Royal butler admits ‘I was in the firing line’ as he reveals Prince William’s unexpected Christmas antics as a child

The Prince of Wales got involved in this unlikely fight during a royal Christmas get-together

Prince William and Kate Middleton attend a ceremonial welcome for The President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea at Horse Guards Parade on November 21, 2023 in London
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A Former Royal Butler has recalled how he once got in the "firing line" of Prince William during a festive water fight at the palace.

This festive season families will gather for some fun, most will gather to play the best Christmas games for families, while others will settle down to watch Christmas movies on Netflix and if you're stuck for things to do with the kids, fear not, your little ones will love these royal antics.

The Royal Family is expected to gather on Christmas Eve for the annual celebration, which marks the second Christmas since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and former Royal Butler Grant Harrold recalls his fondest memories of spending Christmas with the Royal Family.

Speaking to Slingo, Grant said, "It was always great fun. It was always so festive and made you feel so involved and welcome to be a part of the celebrations. We would always be invited to the Christmas parties within the family, which were always so exciting. I remember going to one at St James’ Palace and hanging out with Prince William, Prince Harry and Camilla. I remember there was a water fight going on between another member of staff and Prince William - and I was in the firing line sitting between them! They filled up water balloons and it was hilarious. Everyone was in fits of laughter."

Prince Harry and Prince William at Christmas

Prince Harry (L) and HRH Prince William leave along with other members of the Royal family after attending a Christmas Day service St. Mary Magdelene Church on December 25, 2003 in Norfolk, England

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And while it's not clear whether water fights will be part of 2023 celebrations, it will likely be a memorable time for all.

Grant continued, "It really opened my eyes to how fun the Royals are deep down and how Christmas was a time when they would really let go. There were also magicians, and you’d receive a Christmas card from the Queen. The party wouldn’t go on until the early hours. Things would be wrapped up by 8pm as it would start around lunchtime.” 

The Prince and Princess of Wales released their Christmas Card last week and fans spotted bizarre detail in their card. King Charles and Queen Camilla also released their official photo taken from the King's coronation earlier this year.

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The royals are expected to exchange gifts and Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis have already shared their seven top Christmas toys with one expected to cause carnage at Adelaide Cottage.

Grant added, “Christmas presents with the Royals are always jokey. They’re always a bit of fun. But with William and Kate, I’m sure they will give each other something nice that they will like. Kate will probably get a watch or some jewellery from William.

“Christmas is very much a time for the Royal family to be together. It’s a time of caring and being there for each other. Prince Albert was a huge advocate for Christmas and so was the Queen. She wanted everyone there and enjoying themselves. They’ve worked so hard to make Christmas an important time for the family. The King will do what he can to carry on that tradition as it has been what he’s used to while growing up. I don’t think he would want to let that tradition stop. Whether Harry and Meghan will be involved, we don’t know. I would like to think they would be there, especially at Christmas. If they aren’t invited, it doesn’t look good on Charles. But if they decide not to go, that’s on them. But it would be a bad thing either way. It’s a big statement to make.” 

In other royal news, you won't want to miss this - Prince Louis pulls cheeky stunt as royals attend Christmas Carol service and you might be wondering why King Charles missed Prince Louis’ debut at ‘beloved-daughter-in-law’ Kate Middleton’s Christmas Concert.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)