Tradition is everything when it comes to celebrating Christmas in the royal family. They usually have a very strict schedule that they follow every single year without fail. They attend church services together and they visit the Queen for all the festivities, but not all together. The younger members usually arrive first and the senior members later. This is something that reflects their status. Since Christmas is on the way, we thought you’d like to know what the British royals put on their table on that special day. “Queen of puddings” is Kate Middleton’s favourite dish, something that the Queen herself must approve of. Prince William on the other hand loves a classic Eton Mess.

How does the Royal Family start their Christmas Day?

Breakfast is the family’s first meal of the day before they head to the church service. It usually is a fully cooked meal consisting of eggs, bacon, and sausages, very close to being a full English breakfast. Another thing included in this meal is kippers or smoked haddock, both very popular with the Queen. She will even consume them as a late-night supper showing how much she loves preserved fish. When the church service is finished and the family gets back home, they sit at the table again. This time shrimp or lobster salad, roasted turkey, and side dishes like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips are waiting for them. Sometimes they also have mashed or roasted potatoes, onion stuffing, and homemade gravy. However, don’t expect to find any flavour of garlic in any of these foods, since Her Majesty doesn’t like it.

After the Queen has given her Christmas speech at 3:00 PM, the whole family enjoys a nice afternoon tea. Christmas fruit cake and a variety of chocolate desserts, such as yule log, are served with the tea. The Queen is a huge chocolate fan, so anything that has chocolate on or in it is always a hit with her. This meal is pretty light and is just preparing everyone for what’s coming up next. The buffet is the last and most opulent meal of the day, consisting of 15-20 different items. They have a variety of roasted meats, like turkey and ham, seafood, cooked vegetables, cheese, and gingerbread cookies. Harrods also gives them a whole foie gras en croute for that day and they usually have a whole Stilton cheese. 

The chef carves the meats and when everything is ready the Queen asks the steward to pour the Head Chef a drink and they toast him and say thank you. After the main meal, which is the dinner buffet, the family enjoys a boozy Christmas pudding. It is usually steamed instead of cooked like they used to do back in the day in England. It is decorated in holly and flambéed. And that’s how the palace steward carries it in the room, in flames. The Queen takes a train to Sandringham Estate, which is 100 miles north of London. She uses the normal train so that she can attend the church service at the 16th-century church in the area. The rest of the family accompanies her for the service. They all play a game of charades later that day after they’ve had their lunch. It is said that Duchess Kate Middleton has strong acting skills and she usually performs really well in the game. The annual Christmas broadcast happens at 3:00 PM and the Queen talks to the British public. This tradition goes back to 1952 and the Queen usually reflects on the past year and talks about the future.

Apart from the roasted meats and other dishes, the family members have some favourite foods they want on the Christmas table.

  • Beef bourguignon seems to be a very favourite dish of Queen Elizabeth and is basically a beef stew.
  • While Bubble and squeak was considered a “peasant” dish, in recent years it is being enjoyed by people of all classes. It consists of cabbage and potatoes fried together and more recently beef is also added in the mix.
  • Date apple pastry is another dessert that the family loves and they probably have it with their afternoon tea. It’s a traditional German dessert that is usually made as a strudel.
  • Potted shrimp, another very traditional British dish that is made of brown shrimp flavoured with nutmeg.

Now that you know what food is on the royal table, do you feel like you have similarities with them?