Christmas is still a way off, but no matter the time of year it’s fascinating to find out about the holiday traditions of the royal family. They have strict regulations for that time of year – but when they exchange presents with each other, those rules don’t necessarily apply. And Meghan Markle, the newest member of the family, was not so long ago faced with the unenviable task of buying appropriate gifts for all her in-laws. That included her groom-to-be’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, perhaps the hardest person in the world to buy a Christmas present for.
A royal Christmas celebration is no casual thing. In fact, they’re extremely regimented affairs. Reportedly, guests attending the palace parties are given timetables and room maps so they always know where they’re meant to be and when. They even have to arrive in order of rank, which adds a whole new level of complications to things.
And then there are the dresses. “The family comes down for breakfast dressed in their church outfits – usually a day dress or a smart suit with pearls for the women,” royal biographer Claudia Joseph told Vogue in December 2017. “For lunch on Christmas Eve, the men wear suits and the women wear smart silk dresses, but they change into black tie and glamorous gowns for dinner.”