Why King Charles’ Christmas break could be cut a little shorter than the Queen’s used to be

King Charles' Christmas break in Sandringham might not follow the pattern established by Queen Elizabeth during her 70 year reign...

King Charles' Christmas break in Sandringham might not be as long as Queen Elizabeth's was, seen here side-by-side at different occasions
(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

King Charles’ Christmas break could potentially be cut a little shorter than the late Queen’s used to be as he prepares to spend Christmas at Sandringham.  

There are plenty of festive customs the Royal Family have upheld for many decades, from celebrating Christmas at Sandringham House to the Royal Christmas tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve. Already this year it’s been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that the King and Queen Consort will be traveling to Norfolk to resume the Sandringham tradition that was temporarily paused in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. It’s thought likely that the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children could join them, meaning Prince Louis’ Christmas milestone could finally be reached. 

But there’s one tradition that might not be continued in 2022 as His Majesty marks his first festive season as monarch. King Charles’ Christmas break could be cut a little shorter than Queen Elizabeth’s used to be for a simple reason…

Queen Elizabeth II talks with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

(Image credit: Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Aside from 2020 and 2021 when the late Queen spent Christmas at Windsor Castle, the late monarch typically had an extended stay at her beloved Sandringham House. This private residence is the venue where many of royal Christmases past were hosted and the Queen regularly stayed there until February each year.

This is understood to have been because her father King George VI passed away at Sandringham on February 6, 1952 and the Queen is believed to have wanted to mark this sad day in private in Norfolk. The Christmas decorations at Sandringham also remained up until after this date too.  

Whilst it’s possible that His Majesty could honor his grandfather in a similar way after Christmas 2022, it could perhaps be a little unlikely that King Charles’ Christmas break at Sandringham will be quite as long.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles and Princess Anne

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

King George VI passed away when his grandson was 4 and whilst they likely had sweet moments together, they didn’t have the decades-long bond of a parent and child like that of King George and the Queen.

And two months is a rather long time to spend away from King Charles’ London home, Clarence House, and the duties that might need to be completed there. This is especially the case given it would still be in his first five months of being monarch and with King Charles' coronation date drawing closer.

Although it’s not known for sure how long the King will be at Sandringham, spending less time there would seem to make sense. And instead of extending his Christmas break in Norfolk, His Majesty could simply choose to do what he’s done for the late Queen Mother in previous years. On the anniversary of her death in 2002, King Charles once shared an adorable tribute with a commissioned piano concerto. 

He has also often shared sweet throwback photos of her to mark her birth date. So it's perhaps possible he might choose to go down a similar route to honor King George VI's memory in February instead of King Charles' Christmas break stay in Sandringham lasting until February like the Queen's used to.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!