By Emma Dooney published
The Queen forbids the Royal Family's youngest members, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, from sitting with their parents at her annual Christmas lunch—and there's a fairly good reason for it.
- The Queen prohibits the Royal Family's children from sitting at her annual Christmas lunch, according to multiple insiders.
- Her Majesty has reportedly been enforcing the strict dining rule, which also applies to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, for years.
- In other royal news, Meghan and Harry's Christmas in Santa Barbara could bring back a bad memory for the royal couple.
With Christmas just over a week away, the Royal Family is busy getting ready for a long-awaited reunion after an undeniably tough year.
The Queen, who has suffered a string of health issues over the past two months, is expected to be joined by her relatives at Sandringham House on 25 December, for what will be her first festive holiday since Prince Philip died in April. The 95-year-old monarch is likely to remain at the Norfolk estate until 6 February, the anniversary of her late father's death, when she will finally return to the capital.
Unfortunately, certainty over the Queen's Christmas plans 2021 has been hard to guarantee—especially with the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in the UK. While royal fans continue to hope that the Head of State will be able to host her traditional bash, fears are growing that she could be looking at yet another quiet Yuletide at Windsor Castle.
The Queen even canceled her pre-Christmas lunch because of growing concern over the Omicron variant, sparking questions over the likelihood of the official celebrations going ahead next week.
Even if the lunch had gone ahead though, it wouldn't exactly have been a full-blown reunion between Her Majesty and her relatives. Unlike 'regular' family gatherings, the Windsors' get-togethers tend to separate the kids from the adults—especially when it's time to eat.
It's been widely reported that the Queen's great-grandchildren traditionally sit in a separate room to their parents for the annual lunch, where they are supervised by nannies while the older royals enjoy a peaceful meal with their fellow grown-ups.
According to Her Majesty's former chef, Darren McGrady, the kids were never allowed to join their mums and dads at the dining table on Christmas until they were "old enough to conduct themselves properly."
With special occasions of the utmost importance in her social calendar, the Queen reportedly has no tolerance for unruly behavior from the youngest royals. This rule even applies to Prince William and Kate Middleton's children, Princess Charlotte and Princes George and Louis.
"For the Queen, there was never a case of putting a high chair at the table with a little baby squealing and throwing food," McGrady explained in an interview with HELLO! "It was Victorian. The children's place was in the nursery and Nanny would take care of them. It's your modern-day Downton Abbey."
While it may seem a little archaic to banish the tots to another room, there's actually a fairly good reason behind it. According to royal expert Phil Dampier, Her Majesty orders that the children be seated separately to allow their parents some much-needed adult conversation.
“There’s that division between the kids and the grown-ups, so the grown-ups can all sit down and have a natter,” he told the Sun.
Mike Tindall, the husband of Princess Anne's daughter Zara, has also verified this claim. Speaking about his 2019 Christmas lunch experience on The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby, he explained to his podcast co-hosts how the seating layout was arranged.
"This is the family lunch, there were seven tables so there must have been about 70 of us there," he shared. "The kiddies have their own little one in a different room."
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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