Royals | Celebrity

Here's Why Prince George And Princess Charlotte Won't Open Presents On Christmas

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Every December, Queen Elizabeth II and her immediate family members take a trip to Norfolk to spend Christmas at Sandringham House, away from the hustle and bustle of London.

While at the country home, there's no shortage of activities to take part in, including playing a charity soccer game, attending a black-tie dinner, and taking part in a royal hunt.

Like the average family, the royals also take the time to decorate their own tree, exchange gifts, and play games, but they just do it a little differently than us here in North America.

Instead of saving all the excitement only for Christmas Day, the family carry out many of their traditions on Christmas Eve.

According to royal insiders and the family's website, Her Majesty usually gathers everyone up in the White Drawing Room for a special Christmas Eve afternoon tea. Afterwards, the children will help her decorate the Christmas tree and open presents, including funny gag gifts.

"The royals are of German descent so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations," explained former royal chef Darren McGrady. "After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition."

The family also stick to this European tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve because they are usually busy attending two services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas morning, preparing for the Queen's annual Christmas speech, and partaking in feasts.

While Kate Middleton and her older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are used to these traditions, it may take Meghan Markle a little bit of adjusting.

This year will be the second time that the pregnant Duchess of Sussex joins her husband Prince Harry and his family at Sandringham.

They will be accompanied by a very special guest, Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, who's reportedly been invited by the Queen.

For royal watchers, this Christmas is shaping up to be extra special because it may be the first time that Prince George attends the church services. Royal children under the age of five are never in attendance for these services, but George is now finally at the right age.

When does your family open Christmas presents?

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.