On Tuesday, King Charles hosted the annual pre-Christmas lunch for the extended royal family. QEII used to host this sh-t at Buckingham Palace, but this year, Charles scheduled the lunch for Windsor Castle. Some people suspected that hosting it at the castle would mean that Prince Andrew would be able to slip in unnoticed, which is what happened. We also suspected that hosting it at Windsor Castle would make it easier for Prince William and Kate to attend, since they’re supposedly living at Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor estate. Apparently not though – the Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales were no-shows. Yiiiiikes.
The event in Windsor was the biggest family gathering since the late queen’s funeral in September. According to Hello, the family did eat their traditional turkey-and-trimmings lunch. In past years, the turkey was bred at Sandringham, and the family has played with Christmas crackers and donned party hats, seated at round tables of 10. In November, former royal chef Darren McGrady told MyLondon that the family usually eats turkey with straightforward side dishes at Christmas events. “The turkey is served with mashed and roast potatoes, chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce and bread sauce,” he said. “Vegetables include brussels sprouts, carrots and roast parsnips.”
The king and Queen Consort Camilla, who are still living in their London residence Clarence House, were the first to arrive. Charles’ brother Prince Edward arrived with his wife, Sophie Countess of Wessex, and their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, who recently finished her first semester at William and Kate’s alma mater St. Andrews in Scotland. Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence also attended, along with Zara and Mike Tindall, and their children, Mia, Lena and Lucas, who were photographed smiling in the backseat of their Range Rover as they left the castle. The Telegraph reported that Prince Andrew was also set to attend, but he was not photographed arriving.
A handful of the late queen’s cousins also made the trip to Windsor. The Duke of Kent, arrived with his granddaughter, Lady Marina Windsor, his daughter, Lady Helen Taylor, and her family. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also attended.
Usually Prince William and Kate Middleton attend along with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, but this year they were absent, having reportedly traveled to Anmer Hall, their home on the Sandringham Estate, when the term ended at Lambrook, the school they attend in Berkshire.
Like… the whole point of this Christmas lunch is that the whole extended family shows up and enjoys a nice lunch together. William and Kate LIVE in Windsor and they didn’t show up. When Charles was Prince of Wales, he always made a point of showing up for these big family gatherings even though he had other sh-t to do. William is too lazy to attend a lunch! Jesus. Anyway, this just serves as yet another reminder that despite all of that talk about how William and Kate were “downsizing,” all that happened was that they added another house to their real estate portfolio – Kate lives in Adelaide, William lives God knows where, and they kept Anmer Hall as their Norfolk property. I imagine the Middletons have already decamped to Norfolk too.
PS… Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is that William and Kate must be pretty unpopular within the family, right?
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.