THE ROYAL FAMILY will celebrate Christmas at the Queen’s Sandringham estate this year, as part of their annual tradition. When will the Queen travel to Sandringham for Christmas?
Queen Elizabeth II traditionally spends Christmas with the Royal Family on her Norfolk-based Sandringham estate. The tradition includes every senior member of the family and is a “regimented” affair with little room for manoeuvre.
When will the Queen travel to Sandringham?
The Queen travels to Sandringham before the rest of the Royal Family and arrives at the estate on the Thursday before Christmas.
In 2019, the Queen would arrive at Sandringham by Thursday, December 19.
However, the latest General Election may have altered her plans slightly.
The Conservatives recently won an outright majority in a rare December election, meaning the Queen has had to oversee the forming of a new Government before Christmas.
Boris Johnson travelled to Buckingham Palace ask her permission to form a Government on Friday, but a Queen’s speech is still necessary before Parliament opens.
In the speech, which is written by a Government official and approved by the Cabinet, the Queen outlines what the Government has planned for the coming Parliamentary session.
The Queen’s speech will be delivered with the second State Opening of Parliament this year on December 19.
While this means she can still travel to Sandringham on the Thursday before Christmas, the State Opening may mean she has to do so a little later.
In a statement released on November 10, Downing Street said the latest speech would be a less formal affair.
They said: “The State Opening of Parliament will take place with reduced ceremonial elements, as was the case following the early general election in 2017.
“This is due both to the early general election and the proximity of the State Opening to Christmas.”
The last time the Queen delivered a speech was just two months ago on October 14, after the Supreme Court ruled Boris Johnson’s early prorogation of Parliament “unlawful”.
In the earlier speech, Prince Charles joined his mother in full regalia but with the noticeable absence of her crown.
The monarch chose not to wear the famous Imperial Crown, which is normally a staple of the State Opening and opted for the King George IV Diadem.
The crown sat beside her on a purple cushion while she delivered the Government’s intentions for the year ahead.
Speaking to the BBC in 2018, the Queen revealed her Imperial Crown can make reading a speech difficult.
She said: “You can’t look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up because if you did your neck would break – it would fall off.
“So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things.”
The Imperial Crown boasts thousands of precious stones, including 2,868 diamonds, 269 pearls, 17 sapphires and 11 emeralds, which would make it a hefty weight to bear for the 93-year-old monarch.