Hint: It helps to have a country estate near the Queen's
Since their wedding three years ago, the couple have gone the diplomatic route of alternating the yuletide holiday between their two families.
On their first Christmas, in 2011, it was the traditional royal family gathering at Sandringham House, in Norfolk, the Queen’s sprawling country estate located some 110 miles north of London.
The following year, it was off to the Middleton family mansion in Kate’s hometown village of Bucklebury.
Now, they may have found a perfect halfway point: The couple’s own country home of Anmer Hall. Located on the grounds of Sandringham, the 10-bedroom home offers the option for the Middletons to occupy a guest room – while William and Kate could make the short trip to Sandringham to attend church and lunch with Queen Elizabeth and the extended Windsor clan on Christmas morning.
Nothing has been confirmed yet, and a palace spokesman won’t comment on any plans for Christmas, but a friend of the family says Anmer “makes a lot of sense in that it is just down the road from Sandringham.”
The proximity could keep both sets of in-laws (and great in-laws) happy while making the day low-stress for William and Kate. “They could wake up at home, open their stockings and then head to church and join up with the rest of the royal family,” says veteran royals author Judy Wade.
The couple, who split their time between Anmer and Kensington Palace, are set to spend more of their life at their “dream home” in the country after William starts work as an air ambulance helicopter pilot. (He’s currently studying for the exams.)
With 15-month-old George more active than ever, and another baby due in April, the expectant parents have made clear their wish to base themselves largely in family-friendly Anmer in the coming months and years.
Wherever they spend the holiday, one thing is not in doubt: “This year, for the first time, George will be into it all, thrilled with the sparkling tree and unwrapping the presents,” Wade says.