WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
The royal family’s newest recruit will be exposed to a whole new world of traditions this Christmas, as he spends his first festive season in the company of the Queen. Fortunately, he’ll have his hands-on parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to ease him through everything from Christmas Eve gift-giving to (potentially) his first public trip to church. And with a house jam-packed with his regal family members, he’ll have no shortage of aunts and uncles showering him with attention.
The builders in charge of renovating the young family’s new Anmer Hall country home on the Sandringham Estate will have to work as hard as Santa’s elves to get the place ready for the holidays. Conveniently located just two miles from the Queen’s Christmas residence, the nine-bedroom Georgian manor was reportedly her gift to Will and Kate earlier this year. However, extensive additions – including a new driveway, staff accommodation and a sun room – only got started in the fall, so the trio might have to bunk with the Queen at Sandringham House if the new digs aren’t ready in time.
If work on Anmer Hall isn’t completed by Christmas, Prince George will have to temporarily swap his nursery for one of the notoriously small bedrooms in the Queen’s own Sandringham House. Located two hours from London, the stately home has been a royal residence for almost 150 years, but the little prince won’t have long to settle in: the Queen’s strict house rules require guests arrive no earlier than the morning of Dec. 23.
GRANNY'S IN CHARGE
Although tree trimming is usually a family affair, Prince George won’t be hanging any baubles with the help of his mom and dad this year. As the official holiday hostess, Queen Elizabeth II personally takes charge of decorating her locally grown, hand-cut 18-ft. spruce, which provides the focal point for the royal family’s Christmas Eve celebrations.
What kind of gifts can the little prince expect for his first Christmas? A gold-plated rattle? A Caribbean island? Everyone loves to spoil a new baby, but royal gift giving is strictly a bling-free zone, with a low-budget mix of practical presents and gag gifts. And he’ll have to stay up past his bedtime to open his haul, as gifts are always exchanged on Christmas Eve. Kate reportedly gave the Queen some homemade jam during her first Christmas at Sandringham. Perhaps this year, she’ll mark George’s arrival with a simple commemorative mug, handmade in her hometown.
WHAT TO WEAR
With multiple events to attend each day, outfit planning requires military precision for the royals on Christmas. Luckily for George, a few clean onesies should see him through until he’s old enough to dress up for the formal black-tie dinner on Christmas Eve, wrap up for the brisk walk to church on Christmas Day and don his country casuals for the Boxing Day pheasant shoot.
POMP AND CEREMONY
After being as quiet as a church mouse during his Oct. 23 Christening ceremony, George may have earned the opportunity to accompany the rest of the family to the 11 a.m. service at the nearby St. Mary Magdalene church, which kicks off Christmas Day for the entire royal clan. Traditionally, the royals all walk to the chapel, but George will travel in style with his great-granny, as family members with small children are allowed to hop in the car with the Queen.
George won’t be old enough to take his rightful place near the head of the table with the other heirs to the throne for the traditional turkey lunch, served on fine bone china at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day. Instead, Will and Kate will advise the royal kitchen staff on a more suitable menu for their little prince, which will be served in his nursery, complete with a silver spoon!
If there’s a no-TV rule in Will and Kate’s household, Prince George will finally get to watch his first show on Christmas Day. Television is far from out-of-bounds at Sandringham on Christmas Day; in fact, the whole family gathers around the box at 3 p.m. sharp to enjoy the Queen’s pre-recorded Christmas broadcast. After all, it’s not every family who gets to watch great-granny address the nation with her very own year in review!
Will and Kate have proven to be crack shots in the past at the annual Boxing Day pheasant shoot, so they’ll no doubt be keen to walk off those Christmas calories and enjoy some couple time again this year. But Prince George won’t be left by his lonesome, with Granny Carole and royal nanny Jessie Webb at the ready to entertain him with plenty more baby-friendly fun.