Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s ‘riotous’ Christmas celebrations that broke many historic royal traditions

Who wouldn't enjoy 'silly presents' and 'fancy dress?'

Prince George and Princess Charlotte
(Image credit: Getty)

Only once have the Wales family celebrated Christmas day without the rest of the Royal Family, but their singular 'riotous' Christmas celebrations with the Middleton family surely stick in Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s minds. 

Christmas is full of traditions for families all across the globe. From undertaking the yearly task of scanning through the festive TV schedule for 2023 with the family and highlighting the programmes you all want to watch, or it's decorating the Christmas tree together, there's nothing better than banding together to celebrate. 

For the Royal Family, there are plenty of traditions that span back decades. Their most important is their annual Christmas day walk to St Mary Magdalene’s Church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, during which they greet many well-wishers who have lined up to see them. But one year, the Wales family, then still the Cambridge family, were noticeably missing from the tradition. 

That's because they decided to break tradition and spend the day with Kate Middleton's side of the family instead and they reportedly had a 'riotous' time! 

Prince George and Princess Charlotte

(Image credit: Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Back in 2016, before Prince Louis was born, George and Charlotte were treated to a Middleton family Christmas before heading back to see Prince William's side of the family on Boxing Day - but not before they'd took part in all the Middleton family traditions. 

“Christmas at the Middletons is always a riotous affair," a friend of the family told The Sun at the time. "It’s very informal - Michael puts on fancy dress and everyone has to wear Christmas jumpers. They buy silly presents and it’s a lot of fun with great food and games.”

If you want to recreate some of the Middleton's traditions, why not try out these Kate Middleton Christmas jumper dupes and the best Christmas games for families 2023.

It's a very different atmosphere to the traditional Christmas of The Firm though we're sure George, Charlotte and Louis look forward to spending Christmas with the royals as they get to open their presents a day early!  

The Wales Family at Christmas

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Speaking about the Royal Family's differing approach to Christmas, royal expert Robert Jobson told The Express, “On Christmas Eve when all the clan are together, the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren put the finishing touches to the 20ft Christmas tree in the White Drawing Room.

“Presents will be opened that day at tea time as the royals still keep to the German practise of opening their gifts on Christmas Eve. Gifts are laid out in the Red Drawing Room on a white linen-covered trestle table, with cards marking exactly where the piles of gifts should be put. 

"Once everyone has arrived, the royal guests enjoy a traditional Christmas that includes putting the finishing touches on the Christmas tree and the giving of cheap and humorous gifts.”

If you're still struggling to find the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone in your life, Prince George, Charlotte and Louis have shared their 7 top Christmas toys, and we've also rounded up both the top Christmas toys for 2023 and the best last-minute Christmas gifts

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.