Queen Elizabeth II is the head of British royal family, which is one of the several families left in Britain with a full staff. Despite this, the monarch chooses to do a few things for herself, such approach breaks royal tradition but once a year – at Christmas only.
Queen is able to break any rule but she prefers to keep the balance. The British monarch chooses to do a few things for herself – to pour bowls of cereal, for an instance, despite Her Majesty has a lot of help. One of most famous Queen’s habits is keeping the special person on staff who wearing in her £1,000 shoes.
It is during formal dinners that the royals perhaps appear most akin to Downton Abbey. The formalities of the past remain within the walls of Sandringham – at Christmas, more than ever.
Traditions are broken for a moment during Christmas lunch, however. At one point, the Queen serves a chef who throughout the year has served her. Ex-chef Darren McGrady revealed that once the most senior chef on duty has finished carving the meat – rib roast beef, turkey, ham – he’s allowed a brief tipple in the dining room, which is not a place he’s usually allowed into.
“Right before the Christmas buffet, the senior chef on duty goes into the dining room and carves the rib roast or turkey or ham and once he’s done, Her Majesty presents the chef with a glass of whiskey and they toast,”
McGrady said and added that’s the only time the chef goes into the dining room and has a glass of whisky with the royal family. It’s one of the chef’s favourite traditions.
No need to note that the festive season is sacred to the Queen and her family. Every year, she travels with Prince Philip to Sandringham in Norfolk on December 19-20 (by train). Prince Charles and his friends usually arrive at lunchtime on Christmas Eve.
Alongside church and an emphasis on family, food is of utmost importance to the royals. Once they’ve all eaten, everyone sits down to watch the Queen’s speech (she only needs one take) and then they all go for afternoon tea. After time apart to relax, they all get together once more for a massive buffet.
The Queen will also have a fair bit of chocolate. It’s one of her favourite indulgences, alongside gin, champagne, and biscuits. According to McGrady, Queen is a major chocoholic, she prefers the darkest chocolate and mint.