King Charles could be planning major changes for first Sandringham Christmas as monarch

King Charles' Christmas plans may look very different to the ones before he took the throne, including a poignant tribute to his late mother

Britain's King Charles III laughs during to Morrisons Supermarkets headquarters in Bradford on November 8, 2022 during a two-day tour of Yorkshire.
(Image credit: RUSSELL CHEYNE / POOL / AFP / Getty Images)

King Charles' Christmas plans are expected to be different than the Royal Family's festive celebrations before he became King. This includes dropping an 'archaic' tradition, says royal expert.

It's been one hell of a year for the Royal Family and annual events, like the festive period, will never be quite the same after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. As King Charles looks ahead to a bittersweet festive period, with fewer guests around the dinner table - royal Expert Jenny Bond spoke to OK! about what the celebrations are likely to include.

General view of Sandringham House, Queen Elizabeth II's country retreat

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

"It will be full of nostalgia and some good measure of sadness," she said. "There’s going to be that empty place where the Queen sat. I presume Charles will not sit there unless they choose to leave it empty.”

Although many things are markedly different, Jenny added, "It will have all the usual traditions of a Sandringham gathering. The family will gather but they’ll be lacking their matriarch. It’s always a sad time when you have your first Christmas without the main person."

According to reports, tensions may be high at Sandringham House as this year sees the Royals ‘bracing themselves’ to be at Prince Harry and Meghan’s ‘mercy' after their highly publicized rift continues to grow. 

Some annual events will be the same, but with the obvious difference of the Queen's speech now being the King's speech. The world will be watching as Charles makes his first Christmas address, in his new role as British monarch and Jenny believes it will be 'very interesting.'

KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 25: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2019 in King's Lynn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty)

"I’m sure he’ll record it a few days before and it’s bound to have some reflection on their loss," she said, adding that the idea of the Royal Family sitting down to watch the speech is 'archaic' and could be a tradition left in the past.

"Most families by then will be recovering from their large meal and the day’s festive celebrations. I suspect it will be less formal. It’ll be a bit less buttoned up," said the expert, who praised the King and Camilla Queen Consort's, "great sense of humor and love of people."

Their love of people may only be matched by their love of fairy lights, as this year from November 11 until December 18, Sandringham Royal Parkland has been made into a magical, twinkling wonderland with a walking route that's a mile long and lined with stunning luminations. 

The ticketed event, designed by Luminate UK, will also feature a mini funfair with a helter-skelter and rides to enjoy. There'll be food trucks and the opportunity to get hot drinks - including mulled wine!

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.