lunch off a tray, and tucked up in bed watching the telly.

      • bluhare says:

        I’m with them on this one too. They go see granny Christmas Eve. In the bluhare family, Christmas is a big deal and Christmas for the kids is a REALLY big deal. I don’t blame Kate for one second wanting her kids to have Christmas at home.

        Christmas Day is more of a religious observance for HM. Hence Church and then lunch, and not much else. I do not think a 2-1/2 year old and a 6 month old baby would do particularly well in that environment so why subject them to it?

        And as far as the horrible Christmases in William and Harry’s pasts, I’ve read in more than one book, that they had Christmas with their parents every Christmas morning. At least until the separation/divorce.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ notsugarhere & FLORC: She wants to see the kids but they can’t have lunch in the same room. I really don’t understand your point other than “She wants what she wants and they should respect her.” Fine but maybe if THIS is actually all she demands, that might be the problem.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Every other member of the family has happily followed the rules and celebrated however HM decides. All those kids, grandkids, and great grandkids seem to be happy with the arrangements. They don’t appear to be scarred, so I suspect the day is pleasing to them and no one is overly-upset if kids eat in a kids area.

        One day, out of 365, for a family tradition that everyone else embraces? I just cannot understand why they refuse this decades-long family tradition. HM even threw someone out of Anmer to give them that bribe, in order to get them to show up at Christmas, and they still pull these games.

      • FLORC says:

        As it is the Queen is the Queen. Also the eldest of her family (excluding husband). It may be different, but I was raised to respect elders. When an elder that was well into the age of not waking up the next day spoke we all would shut up and listen. Even if it was minor it’s a matter of respect.

        I don’t like or really agree with how she runs her private time with family, but i’d fall in anyways. When she’s gone do it your way. On top of it only being a single day this is requested and not the norm goes even further to why they should sack up and just do it.

        TQ also hates soup and does not allow it served when she’s at the table. Does that mean i’d order it anyways or go to a table where I can? No. I grit my teeth to the woman who gives me anything just to get me there (AH).

        And the children eating in another room is something i grew up with. Not only was the kids table fun, but practical. And their nanny with they are comfortable would be there for a meal and not a length of time they haven’t been away from their parents before. It’s not like TQ requests no contat between parents and children for duration of stay.

        This just feels like more of reaching to excuse adults acting entitled.

      • bluhare says:

        But it’s not just one day of the year. It’s CHRISTMAS.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The 89-year-old and her 94-year-old hardworking husband wish to celebrate it as they always have. Surrounded by family. This will not last much longer, so W&K’s refusal to honor this family tradition ON CHRISTMAS is selfish to me.

        The Middleton family is not known to be religious. Easter was always spent skiing. She wasn’t confirmed until right before the wedding. They are only seen at church on Christmas. Altering their holiday by one day, when it clearly isn’t a big religious event for them, is another sign of their selfishness.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Ah, I remember the kids’ table well in my aunt’s house during the holidays. We ate in an area at the end of a hallway while the adults ate at the other end in the kitchen. We loved it! While they kept an occasional eye on us by wandering down the hall to see what we were up to, there were no adults at the table cramping our style and we had a blast with our table full of giggles, larks and hijinks. We felt like we had our own private party. No grownups welcome there!

    • Tough Cookie says:

      I grew up with a big extended family…lots of cousins. We did family dinners at my grandmother’s house with adults tables and kids tables. At a certain age, probably 12 or so, we were permitted to sit with the adults. I have always thought the kids table was more fun so I don’t see what the big deal is here.
      I agree that the Queen is probably not into babies or kids. I have a friend like that. She loves her kids/grandkids/great grandkids but she is not into the kissy/coo part of being a grandma.
      also…I thought Diana already blazed this path several decades ago.

      • notasugarhere says:

        HM is said to love little kids. I think one prime minister was surprised by this, as she was disappointed he didn’t bring his kids to Balmoral when he was invited.

    • Sarah (another one) says:

      I think the Germanic Christmas sounds terrible. I also think it is a crock to say at the end of the post that the poor Queen doesn’t even get to see George and Charlotte. If she wanted to see them, she would see them. It sounds like she really doesn’t want to see them at all until they are 11 or 12. If I were Kate, I would be making some changes as well. This from someone who opened gifts on Christmas Eve (because we went to Grandma’s on Christmas day) and sat at the “kids’ table” until I was 25 (because Grandma had a small table and you had to move up – only when someone died and a space opened). Of course that isn’t the case at Sandringham. The Queen could have as many at her table as she desired. The big question will be what happens when she dies. Will Charles stick to Germanic tradition or will he open up a full family Christmas? He could call William’s bluff by inviting them all and having kids running around.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She only gets to see them IF they are willing to bring them by. And clearly, they keep these children tight to the Middletons and away from the Windsors.

        HM asks for one day. W&K can build whatever other traditions they want around that. Giving up one day, for a handful of years until the elders pass away? It really isn’t asking too much to show some love and respect for all this person has given them (like a 50 room London mansion and 10 bedroom country mansion).

      • bluhare says:

        My husband and his German roots family would disagree with you. They didn’t think their Christmas was horrible at all.

        The Queen will see them on Christmas Eve for the gift giving. She wouldn’t see them much Christmas Day as they’re too small. Neither would WK. I don’t think that sounds much fun for parents of two small children who should be awash in wrapping paper and mayhem so I totally give them this one. When the kids are older and can participate, assuming HM is still around, then I could see that. Until then, let the kids have a fun Christmas.

      • notasugarhere says:

        And yet all the other kids and grandkids seem to have happy Christmases despite evil, cold HM’s rules.

      • Tammy White says:

        @notasugarhere…if HM sees the kids Christmas Eve what’s the big deal about them spending Christmas with the Middletons? Because it’s tradition? From what I’m reading Christmas is more of religious observance for the Queen & not particularly fun.

      • wolfie says:

        *What’s the point?*, if the Queen commands, and her family ignores? At the very least, it’s poor manners, at best, who needs royals?

      • notasugarhere says:

        And again, all the other kids and grandkids have no problem with the way things are celebrated. This image of this event being dour, when HM is known to have a sense of humor and love for family? Just more pro-Middleton excuses.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Ugh, just kick HM to the curb in the zeal to do things the Middleton way. Can’t they just give her these last few years she has remaining to do the little that she asks of them for Christmas? Give her what she wants as matriarch of the family and as their monarch.

      • bluhare says:

        It has nothing to do with the “Middleton Way”. It has to do with parents of two small children. You know, I can see part of it is because the Middletons are left out of the royal Christmas things. But I also don’t think it’s weird for a parent to want Christmas for their kids like they had. And to knock them for it just makes me shake my head. They’ll see HM Christmas Eve. They’ll see her Christmas morning at church. They will go to their home for a present exchange with her family — after having done the same with HIS family the night before. What is the big deal?? Let them enjoy Christmas with their kids while they’re small.

      • Feeshalori says:

        While I can understand those sentiments, this isn’t your usual run-of-the mill family, it’s the royal family with the Queen as its matriarch and monarch who asks for a couple of days out of the year. That lends a certain aura to the whole occasion, in my mind. Maybe have the children spend a few hours at home under the Christmas tree and then take them to see Queen Granny. She won’t be around much longer to uphold the traditions, anyway, so it may as well be the queen’s way for now. Perhaps as she gets older, tradition may lapse and the children will spend more time at home Christmas Day. Maybe I’m looking at this from the perspective of having a 93-year-old mother with whom we always spend holidays, never knowing if it may be her last.

      • Lillylizard says:

        Firstly, who said they other members of the family like it, they probably hate it ( just as much as Diana did) but just do it because its expected. Secondly when you get married there is always a compromise with Christmas, one year your family, next year mine. No one, not even the Queen has the right to ban her grandchildren access to their family members on an important holiday just because they can’t fit at the dinner table, the Queen needs to really look at ‘these traditions’ which were made by a dictatorial self obsessed woman who hated all contact with children, even her own.

        The Queen could live for another 15years, by that time the childhood wonder and enthusiasm for Christmas will be long gone and they won’t get the chance to do it over. I’m not as old as the queen but give me a few more years and I’ll be there and frankly she needs to bend a bit on this, enjoy the day with your great grand children and give them fond memories of her, instead of a feeling like they were forced to miss out on the fun by an old woman trapped in hidebound traditions. Who knows maybe even the Queen would enjoy the day more if she re-tweeked these pointless Victorian rules a bit.

  4. Bettyrose says:

    “Reserved for lots of God..” Not my holiday, not my place to say anything. Royal Christmas sounds grim, but it is a religious observance, so it kinda sounds like the RF is keeping it real.

  5. kell says:

    Kaiser, why did you have to post that photo of Kate in her sporting gear again – the lycra pants only serve to emphasize how emaciated she has become. It’s breakfast time for pete’s sake!

  6. zimmer says:

    Love the last two shots of Kate thrown in!!!!

  7. Jackie Jormp Jomp says:

    …I grew up Ukrainian and it’s hardly “Hell” to open all your gifts on Christmas eve.
    I get that the rest of the day sounds bad in that family but there is no sadness to openng gifts a day earlier than other people do…

    • Beverly says:

      I grew up Ukrainian as well we even to this day we open presents on Christmas eve and on Christmas day had our stockings and the grandparents and other relatives came over with presents so we opened them and had a big dinner. No problem

    • Jan says:

      Exactly Jackie. We had a Ukrainian\ German maternal grandparents and always opened presents on Christmas Eve as a extended family and then later with Mum and Dad at home. Christimas Day, however, we all went to church in the morning and then another big meal in early afternoon and spending the entire day together either playing with presents, ice skating, board games or whatever. Spending time together was the idea and it was great. And yes my grandparents loved seeing us all together and enjoying each other’s company. My dad’s family was never close so we generally say the one aunt’s family on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) but it was just a drop-in visit. I hope that William has the good sense to take his family to see his elderly grandparents sometime during the holidays. He OWES them that.

  8. vava says:

    I’m laughing at the thought that Kate had anything to do with it. I can’t imagine her being a force to reckon with. Maybe the Queen is happy they retreat! If I were Queen, I would be! Let them eat Cake with Carole! LOLOL.

  9. Karen says:

    My family does Christmas eve too. I never was deprived. It’s our tradition (and now it’s great with in laws because we can do “Christmas” with both families, no overlap)

    And children in separate room for lunch, isn’t that just a fancy kids table?

    Geez, they really well whine over anything.

    God forbid they enjoy the time with their 90 year old grandma (& queen of their country) and put up with her “weird” traditions. They will miss them when they are gone.

    • anna says:

      yeah really. no kids at the table? oh the horror. its not all about children children children and their needs and stuff everywhere, all the time.

      • The Original Mia says:

        That’s what my mom says too.

      • Betsy says:

        I have two kids, one still high needs, one able to many things on his own, and I have to say I agree. It shouldn’t be all the kids, all the time. Obviously, we don’t all have staff or space to lunch the kids in a separate room, but I would do it occasionally if I did!

    • suze says:

      Yeah, having grown up with the gift opening on Christmas Eve and kid’s tables, I just don’t see the horror in this situation.

  10. Bonnie says:

    I think the real tragedy would be a holiday would be one where family- royal, common, young, or old have to be separated because of traditions. Let the Royal family set an example for the rest of the world, by having EVERYONE (Kate’s family included) at the palace) the babies and little kids, all celebrate the day. Presents in the morning, brunch, church, the Queens address, dinner. Makes everyone happy! I’m a Boston girl and I can figure their shit out for them!!!!

  11. The Original Mia says:

    Oh, please. Kate hasn’t revolutionized anything. Her family isn’t invited, so she chooses to stay with them than go with William. But…this is tradition. His grandparents aren’t getting any younger, so suck it up and go, cupcake. Mom & Dad & Pippa & James can sip eggnog without you for a day or two. Jeez. They act like they have to go to work on the Monday following the holiday.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Thank you, Mia. One day a year is NOT too much to ask for the elderly relatives. You know, the ones from whom William stands to inherit two massive properties (Balmoral and Sandringham).

      • The Original Mia says:

        We (the entire family) spent Thanksgiving with my Granny because she’s 94 and my grandfather died 4 years ago. No one thought it was an inconvenience because we love her. Would we have liked to sit around at our own homes and watch football? Probably, but we went and spent the day at her home because she’s important to us. Because we know we don’t have long with her.

        William has been given so much. I’d love if there are plans in the works to let him be Bill Middleton since he’s so desperate to emulate them with his family’s money backing them all.

      • Jib says:

        For the last 5 years of my grandmother’s life, I packed my three kids, who were 5 years apart, into a car with all their presents hidden in the back, and drove to my parents’ house so we could share Christmas with her. And my kids were fine. And I never regretted it for one second.

        W&K are selfish, spoiled twits.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Jib, what a caring, thoughtful granddaughter you were.

    • Jan says:

      Why are the Midds constantly joined at the hip? It’s so unhealthy for the three adult children to not have lives of their own. William’s kids are half Windsor and I feel they need to be exposed to their traditions as well. If his grandparents are excluded after everything they have given William and his family, they must see this as a slap in the face.

    • Katydid04 says:

      If I were the Queen, I’d rather do without Will and Kate on my Christmas than have to put up with the Middletons for the afternoon. Seems like an ideal solution 🙂

  12. Lara K says:

    OK, here’s the thing. I would also totally spend time with my family over the Queen. She seems really grumpy, and generally sucks the joy out of the room. Every single royal “tradition” sounds like a royal drag.
    HOWEVER, you can’t have it both ways! You can’t claim all the financial benefits of royalty, but shirk all the responsibilities. And part of those responsibilities is respecting and upholding tradition.

    I’d be fine with Will and Kate doing whatever they wanted, if they also lived modest lives (no pointless renovations, no pointless vacations, no celebrity chasing). But they seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. Boo!

  13. LAK says:

    The annual ‘normal’ Middletons vs ‘snobby’ royals christmas article.

    It funny that this year the Middletons aren’t angling for an invite to the big house, but it early days yet!!!

    • COSquared says:

      Did they even make it to the big house, aside from the BD hunt? Well,at least, the Middleton peerage articles have disappeared.

    • notasugarhere says:

      The Middletons being at Anmer “for weeks on end” appears to be what drove out HM’s loyal retainers last year. Carole lording it over everyone at the Sandringham main house? Not bloody likely.

    • FLORC says:

      Like clockwork LAK.
      All of it.

    • wolfie says:

      I believe that Will/Carole are taking Diana’s rebellion way too far – it was supposed to be rebellion against Charlie – Diana would NEVER have behaved in this manner towards the Queen. She believed in royalty almost like religion, and I’ve never seen nor heard an instance of her behaving poorly with the Queen. SHE (Diana) would DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY have a problem with this scenario.

  14. Gabrielle says:

    It was torture waiting for Christmas morning for me as a kid. I had friends who were allowed to open 1 big present on Christmas Eve and I was jealous.

  15. India says:

    This is all Carol(e). What a perfectly charming individual.

    • Jan says:

      Exactly. I’m sure she invited herself to Amner. And Kate being a mommy’s girl just went along with it since she seems unable to think for herself. SMH

  16. HoustonGrl says:

    Oh please. This article is just meant to garner sympathy for Will and Kate, to make them seem so “fresh” and normal against the backdrop of the most antiquated traditions on the planet. They are the ones feeding the press these bits.

  17. Kate says:

    If the Windsors don’t have a happy family life, why wouldn’t W&K prefer a “Middletonian” Christmas to the stale formality of a royal Christmas, especially when it will be more enjoyable for their children? Charles notoriously had appointments to see his mother when he was a small child, so, yeah, I don’t think the Windsors do the whole “warm, cuddly family” stuff. And I guess William and Harry are good with Camilla, but holding hands and singing Kumbaya with your father’s one-time mistress who tortured your beloved and psychologically frail mother wouldn’t be my definition of an ideal Christmas. It seems W&K could find a happy medium, though. The Queen is indulgent of William. He can show her a little grace and gratitude by not freezing her out.

    • notasugarhere says:

      One day. HM asks ONE day. I don’t understand the people who keep defending William constantly bashing his grandmother’s traditions. If he wants new traditions, he can pay for his own 10 bedroom mansion in the country. Until then, follow the simple rules of giving HM ONE day.

      • Yoohoo says:

        She’s not asking for a random Tuesday in March. She’s asking for Christmas day. Pre kids, sure we’ll follow grandma’s stuffy traditions. Post kids, I want go spend time with my kids and make my own traditions. I don’t care if grandma is the queen. I have a family too.

        Thr queen doesn’t have to leave him anything. It’s her choice to leave him two estates. He shouldn’t have to be at her beck and call and at her complete mercy because he’s in her will.

      • PoliteTeaSipper says:

        I know I’m sick of my mother in law telling me how my family is spending Christmas, and we don’t even have kids.

      • The Original Mia says:

        William is an ingrate. 1 freaking day. That’s all she’s asking of him. It’s not as if millions of people uproot and go to Grandma’s for half a day on any given holiday, but asking poor widdle William and Kate to follow the same traditions the rest of the family goes through is too much.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, precious snowflakes cannot handle following the traditions for the elderly relatives. Pathetic.

      • bluhare says:

        Bah humbug, nas. It’s Christmas. I’d want to spend it with my kids rather than at church and a formal lunch that my kids couldn’t attend as well. Great granny and grandpa could also go see them if it’s that important to see them Christmas Day.

        I’m not behind them 100% often but this is one.

      • Natalie says:

        I think it would be amazing if Charles left Sandringham and Balmoral or even one of the properties to Harry. Very unlikely to happen, I know, but the Windsors must loathe the Middletons. Must annoy them that one day Carole will get her feet under the table.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The kids are together in a room having fun with each other while the adults have a more formal lunch. Oh the horror! How evil and cold of the Queen!

      • bluhare says:

        And what if they don’t want that, nas? I just don’t understand why you can’t appreciate that they want to spend Christmas with THEIR KIDS.

      • notasugarhere says:

        And I cannot understand and appreciate why HM’s entire family honors and respects her wishes, but the two laziest royals on the planet get a pass from you on kicking her in the teeth again.

        They are small children. They don’t know which day of the week this takes place. This HM Christmas tradition will only last a few more years. Why on earth do you keep defending them being selfish, yet again, when the rest of HM’s family honors this request?

    • wolfie says:

      It’s the QUEEN, bluhare. Isn’t that suppose to have meaning beyond great grannies..?

      Everyone – let’s follow the Will/Kate example and dump the Queen of England (smf).

      • bluhare says:

        They aren’t dumping the Queen on Christmas, wolfie. They’re seeing her Christmas Eve — which is when she celebrates it. Christmas Day is a religious observance for HM. Kate grew up celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day. What is so difficult to assume that she might want to continue that with her kids?

        When people get married they blend traditions. We always celebrated with my husband’s family Christmas Eve and saw mine Christmas Day because that’s how we’d done it growing up. It’s the same situation here, and I don’t see why that’s so horrible to want to blend the two.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Presumably, all of the rest of them grew up with their own traditions too. And all of them love and respect HM and her wishes enough to honor this simple request. I cannot believe the number of excuses made for these two.

  18. Cee says:

    My family is german and we always get together on the 24th to eat dinner and open presents and watch fireworks. When children are older, you wait intul midnight to open the presents. On the 25th you sleep, go to Church, eat a lot, drink and play with your presents and spend family time. IDK, it doesn’t sound too bad to me.

    • COSquared says:

      He’s blowing the ‘cold’ German angle out of proportion.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The “cold” German family that gives each other gag gifts for Christmas? Oh no, HM couldn’t possibly have a sense of humor and be fun and loving. Nope, she must be evil and cold to fit the storyline that W&K are “saving” their childrens Christmas.

      • Cee says:

        That’s something that bothers me about William. It’s almost insulting to his family.
        I might agree it’s harsh to keep the DoY away from her daughters, especially when Beatrice and Eugenie were young, but all of us have to choose which side of the family to spend the holidays with.

        I would love to see a list of the gag gifts the Queen gets for her grandchildren!

      • notasugarhere says:

        Cee, I always understood that Fergie was (quietly) given a place to stay on Sandringham at Christmas. Wood Farm? As long as she didn’t show up at the main house or the walk to church, Philip could forget she was there.

      • COSquared says:

        Nota:York Cottage? I think that’s the one. On another note, one has to check out interactions between TQ, the Phillips and/or the Wessex kids to how much HM “hates”(eyeroll) kids. Of course, the Cambridges are usually absent during those gatherings.

      • bluhare says:

        No one has said Kate is “saving” Christmas, nas. Just because no one else blends Christmas with their family doesn’t mean she can’t start to. Even Camilla leaves early to spend time with her grandkids. I always felt sorry for people who married royals, as their family comes second. Most of the time, I think Kate’s too attached, but not this time.

      • notasugarhere says:

        bluhare, it is implied in every article about this every year it comes out. Like clockwork. Oh the great middle class Middletons. HM has given them everything and all she asks in return is one day. Their selfishness is unbelievable.

  19. Dena says:

    They are going to revolutionize themselves into a republic. The tolerance for the 1% and their gilded cages is wearing thin across many nations.

  20. Betti says:

    LOL this has Carole angling for an invite to the big house all over it – the same stunt every year. They float the idea that the Midds will be left out on the cold, starving at Amner and every year the Buckets turn up to the lunch and the walk about afterwards.

    Kate can’t modernise her hair never mind a centuries old institution.

  21. Ella says:

    It might sound alien to Americans but the 24th is the most important day of the Christmas celebration in Scandinavia (and many other countries). People go in the afternoon to an early mass to church and have a family meal in the evening. Children all over Scandinavia get to open their Christmas presents on the evening of 24th of December, instead of next morning.

    • Cee says:

      This also holds true in Argentina. We know americans open their presents Christmas morning thanks to movies. I always thought they were the only ones? Or fo Brits do this, too?

      • Feeshalori says:

        I’m American and of Italian heritage, and believe me, Christmas Eve was very significant. That’s when families gather together for the feast of the seven fishes with all kinds of seafood and then go to either an early Catholic mass or midnight mass. I remember my paternal Italian grandmother hosting her children and grandchildren and residing over a table groaning with every type of seafood, far exceeding the seven fishes. Then we’d open our gifts on Christmas Day. As my family has diminished in size, the Christmas Eve feast gets smaller but it’s always observed in some way.

  22. Laurianne says:

    German Christmas traditions aren’t anything like hell. You get the presents a day earlier. That’s basically all. Christmas Eve you go to church and afterwards you sit with your close family and open presents that are laid out under a tree by the Christkind or brought by Santa Claus. Christmas Day itself is reserved for the bigger family including aunts and grandparents. Children will get presents then as well. Just not in stockings but usually again from under the tree. After that you’ll spent dinner and time with the family to have a day without any hassle. How is that dreadful? Boxing Day you’ll visit friends and have another day to celebrate and probably presents for the children. How dreadful and awful for children indeed.

    • Cee says:

      And for us the adults who get to eat and drink and watch specials on the tv. In my case, I get to go to the pool and sunbathe.

    • suze says:

      Particularly since it sounds like the Cambridge tykes open gifts twice. Christmas Eve, with the extended royal family, and Christmas Day, with the Middletons.

      Dear god, what hell that must be.

  23. tschic says:

    I`m german and everybody is opening christmas presents on christmas eve. It`s an really nice tradition and a very special evening. When you have small children, you normaly open the presents (after a special christmas church for children in some families) at noon.
    In my family, there are a lot of candles in the room, the lights on the tree are on for the first time and the presents are next to the tree.
    We walk home after church and the streets are empty and quite and the children know that now “das Christkind” brought the presents and they are really excited.

    After that you have dinner, and the children can play.
    The next day is for family and playing with the new toys and getting more toys from other relatives…. and more food.

    • pumbi says:

      I’m hungarian and my husband is german. We both grow up with the germanic Christmas traditions.
      To be honest I do feel offended a little by anybody who says germanic Christmas must be terrible. I would never say something like that to anybody’s Christmas tradition. If you grow up in the US or Britan your tradition is normal to you and I accept that, even if I think spending Boxing Day with shopping instead with your family is well… interesting, I would never say how dull. So out of respect to eachother please think before you write.

  24. maggie says:

    I don’t see anything wrong in going back to their own home to spend Christmas Day with her family. Somebody is trying to make something ugly out of nothing. I’m sure the Queen is fine with it.

    • FLORC says:

      Because FMORC and I alternate our holidays for travel and family I see an issue. More because this is not as simple as you’ve stated.

      It’s a single day TQ requests for all of her family to set aside and gather. Since uch time is spent with them never all in 1 place.
      Because FMORC and I are not always with family for holidays also because of travel conditions there’s a solution. We celebrate when we can. It’s not the day, but the celebration. Christmas could be a week after the date, but it’s still christmas for us.

      WK get more freedom than anyone in the BRF. Is it impossible to spend a day wth the queen? Can the Midds only have christtmas cheer on the actual day?
      I see no issue why tq can’t have her request of a single day met. It’s an article we read annually. And the likely results? WK and children will show for gifts and photos and spnd the rest with Midds before leaving for extended holidays.

      It is what it is. My complaint is the lengths of defenses for entitled bahvior of adults and the PR disaster of these stories.

      • wolfie says:

        It is a stupid story – and might I say – to dump to *Queen of England*!?! Willy is not only biting the hand that feeds him, but he is showing us all how.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Not the first time. He is known for not attending things that really matter to HM. He went skiing with the Middletons instead of attending the service for the 10 year anniversary of the deaths of Princess Margaret and his great grandmother. All the other royals showed up. (Except Edward who was giving out D0E awards).

      • bluhare says:

        It’s not just any day, FLORC. It’s Christmas. And, god forbid, maybe William and Kate want to start their own traditions with their own family.

        My sister did that, and no one thought that was terrible. We all agreed and adjusted accordingly. It’s not a big deal!

      • notasugarhere says:

        When they pay for their own multiple homes and use their own $4 million a year to fund their lifestyles, they can have their own traditions. Until then, honor the matriarch and your monarch. Simple.

      • FLORC says:

        Another post to you never made it so i’ll try to combine.

        Is it only ever possible to celebrate Christmas on that day? What of patients in the hospital that need to celebrate early or late? What of people with travel issues not being there on time? Does that mean Christmas is only half a celebration if anything at all?

        My point is it’s a single day where everyone knowns to clear their date and be there. It’s a date that the Cambridges will not negotiate on by this theme if true. They want it all and will not budge so a grandmother, elder, and monarch who makes sure they want for nothing.

        And the “because it’s Christmas” argument reads as insensetive to those who can’t be there with family on that day. It’s the spirit and not a true date. By your argument it boils down to tough luck on timing. I can tell that to people in the hospital or even hospice that their family and friends have traditions to carry out. Because this could be their last holiday doesn’t mean they should uproot their traditions and should be more understanding. Because that makes sense.

  25. Fluff says:

    Good for them. Don’t get the “OMG who cares what day you open presents on”: it’s hardly about that, it’s about treating kids as kids and as human beings, not little duty-bots.

    I despise the Middletons but it’s natural to want to spend Christmas (or time in general) with the involved loving set of GPs. Having said that the article does not ring true – I’ve read lots of stuff about the RF being very warm and wacky (they love gag gifts) at Christmas and I’ve definitely heard lots of stories from Will and Harry’s childhood about them spending Christmas Day playing pranks on the Queen and other relatives.

  26. Breakfast Margaritas says:

    About Normal Bill’s crotch area……Is he really packing that much heat? Or is it that he is so tall and the fit of his pants and underwear create a royal perpetual bulge situation? I apologize in advance for staring at the corduroy crotch of the future king of England.

    • notasugarhere says:

      No. There are some wish-I-could-unsee-but-saw-accidentally photos of him urinating in public. Nothing to write home about.

    • Hudson Girl says:

      LOL. I dated a guy with a large bulge. Turns out, it was just an okay Sausage situation with oversized potatoes. It looked kinda weird and was useless. I am no longer indescriminately impressed with bulges. Ha ha!

    • FLORC says:

      He might be above average, but that isn’t saying much. I saw those shots nota and was unimpressed. Although from some responses to my comment I might just be lucky with good odds.

  27. Trillian says:

    German here and I much prefer opening presents on Christmas Eve. You spend the whole day leading up to it, getting the Christmas tree and decorating it (unlike in the US we usually put up the tree on the 23rd or 24th) making cookies and waiting for the bell to ring (which announces that the presents are ready). I spend one year in a host family in the US and Christmas Eve was such a letdown, basically a normal workday, and then on Christmas Day the kids were up and demanding presents at the break of dawn … not a very festive thing in my view. But I guess it’s what you’re used to.

    • tschic says:

      I love it when it`s really festive and the waiting is so nice!

      I love the ringing bell. I know a few friends who put up the tree a few days bevore christmas, but I prefer to put it up on christmas eve.
      Nobody – except nurses and doctors – ist working from 24. in the noon till end of boxing day. It is really a time for family and not for shopping. Shops are closed till 26th.

      It`s so true – you like what you`re used to.

  28. The Original G says:

    So, the daughter-in law doesn’t care for how her in-laws celebrate and her parents would like to make their own contribution and the generations all disagree with each other as well. Her husband wants to be supportive, but his mother wants him to tow the tradition line. Half of the rest of the family are completely indifferent and are grateful the kids are in another room, so they can nurse their hangovers while they roll their eyes at the conversations.

    Just like any other family. 🙂

    • FLORC says:

      Well, If my grandmother gifted me everything William got I’d show up for 1 boring holiday and count my stars that’s all they require of me. Not push my limits with a elderly woman that I restrict access of my children to because I got other places I want to be and the kids come with me.

      • maggie says:

        How do you know that’s what’s happening here? Maybe they want to start their own Christmas tradition, maybe Sandringham is a drafty unsuitable dump. I hardly think he’s restricting access to his kids either. William hasn’t exactly been gifted everything either. He’s going to have a life long commitment to serving his country. I don’t see a problem with him wanting to spend as much time as he can, while he can, with his young family. There are the older royals to fill in until such time as he’s ready to fulfill his duties.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Maybe, if he wanted his own Christmas traditions, he could stop taking EVERY perk under the sun and support himself? If they do not want to follow a basic, well-known request from HM, they are free to do what they want. On their own dime. When the elderly relative gives you a 10 bedroom mansion as a bribe to try to get you to show up at Christmas, the least you can do is show up.

        His “lifelong commitment to serving his country” hasn’t show up by age 33. I doubt he’s magically going to decide to start serving it the way he should anytime soon.

        A two-year-old and a 6-mont-old aren’t going to know the difference between what day on the calendar they open their gifts.

      • FLORC says:

        William has been gifted much. You cannot deny this without omitting the majority of his current assests, homes, land, funds, and job. He indulges in perks and this cannot be denied by facts.

        And i’m not sure who his lack of action so far can be excused because in a few decades he will be forced to serve his people. Must it come to being forced over preparing for future duty? Exspecially when you fully accept all perks as a senior royal? It’s like a VP in a company refusing o ease into his job that he accepts pay and benefits for until he’s CEO. It’s foolish on many levels.
        Further Diana even noted what a change there is from heir to heir to POW to Monarch. It’s critical you ease into it or you’ll be anable to function. You must prepare.

        Now to family traditions. No one is stopping them. However, when 1 family member requests a certain day without fail for family to come to them should your tradition take priority? Sure, but without question it’s selfish. Is the Queen’s request selfish? Maybe, but it’s all she asks. And with all she has gifted William so he can be near the Christmas festivities comfortably it’s the very least he can do.

  29. K2 says:

    It’s fairly normal for people to want to spend Christmas with both sides of the family, where possible. What isn’t normal is expecting the parents of very small children to spend most of Christmas apart from them. I think the split sounds both fair and reasonable, tbh.

    Kate and William piss me off because they get so many tax-paid perks, plus eyewateringly expensive security, and then do very little for it. They are lazy and it isn’t their money that is wasted by their approach to their duties. But I won’t shade them for wanting their kids to have happy childhoods, which would include really joyful Christmas memories, and it isn’t as though anyone in the family is left alone and sad for the holidays. William may be the heir to the heir, but he’s also just one grandchild amongst many.

  30. Pondering thoughts says:

    I don’t believe that Kate wanted to “modernize” royal christmas traditions. But Kate was and still is afraid of facing the royal in-laws. Carole is afraid that she loses her grip on William.

    German christmas is far from dull. The only real difference I see is that you open the presents on the 24th. Then the two days after are for visiting the family: long dinners and long walks. Downhill activities in snowy landscapes. And of course the children sit at the table with the adults. They get up when they get bored with the talk which usually happens straight after dessert.
    It ain’t that different from other Christmas traditions.
    Though I can imagine that the Royal Christmas traditions are boring and stiff and not nice.

    Isn’t it astonishing that the Queen didn’t even manage to make Royal Christmas a bit more entertaining? Traditions are fine as long as they fit. If they no longer fit or suit you then change them gently. The latter is a german tradition, too.

    @ Kaiser

    “Germanic” generally refers to the bloody good old times when the Germanic tribes had aching intercultural and axe-into-skull discussions with various other tribes and the Roman Empire. Generally anything and anybody “germanic” is very uncivilised and barbarian and usually before the AD 7th century. It doesn’t really make sense to refer to anything or anybody as “germanic” when it happened past AD 750.
    English “Germanic” = german “Germanisch”.

    English “German” = german “Deutsche/r” (noun) or “deutsch” (adjective) refers to all things and people who were German but after the year AD 750.
    You could see Charlemagne as the one who lay the foundations for both France and Germany.

    If you describe the British Royal family as “germanic” then you give them a rather barbarian and uncivilised image. Not that I mind, though ;-D

  31. suze says:

    I think this is simply a bunch of Sh*t Stirring by Sykes. Again. For who knows what reason.

    I tend to believe that WillKate and the royal family have worked this out so they are all getting something out of the holiday. The Cambridges are living an Anmer, in the Queen’s backyard, not in Bucklebury or berry or whatever it is. They chose this location so they could participate in most of the royal traditions and still have some space for the way they want to do things. I have a feeling that internally, all members, Middleton and Royal, have come to agree to this.

    Opening gifts on Christmas Eve is hardly tragic. Neither is having dinner with your family on Christmas Day.

  32. MinnFinn says:

    Cry me a river of lies! It’s not stuffy and unfun for the kids. For a sample of Windsor family celebrations watch the youtube video after Harry’s christening and you will see the kids being rambunctious and having fun interacting with adults.

    Having meals apart from adults is what the Cambridge kids do every day. We know this is true because all the elements are in place for the traditional royal/aristo way of nanny doing the raising of kids. WK have at least 2 full-time nannies plus they had KP and Anmer nurseries renovated specifically to include ensuite kitchens.

  33. TanyaS says:

    As others have said, what a load of rot. I am sure that if you have done Xmas this way your entire life, you are not going to find it horrible. It is what you are used to.

    They would think that I am terrible as my Hubby has to work every Xmas day that does not fall on a weekend. So this year he is working and our four year old will not be opening her presents until Daddy is home. Santa does not bring the presents until Daddy is home and he is talking to the four year old and then Mummy “Helps” Santa to deliver them, while Daddy is distracting the little one.

    She does not know any different and she is fine with this.

    I do not think that it is too much for Wills and Kate to go along with HM on this one day of the year. As soon as Charles is in charge they will do what they want anyway.

    • wolfie says:

      If William cannot respect the office and manner of a Queen – neither will he be respected as a King.

      • TanyaS says:

        I agree with you 100% Wolfie. I think that he is going to be a disaster as a KIng and not a very good example for poor George. Charles is not going to have enough time to have too much of an impact, which is sad. He has waited so long in the wings, but as he says, getting to be King means that his Mother dies and he does not want to think about that.

  34. Nikki says:

    I am usually a Kate apologist, but I agree that if you are taking all the perks of being royal, do what your queen asks for a longstanding tradition. As far as the kids, they don’t even KNOW what the date is, etc! Her family is all nearby; let them celebrate a different day, for Pete’s sake. My husband used to have to work on holidays, so we just altered the date a tad! No trouble until the kids were almost high school. It seems to me to be very rude, to not accommodate the Queen’s wishes so publicly.

    • Jib says:

      For the last 5 years of my grandmother’s life, I packed my three kids, who were 5 years apart, into a car with all their presents hidden in the back, and drove to my parents’ house so we could share Christmas with her. And my kids were fine. And I never regretted it for one second.

      W&K are selfish, spoiled twits.

  35. perplexed says:

    Maybe the Queen needs her concentration to deliver her address properly on live tv. For that reason, I can see why the day would be more about having a scaled down Christmas and no kids — she has certain responsibilities to fulfil that day unlike William and Kate. I don’t envision Harry being that upset about when he got to open his presents.

    I don’t see the little kids getting up in arms about being in a separate room if they have other kids to play with. Does any 10 year old really want to hang with the Queen and Prince Philip that badly, even if they are their great-grand parents?

    • TanyaS says:

      Hi Preplexed, HM’s speech is actually recorded a few days before Xmas, but I have read that she likes to watch it by herself. Maybe she is slightly embarrassed by the family looking at her on TV.

      I don’t see a problem with the kids being in another room. They would have a lot more fun with each other than stuck with the grownups. That being said they should still be there to see their family, after all the holidays are about family….BOTH sides of it, not just the Middleton side.

  36. MrsK says:

    Sigh. How I *wish* they would put me at the children’s table. And in a whole other room? God, those royal kids have it good.

    • Feeshalori says:

      See my remarks upthread about what a lark we kids had at our own table down the hall from the grownups. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

  37. Persephone says:

    Given that the Queen is the head of the Church of England is seems appropriate the Christmas Day is reserved for lots of God.

  38. Jade says:

    Omg what a first world problem. First of all the Queen owns your ass for all the perks you have directly or indirectly, so get to it. Second of all, those kids are too young to know what is a so-called traditional day to open presents, so they will get used to the royal Christmas tradition eventually. Thirdly, are they totally separated from their kids like those people who have to spend Christmas at work? They are just next door! So much drama. And it’s as if they have to go back to the office on Boxing Day.

  39. aaa says:

    I don’t think the issue is merely the German traditions versus the English traditions, Christmas at Sandringham is a 2-3 day program with multiple clothing changes and adherence to protocol and precedence. Following the program is probably not a big deal for a childless or empty nest couple or even a family with older children, but I can see why parents with small children would not want to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day following this regimen.

    Actually I wonder if the Queen would be too put out if family members don’t participate in all the activities, if so then she must be royally pissed (pun intended) at her granddaughter Zara for going to Australia last year. The article said that it was “old-fashioned courtiers” whose noses were out of joint and I’m not going to assume that the Queen is hurt and/or annoyed with William and Kate and their “modern” ideas.

  40. Lee says:

    I think that those of us who happen to be in a serious relationship, or married understand this dilemma. When you have parents and in-laws to appease, you have to decide. A simple yet ideal plan to satisfy all involved would be to alternate the holiday. But given the fact that this article features HM and decades of tradition, I don’t think that it would be too difficult for W&K to spend Christmas Day with HM, and Christmas Eve day with the Kate’s family. They do have a responsibility to HM and their duties.

  41. India Andrews says:

    This article was full of nonsense that tries to make Kate and William look like they’re doing something.

  42. India Andrews says:

    Kate and William should suck it up and spend the holidays with the woman and man who pay their bills.

    • FLORC says:

      But the people pay the bills. The queen isn’t dipping into her private funds unless those private funds were very recently converted from public funds.

      • notasugarhere says:

        HM is the one who authorized kicking the charity out of 1A for them and the use of millions to re-do Apartment 1A. She is the one who handed them the keys to Anmer on her personal Sandringham property.

      • FLORC says:

        Yes. And we know that Queen used her BP upkeep funds account for KP renovations. It was not used, emptied, and as it became her private funds that later went to KP purpose. So, it stands the people still pay. The Queen simply enables. Doesn’t pay from true personal funds.

  43. Caroline says:

    The royal family is about tradition. If William wants to pass this by and “be like everyone else” then I would rather choose who is to be our head of state than have someone “like everyone else” landed on us. William and Kate are playing a very dangerous game by being royal when it comes to taking and not when it comes to giving.

    Nobody would say very much if William and Kate dumped the royals after church every second year but joined in with them completely on alternate years. It’s all the Middleton, Middleton stuff that gets me. If William was not royal no-one would have heard of him and Kate. They would do well to remember this.

    I sometimes wonder if William’s fuss about Diana is partly a guilty conscience. He was meant to have been on bad terms with her that last summer because of her relationship with Dodi Fayed. He is said to have argued with her during their last telephone conversation and at an open day at Eton the June before she died he deliberately did not invite Charles or Diana because of the fuss they would cause. He instead invited Tiggy Legge-Bourke (Diana hated her) who was employed to be with them when they were staying with Charles.