Each year, the Queen stands in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace to hand over Christmas presents to her loyal staff, over 500 of them. However, Her Majesty is now cutting back on some of her duties.
This year, the Queen will only give gifts to 70 members of staff. These 70 members will have completed over 10 years service, and the remaining employees will receive their gifts from their line manager.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, a source said “That she has done it uncomplaining for all these years is remarkable anyway. But Her Majesty is 87 and remaining on her feet for some 520 people to come forward to collect their present is a bit of a tall order. Plus she is thinking of Prince Philip; who often stands beside her throughout”.
Last year, The Queen took over two hours to hand over all of the employees’ presents. She handed the presents out at Buckingham Palace, and then repeated the process at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty gives out the presents whilst the Duke of Edinburgh stands besides her wishing the staff a Merry Christmas.
The Queen’s scaling down of Royal duties comes after Prince William and Prince Charles are standing in for her at Investitures. This month, The Prince of Wales will stand in for The Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Sir Lanka.
This year’s Christmas gift is understood to be a China tankard. This will be the second present employees have received this year, after the Queen distributed silk ties and Merino scarves in May to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her Coronation. Previous years’ Christmas presents to staff have included a set of coasters and a wine decanter engraved with the royal EIIR cipher. Any member of staff with over 12 months service is eligible for a Christmas gift.