Christmas is a busy time for Her Majesty the Queen.
- The personal touch the Queen gives to her staff and friends' Christmas cards has been revealed.
- But the gift is also completed with a £6 Tesco gift.
- This follows the royal news (opens in new tab) that there is a special test all royal staff must pass in order to work for the Queen at (opens in new tab)Sandringham.
Her festive schedule includes approving the Christmas decorations in all royal residences, like the huge fir tree put up in Windsor Castle.
She also normally prepares to head to the royal Sandringham Estate where she spends Christmas with the family every year (although this year, she'll be staying put at Windsor Castle) and fits in the live recording of her annual Christmas message.
Despite her packed itinerary, the monarch makes sure not to miss out a personal touch when sending Christmas well wishes to her staff and loved ones.
According to royal commentator, Dickie Arbiter, who appeared on Channel 5’s documentary, Inside Sandringham: Holidaying with the Queen, she personally signs every Christmas card she sends.
Dickie explained, “The Queen signs every Christmas card she sends, as does Prince Philip.
“There’s no stencilling or faxing or anything like that, and the card count runs into hundreds.
“All the staff get a card, then friends get a card.
“There are people you’ve got to send cards to and people you want to send cards to, but every card is signed by both of them.”
Along with the personalised card, staff are also said to receive a sweet gift from the royal couple. Reportedly, the Queen and Philip give staff a Christmas pudding, a tradition started by the Queen's grandfather George V before the war.
But while in the past Palace staff received luxurious puddings from brands including Harrods or Fortnum & Mason, Hello! magazine now reports the Queen has downgraded to a £6 Tesco's Finest Matured Christmas Pudding.
Those who've worked for the Queen for longer also receive shopping vouchers up to £35.
This follows news that Prince Philip follows a very special tradition every Christmas Eve when the family arrive at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
According to royal author, Claudia Joseph, the Duke of Edinburgh always takes great pride in placing the golden star on top of the 20 foot tall spruce tree in Sandringham House.
She said, “Prince Phillip will always put the gold star on top of the tree and will probably continue to do so for the rest of his life.
“He’s quite a stalwart and wont let anyone else take control.”
Little ones, such as the Queen’s great grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis play a part in the special moment too.
“When any young children come they put their own little decorations on,” Claudia explained, before continuing to add that a very important family heirloom adds the final touches.
“Of course, Queen Victoria’s glass angels take pride of place and are very important to the royal family because of course they’re inherited and traditional.”
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