Prince George, Charlotte and Louis won’t be the only royal children at Sandringham this Christmas as King Charles breaks long-standing royal tradition to include step-grand-children in celebrations

The monarch is setting an example for all blended families across the UK

King Charles III
(Image credit: Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images/Future)

King Charles is reportedly planning to break royal tradition this year in order to include Queen Camilla's children and grandchildren in the Royal Family's Christmas celebrations at Sandringham. 

Christmas has snuck up on us all. With all the planning needed for the Big Day, though the Christmas pudding will be a breeze now we know you can bake Christmas cake in an air fryer, the panic is starting to set it. 

For separated parents, blended families, and co-parenting couples, this time of year poses added planning.  And it's no different for the Royal Family this Christmas. With King Charles gearing up for his second holiday season as monarch, he's reportedly planning to break a long-standing royal tradition in order to make room for his step-children, wife Queen Camilla's two adult children Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes, and his step-grandchildren in the celebrations. 

Duchess Camilla, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes

(Image credit: Getty)

That means the kids' Christmas table is getting some new additions. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will be joined by their step-cousins Lola and Freddy Parker Bowles, who are 16 and 13 respectively, Eliza Lopes, who is 15, and twins Gus and Louis Lopes, who are 13-years-old. 

This means that Lola and Freddy Parker Bowles will miss out on spending Christmas with their mum, Tom Parker Bowles' former wife Sara Buys, while Laura, her daughter Eliza and twin sons, Gus and Louis, will be joined by Laura's husband Harry Lopes. 

To accommodate the extra family members, King Charles has had to scrap the long-standing royal tradition of hosting Christmas in the dining room at Sandringham House. Instead, the lavish home's large ballroom will be kitted out for the celebrations. 

King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, Prince Harry, Tom and Laura

(Image credit: Hugo Bernand/ROTA/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images)

This year may mark the first Christmas dinner outside of Sandringham's dining room, but it is not the first time Christmas tradition has been broken at the estate. 

That's because, in both 2020 and 2021, members of The Firm opted not to celebrate together at the property and instead stayed in their retrospective homes for an isolated Christmas. This was due to the rising number of COVID19 cases in the UK at the time. The decision marked the first time in 33 years that the family did not gather together at Sandringham for Christmas. 

Lat year marked both a return to Sandringham for the family and also King Charles' first holiday as monarch. He and Queen Consort Camilla hosted the family for the first time, making sure to complete many of the family's other long-standing traditions. 

One of those traditions is called Heiligabend Bescherung. The German tradition was popularised by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the family continue to do it in order to honour their German ancestry. The premise is simple; the family exchange presents on  Christmas Eve. 

As Christmas grows ever closer, we're wondering if we will have a White Christmas in the UK this year and, while many royal fans are wondering if Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince Archie and Lilibet will visit the UK over the holidays, we share 10 top tips for building relationships with ‘estranged’ grandparents.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.