Middletons To Join Royal Christmas At Sandringham? Not Likely

Christmas at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate calls for five outfit changes a day, jolly gifts instead of extravagant ones, and a strict “Royal Family Only” rule that must be adhered to.

The Sun and Daily Mail report that this tradition is being set aside so that both sides of the family can celebrate Prince George’s first Christmas.  According to both media outlets, the Middleton family has been personally invited by Her Majesty.

In 2011, the Duke of Edinburgh missed Christmas after going into hospital for a heart stint.  Last year, Prince Harry was in Afghanistan, and Cambridges opted to spend the holiday with Catherine’s family instead.

I wasn’t quite sure how credible this story is, given that the guest list for a Sandringham Christmas is strictly limited to Windsors only, and that there isn’t a lot of room in the house for extra bodies.  So, I emailed royal expert Victoria Arbiter to see if there was any truth to this.

Her verdict: No.

“Sandringham barely has room for the whole family when everyone is in attendance so there are practical reasons to consider too,” Arbiter told me via email.  “Also, bear in mind Camilla’s own children aren’t invited for actual Christmas so why would the Middletons be?

“My guess is that William and Catherine will alternate family Christmases like many modern couples, but it’s certainly possible that the Middletons may be invited to Sandringham the week between Christmas and New Year.”

Arbiter made a good point.  The family could very well be invited to the Windsor’s annual Boxing Day shoot, and renovations to Anmer Hall (the Cambridge’s new country home on the estate) could be completed by December.

“Christmas is very much the Queen’s party and it’s reserved for HER immediate family,” Arbiter added.  “With royal schedules being what they are, it’s very difficult to get the family altogether so this is precious time.

“Philip was in hospital Christmas ’11 and William and Catherine missed  it last year, so in my humble opinion I don’t think the Middletons will be there for Christmas Eve and Day.”

Bugger all.  One less occasion for Pippa to gift a copy of Celebrate.