Earlier this week, The Queen hosted senior members of her staff at the Goring Hotel where she was seen leaving the luncheon. The Palace also revealed that Her Majesty had gifted all of her 1,500 strong staff with Christmas puddings.
This tradition was started by her grandfather, King George V. Specifically, these are puddings from Tesco. Each of the Finest Christmas Puddings cost eight pounds. If you’re like me and not from the UK and unfamiliar with what puddings are, this is how the Tesco website describes this holiday treat: “12 Months matured by Christmas day, Christmas pudding with COURVOISIER® VS Cognac. Infused with Cider, Amontillado Sherry, and Ruby Port.”
Along with receiving a Christmas pudding, each member of the staff from all the palaces, official Court Post Office and in the Palace police, also receive a greeting card from The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
As with most matters, The Queen is tightening the purse strings. She usually prefers to hand out puddings from Harrods or Fortnum & Mason. Tesco was the brand chosen this year.
If you’ve served Her Majesty for a significant number of years, you’ll receive yet another gift – a voucher. Those at the top working as household staff are first on the list, then clerks and domestic workers will receive theirs. Finally, gardeners bring up the rear.
Another holiday tradition that won’t be changed this year is how members of the Royal Family pass out gifts. The Queen is allowing Meghan Markle to attend the Christmas festivities at Sandringham, and Meghan will need to get used to how her future family members distribute gifts.
They lay them out on trestle tables and exchange them during teatime on Christmas Eve. Come Christmas morning, everyone will walk to church in town and then return to Sandringham to watch The Queen’s annual Christmas broadcast.