Royals | Celebrity

12 Vintage Photos Of The Royal Family Celebrating Christmas At Sandringham

Ever since Queen Elizabeth II was born, she spent every Christmas at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England. The Queen usually takes the train from King's Cross station in London, and is later joined by her closest family members for a week of festivities.

The family has a number of new and old traditions they incorporate into their celebration, including an afternoon tea, a charity soccer match, a gag gift exchange, church services, and an evening of games, including charades.

So how much has the festivities changed over the years? Let's take a look back at some vintage photographs of the royal family celebrating at Sandringham House.

Queen Elizabeth II in 1929 waiting to board the train at King's Cross station.

Elizabeth is pictured with her children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne in her last Christmas before becoming Queen.

At age 26, the Queen delivered her first Christmas speech over the radio at Sandringham.

Prince Charles and his grandmother, the Queen Mother, walk arm-in-arm to church in this 1969 photograph.

Even today, the family attend two services on Christmas Day at the church of St. Mary Magdelene, a private one at 9 a.m, during which the Queen takes communion, and an 11 a.m public worship.

In 1981, after her highly publicized wedding to Prince Charles, Princess Diana joined the royal made the trip to Sandrigham for her first Christmas as a member of the royal family...

Diana attends her first Christmas at Sandringham in 1981 following her wedding to Prince Charles.

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Until this year, unmarried couples did not join the celebrations at Sandringham. However, this year, the Queen has made an exception for Meghan Markle.

In 1985, new family members, including Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips, joined the festivities.

Prince Harry is pictured riding a pony during Christmas 1988.

Young Prince William is seen walking to church beside his cousin Zara.

The Queen and Princess Margaret are all smiles on Christmas Day 1992.

In 1994, Diana had her last Christmas at Sandringham before her marital problems became public knowledge.

Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York attend church service with their dad, Prince Andrew on Christmas Day 1997.

In 1998, a little over a year after their mother's death, Prince William and Harry took part in the Christmas Day activities at Sandringham.

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Decades later, in 2011, Kate Middleton celebrated her first Christmas at Sandrigham as the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Daily Beast

Since then, she, William, and their children have taken part in the holiday activities every year. This year, they will be joined by Prince Harry's fiancee, actress Meghan Markle, and next year, their third child, who is due in April, will also have their first Christmas at Sandringham, just like the Queen did all those years ago.

We're looking forward to seeing the family do their annual walk to church in their Sunday best.

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.