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British RoyalsFashionFeatures

Christmas Day Fashion Through the Years: Diana, Princess of Wales


Russ Quinlan, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

For many years, the Royal Family celebrated the holidays at Windsor Castle. The tradition dated back to the twelfth century with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spending the winter months on the grounds. When The Queen’s father, King George VI, was on the throne, the Christmas season was almost always spent on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

In the 1960s, the Royal Family spent the holidays at Windsor because The Queen’s children were young, but now, it’s only the Easter holiday they spend at the castle. Since 1988, The Queen has started to have Christmases return to Sandringham House. In an interview with HELLO! Magazine, The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter said:

“Traditionally, the family has always gone to Sandringham at Christmas. It’s close to London, where she does occasions almost right up to Christmas. She wants to be at Sandringham for the beginning of February, which is the anniversary of the death of her father. So Sandringham has always been the traditional place to go for Christmas until New Year.”

Arbiter went on to add, “Although, having said that, at one stage Windsor Castle was Christmas because it was big enough to take the whole family. But since the fire in 1992, Christmas and New Year – particularly Christmas – it has been in Sandringham. Sandringham is always winter, and Balmoral is always summer.” 

In the first of its series, Royal Central is looking back at the Royal Family’s Christmas Day fashion. This particular piece will focus on Diana, Princess of Wales’s outfits through the years.

December 25, 1981

The late Diana, Princess of Wales is seen leaving a Christmas Day service with Prince Edward at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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December 25, 1982

Diana and her husband, Prince Charles are seen leaving St George’s Chapel after a Christmas Day service. This would mark their first Christmas with their son, Prince William who was born in June of that year.

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December 25, 1983

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December 25, 1984

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December 25, 1985

The Royal Family attended a service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. The venue would become for popular for the family’s Christmas Day service throughout the years.

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December 25, 1987

Diana is seen with the Duke and Duchess of York at a Christmas Day service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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December 25, 1988

In 1988, the Christmas Day service is switched back to Sandringham.

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December 25, 1990

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December 25, 1991

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December 25, 1993

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December 25, 1994

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About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.