King Charles III will host Christmas Day at Sandringham House for his wider family

King Charles III is set to spend Christmas Day at Sandringham this year – following in the steps of his mother – and marking a return to the traditional royal family Christmas on the Norfolk estate.

The monarch, 74, and the Queen Consort are expected to be joined by their wider family as they mark their first festive season without the late Queen.

It follows a two-year break, when, due to the Covid pandemic, Her Majesty spent the period at Windsor Castle two years in a row – the first with the Duke of Edinburgh, separated from her wider family in lockdown.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the royal decided to travel to Sandringham House – where Queen Elizabeth II hosted her family over the festive period throughout the decades – to spend the poignant first Yuletide since his accession to the throne.

The monarch, 74, and the Queen Consort are expected to be joined by their wider family as they mark their first festive season without the late Queen

Royal Christmases usually feature a morning trip to St. Mary Magdalene Church, the greeting of well-wishers, and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.  (LR) Charles, Prince William, Princess Anne, Princess Charlotte and the Princess of Wales pictured at St Mary Magdalene Church in 2019

Royal Christmases usually feature a morning trip to St. Mary Magdalene Church, the greeting of well-wishers, and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings. (LR) Charles, Prince William, Princess Anne, Princess Charlotte and the Princess of Wales pictured at St Mary Magdalene Church in 2019

Royal Christmases usually feature a morning trip to St. Mary Magdalene Church, the greeting of well-wishers, and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.

The Prince and Princess of Wales – along with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – are often among the gathered guests.

Charles is also preparing to pre-record his historic, first ever Christmas Broadcast as a monarch, when he will no doubt reflect on the loss of his mother and her legacy.

Traditionally, members of the royal family sit down to watch the televised address when it airs after lunch, usually at 3pm on December 25.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the royal decided to travel to Sandringham House (pictured) - where Queen Elizabeth II hosted her family over the festive period throughout the decades

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the royal decided to travel to Sandringham House (pictured) – where Queen Elizabeth II hosted her family over the festive period throughout the decades

Meanwhile, Windsor Castle has been transformed ready for Christmas, with a 20ft tree in St. George’s Hall decorated in 3,000 lights and hundreds of regal purple ribbons.

It took a team of four staff from the Royal Collection Trust two days to dress the Berkshire royal residence’s festive trees.

Tourists visiting the State Apartments will see the rooms transformed with shimmering trees, twinkling lights and festive garlands.

A handmade angel sits on top of St. George’s Hall’s towering Nordmann fir, which was sourced from nearby Windsor Great Park.

The Prince and Princess of Wales (pictured with Charles in 2019) - along with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - are often among the gathered guests

The Prince and Princess of Wales (pictured with Charles in 2019) – along with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – are often among the gathered guests

Traditionally, members of the royal family sit down to watch the televised address (pictured in 2021) when it airs after lunch, usually at 3pm on December 25

Traditionally, members of the royal family sit down to watch the televised address (pictured in 2021) when it airs after lunch, usually at 3pm on December 25

The Christmas color scheme at the castle was chosen by the Royal Collection Trust curators together with the exhibitions team, and this year the central tree features purple velvet and satin ribbons and scores of jewel-shaped ornaments.

It comes as a video from a Christmas show earlier this month tree getting craned into Sandringham House, as he began preparing for the year’s festivities.

Footage published by the Norfolk home on Instagram showed the tree being lifted by a crane before it was lowered into the country grounds.

The text on the video said: ‘The team have been prepping and positioning the large Christmas tree in the courtyard today ahead of @luminateuk launching this weekend.’

The tree was installed days after the King traveled to Sandringham for the first time since the death of his mother on September 8.  William and Kate pictured taking in floral tributes left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House this September

The tree was installed days after the King traveled to Sandringham for the first time since the death of his mother on September 8. William and Kate pictured taking in floral tributes left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham House this September

The tree was installed days after the King traveled to Sandringham – where the Royal Family has spent their Christmases since the 1980s – for the first time since the death of his mother on September 8.

‘Windsor Castle Christmas decorations will be on display from 24 November 2022 to 2 January 2023. Decorations at Holyrood Palace will be up from 1 December 2022 to 2 January 2023.’

Meanwhile in February this year, the late Queen famously made guests laugh as she joked about cutting a cake during a special reception ahead of her Platinum Jubilee – with attendees saying she was on ‘sparkling’ form.

Becoming the first British sovereign to have reached a historic 70 years on the throne, she joined members of the local community in the ballroom of Sandringham House to mark her milestone.

The monarch wore an Angela Kelly Wedgwood blue crepe with white brocade dress – and also a pair of glittering Platinum floral brooches to mark her Jubilee of the same name, with a nod to her beloved Duke of Edinburgh.

The Nizam of Hyderabad Rose brooches, adorned with diamonds and set in silvery white metal, were given to her as a wedding present when she married Philip.

The Queen, who beamed with delight throughout, also carried her trademark black handbag and a wooden walking stick.

During the event, Her Majesty was presented with a locally-baked cake and a large knife and asked to cut the first slice.

Plunging the blade in, she made guests laugh when she joked: ‘I think I might just put the knife in it.’ Her Majesty then quipped: ‘Someone else can do the rest.’

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