In keeping with royal tradition,Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating Christmas at her countryside estate in Sandringham in the east England county of Norfolk and the centre of attraction this year is her newest great-grandchild Prince George.
“The arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope,” she says in her customary Christmas Day address,recorded at Buckingham Palace earlier this month.
The address,which the Queen writes herself,usually has a strong religious framework,in keeping with her position as supreme governor of the Church of England.
This year it was recorded by the BBC in the blue drawing room at Buckingham Palace,with the Queen sitting next to a large Christmas tree.
Prince William and wife Kate Middleton decided to take their five-month-old son to spend his first Christmas with the Queen and her husband,Prince Philip,as well as grandfather Prince Charles,uncle Prince Harry and other members of the royal family.
The Duke and Duchess are expected to travel to Berkshire on Thursday,which is marked as Boxing Day,so that George can spend time with his other grandparents. No gifts will be exchanged at Sandringham on Christmas Day,as the royal family open their presents on Christmas Eve. Cheap and funny presents are in keeping with tradition,with expensive luxury items effectively banned.
On Boxing Day,Prince Philip will lead a shooting party at Wood Farm in Wolferton,when male members of the family will hunt pheasants which will be picked up by the Queen and other female members of the family. Prince Harry’s girlfriend,Cressida Bonas,may be among the guests at the shoot,though she will not be at Sandringham on Christmas Day.
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