Queen Elizabeth to host biggest Christmas celebration in years
(CBS) It will reportedly be a crowded Christmas for the British royals this year.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have invited 27 members of the royal family to the annual holiday gathering at the monarch's Sandringham estate, making it the biggest gathering in years, according to British media reports.
That number, the Daily Mail reports, includes Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Kate, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Phillips and new husband Mike Tindall, Princess Anne and Commander Tim Laurence and Prince Edward and his wife, the Countess of Wessex. This will be the first royal Christmas for the Duchess of Cambridge and Tindall.
But the large number of attendees causes an issue that many families face when visitors come for Christmas - where will everyone sleep?
The Daily Mail reports that some of the royals will be shifted to the servants' quarters at Sandringham. Those are said to include Viscount Linley (Princess Margaret's son), his wife, Serena, and their two children. His sister, Lady Sarah Chatto, and her husband and two children will also be placed in servants' rooms, the paper added.
Guests will arrive at Sandringham from the morning on Dec. 23 onwards, according to British reports. The royals will open their presents on Christmas Eve, which will be followed by a black-tie dinner. The next morning, they'll reportedly attend a Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene, the church on the estate, before heading back for a traditional turkey roast and to watch the queen's Christmas broadcast at 3 p.m.
The royals will spend that evening relaxing, playing games and watching television, the Telegraph reports, and on Boxing Day - the day after Christmas - Prince Philip organizes a pheasant shoot.
It was reported that Kate's sister Pippa Middleton may join the royals for the traditional Boxing Day shoot, but the Daily Mail said Tuesday that she has not been invited. Instead, the paper reports, the Duchess of Cambridge is expected to meet up with the Middleton family "as soon as possible."
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