The Queen Hosts Her Annual Christmas Luncheon

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On Wednesday, Dec. 19, members of the British Royal Family joined the Queen for her annual Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace. The event marks one final hurrah for the family in London before the monarch decamps to Sandringham in Norfolk for the Christmas holiday. The meal is private, and thus our only images from it come from various royal arriving at BP in their cars.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were of course on hand. Kate is believed to be wearing a pink Stella McCartney dress that we haven’t seen in full yet. Prince George and Princess Charlotte were visible with their nanny in the backseat, though it’s unclear if the eight-month-old Prince Louis also tagged along.

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Also there were the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with Meghan wearing a floral Erdem dress under her Gillian Anderson swing coat.

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I’ve seen a few reports that Harry looked grim and grumpy on the ride through the gates, but my review of the photos doesn’t bear that out. Honestly, he’s driving – there are moments he’s going to be focused on, well, that, but on the whole he and Meghan appeared happy and smiley.

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Also seen driving in were the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, the Viscount Severn, Peter and Autumn Philipps (and their daughters), and Mike and Zara Tindall (and at least Mia, their elder daughter).


There were a few departure shots as well – notably while Princess Anne was driven home, her husband chose to walk. I seem to recall he made the journey on foot to and from the Palace last year as well.


Not there was Princess Eugenie and her new husband, Jack Brooksbank, and the Duchess of Cornwall. I’m not sure where the young couple was, but Camilla is apparently suffering from a bad cold that also took her out of commission for the Christmas Day walkabout.


Interestingly, the Duke of Edinburgh was also seen arriving – presumably from Windsor where he has been spending the majority of his retirement. I know the Queen spends a significant portion of each week at Windsor (I was recently there on a Thursday, for example, and she arrived that afternoon), but I still find it jarring that they are apart so frequently. More on that some other time perhaps.

In the meantime, look for more posts tomorrow and throughout the week as I cover Christmas and end of year wrap ups on Kate, Meghan and the BRF as a whole.

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