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Royal Christmas

Multiple Christmas trees and plenty of family fun: How the Middletons celebrate Christmas

Just like her royal in-laws, Kate's family have their own festive fun!

By Alex Lilly
When it comes to Christmas, every family has their own way of doing things.
Diehard royal fans will know that the Windsors typically spend the silly season at the Queen's residence of Sandringham House in Norfolk with the big day consisting of the annual church service at St Mary Magdalene's, followed by a 50-minute lunch and tuning in at 3pm for Her Majesty's pre-recorded speech.
Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis usually attend, with the exception of Christmas 2016, but over the years we've also learned about the sweet traditions the Middleton family have in place every year.
Since the Duchess of Cambridge's mum Carole Middleton own her own company Party Pieces, she certainly knows a thing or two about throwing a memorable Christmas celebration.
In the exclusive chat with the UK Telegraph, self-described "list-maker" Carole said she starts planning the festivities just after Halloween complete with wrapping paper themes. Then on Christmas Day, the family, who live in the British county of Berkshire, attend church in the morning, go on a walk and then open presents.
She and Michael are now grandparents of five to George, Charlotte and Louis as well as Pippa and James Matthews' children Arthur and Grace. What's more, in 2021 the Middletons officially welcomed Alizee Thevenet to the family when she married youngest son, James Middleton.
Keep reading to see how Michael, Carole, Kate, Pippa and James (as well as their expanding brood) celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas trees galore

Speaking to The Telegraph in 2018, Carole revealed that she likes to have as many Christmas trees as possible in her home, Bucklebury Manor, including one in the grandchildren's rooms, "so that they can decorate it themselves."
In 2021, the Middleton matriarch remarked on Instagram: "Once again this year we plan to have two Christmas trees: one for the children to decorate and one which I do myself. My beloved tree-top angel is looking a little worse for wear after years of service so it's time to invest in something new.
"Once again this year we plan to have two Christmas trees: one for the children to decorate and one which I do myself." (Image: Instagram @partypieces)

Stocking fillers

In a post shared to Carole's company Party Pieces' Instagram, the mother-of-three shared a sweet anecdote about the festive season when Kate, Pippa and James were children.
"I find that the smallest present can be the one that gives the most enjoyment and entertainment to children," she wrote.

"I remember that when they were young, my children found flexi-figures like these totally absorbing. A good choice of stocking fillers can give one extra time, undisturbed in bed on Christmas Day. Invaluable!"
Kate, Pippa and James used to love toys like these in their childhood years. (Image: Instagram @partypieces)

All about the children

At the heart of the celebrations are the children so it's safe to say George, Charlotte, Louis, Arthur and Grace are always spoiled when December rolls around.
Though families were separated during Christmas 2020 due to the pandemic, Carole revealed how she kept the little ones involved.
"For me, what really matters is that my family feels connected," she wrote on Instagram.
"I normally let my grandchildren help me decorate the tree. This year, I'll ask them by video call to decide which decoration should go where. It may need to be tastefully rearranged later…!"
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, attended the Middleton family celebrations in 2016. (mage: Getty Images)
In 2016 when the Cambridge family spent Christmas with the Middletons, royal fans were delighted to see the young prince and princess attending the church service at St Mark's Church in Englefield.
George and Charlotte were even snapped enjoying some candy canes as they left the service, something that royal children don't typically attend at Sandringham until they are at least four-years-old.

Taking the silly season literally with fancy dress

We always knew that Christmas at the Middletons would be a less formal affair than the Sandringham one, but it turns out patriarch Michael really loves to show his fun side at this time of year!
"My father has developed this funny tradition of surprising us at some point by appearing in fancy dress," Pippa told the Spectator in 2015.
"He buys a new costume each year and typically gets a bit carried away - a couple of Christmases ago, he appeared in an inflatable sumo outfit."
Even James Middleton's dogs dress up for the silly season! (Image: Instagram @jmidy)

A flexitarian menu

If you ever get the opportunity to enjoy a Christmas at Bucklebury Manor, make sure to go with an empty stomach!Whilst Christmas lunch is smoked salmon with champagne, the full Christmas dinner is served in the evening. In 2018, Carole mentioned that she also served a vegan option too as she's a flexitarian.
"If I go to someone's house for dinner, I'm not going to make a fuss. For Christmas, I'd probably have two options – very traditional and something vegan," she told The Telegraph at the time.
James previously mentioned that Christmas is a traditional day in the Middleton family calendar with all the trimmings.
"There'll be turkey, champagne and some wine...For me it's all about family… It's one where we can all regroup," James said in an interview on German TV channel, Leute Heute.

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