MIKE TINDALL, the husband of Zara Tindall, has revealed what the Queen’s pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace is like.
The former England rugby star made the revelations on JOE UK’s House of Rugby podcast. Mike and Zara married in 2011 and have two children. The royal told James Haskell and Alex Payne: “This is the other one, the family lunch, there must be about 70 of us there – there are seven tables and then the kiddies have their own little one in a different room.
“I was on Prince Charles’ table.
“It was lovely, really good.”
Mike could not provide comment on whether there was “good wine” as he does not drink.
The royal family gathers at Sandringham – the Queen’s Norfolk estate.
As reported by Mail Online, the royals open their presents on Christmas Eve.
Presents are exchanged at tea time and laid out on throttle tables before being opened in the evening.
The tradition dates back to the time of Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria.
There is a “cheap and cheerful” rule with members of ‘The Firm’ getting one another low cost and jokey gifts.
Anne, Princess Royal once gave Charles, Prince of Wales, a white leather toilet seat.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge once gave her brother-in-law Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex a “grow your own girlfriend kit” whilst he was single and Harry himself bought the Queen a shower cap with the words “Ain’t life a b**ch?”
Last year, Mike said: “Christmas Day is a little more quiet because it’s actually a cold buffet because they give everyone the day off, and their big day is Christmas Eve.”
The family watch the Royal Christmas Message at 3pm each Christmas.
The tradition began in 1932 with a radio broadcast from King George V and it is now broadcast each year on television, radio and the internet.
It was not broadcast in 1936 due to the abdication of King Edward VIII just a fortnight prior.
It was not delivered in 1938 as the notion of not being an annual tradition was not yet established.
King George VI resumed the tradition in 1939 in the opening months of the Second World War.
The Queen opted not to deliver one in 1969 as Charles had undertaken his investor ceremony as the Prince of Wales and the ‘Royal Family’ documentary had been released.
Other royal families have adopted the annual tradition in The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Thailand.
This year’s speech saw the Queen reference the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11 and the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
She also noted the birth of her great-grandson, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Queen spoke from Windsor Castle.