PRINCESS Charlotte is to spend her first Christmas
with the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family
after her parents decided to give their hard-working
staff a festive break.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children
will be among 31 guests of Her Majesty and Prince
Philip for Christmas Day lunch at Sandringham.
They will also spend the night at the royal
residence in Norfolk. Contrary to speculation,
William and Kate will not be hosting the Middletons
on the big day at their home Anmer Hall, just two
miles away, as they did last year.
Instead they will join a traditional family
celebration that will bring the total number of
royals at Sandringham House to 33.
The crowded Christmas means that, as with other
recent gatherings, royals lower down the pecking
order will have to sleep in servants’ quarters, and
some servants will have to share rooms or move to
outhouses on the estate.
One royal insider joked: “There is going to be no
room at the inn but the Queen will be delighted. She
loves having the entire family around her and it
will be wonderful for her and Prince Philip, and of
course doting grandad Prince Charles, to see Prince
George and little Charlotte.
“The royals are like any other family and face the
same dilemmas with in-laws. As William and Kate
spent the day with the Middletons last year it was
only fair that they switched plans this year.
“They will be able to relax and some of their staff
will be able to take time off and see their own
Last year crowds waiting outside St Mary Magdalene
church on Christmas morning were disappointed not to
see Prince George and Kate told onlookers: “I’m
sorry we didn’t bring him but you would have heard
him in church.”
This year, however, it is hoped the two-year-old
will be there, along with eight-month-old Charlotte.
In a recent interview with The Big Issue, William
said: “George has suddenly worked out what Christmas
is all about. He’ll be bouncing around like a
The only member of staff who may have to work is
Spanish nanny Maria Borrallo.
The source said: “She may be needed if the kids are
a bit lively or under the weather, but otherwise the
staff will have time off.
“William and Kate appreciate the fact that they have
Italian housekeeper Antonella Fresolone, who mainly
looks after their Kensington Palace apartment, new
recruit Sadie Rice, who cooks and cleans at Anmer
Hall, and Fijian “Man Friday” Tifaire Alexander, who
acts as chauffeur, butler and much else, will enjoy
a welcome break.
The source said: “They all love working hard for the
Duke and Duchess but they put in incredibly long
hours and certainly earn their money.”
Prince William has been given time off from his job
as an air ambulance pilot in East Anglia to enjoy
Last year Kate’s family (mother Carole, father
Michael, brother James and sister Pippa) went to
church with the royals before going back to Anmer
Hall, where William and Kate hosted lunch in their
renovated 10-bedroom mansion.
The insider said: “Kate will definitely see her
family and they may even spend some time at Anmer
but it’s more likely they will stay at their home in
Berkshire and maybe she will see them for New Year.”
Following the German tradition begun by Queen
Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, the royals open
their gifts on Christmas Eve, creating a scene
described by the Queen’s nephew Viscount Linley as
The adults exchange cheap joke gifts, with Prince
Harry once giving the Queen a shower cap with “Ain’t
life a b***h” printed on it.