The reason Archie and Lilibet won't be opening their presents on Christmas Day

They won't wake up to stockings full of treats – but there's a good reason why

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Children all across the US – and much of the world – will be rushing to open their presents on Christmas Day, but Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet won’t be among them.

The Royal Family have many of their own traditions, from the strict royal rule that means King Charles can confiscate his grandchildren’s toys to the food they eat on Christmas Day, and this is due to a long-standing festive tradition the Royal Family shares too, and dad Prince Harry would like to keep it.

In a nod to their German heritage, the Royals like to open their gifts on Christmas Eve, rather than on Christmas Day itself. 

In his memoir Spare, which he released at the start of the year, Harry opened up about Christmas, and explained that, in 2020, the family opened at least some of their presents on Christmas Eve.

He wrote, “We took Archie to find a Christmas tree. A pop-up lot in Santa Barbara. We bought one of the biggest spruces they had. We brought it home, set it up in the living room. Magnificent. We stood back, admiring, counting our blessings. New home. Healthy boy. 

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor smiling and being held by Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“It was Christmas Eve. We FaceTimed with several friends, including a few in Britain. We watched Archie running around the tree. And we opened presents. Keeping to the Windsor family tradition.”

According to the Royal Family website, the Royals back in the UK lay their presents out on trestle tables on Christmas Eve and exchange them at teatime. The following morning, when many families are opening their gifts to each other, they attend the morning service at St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.

But what sort of gifts do Royals get each other? Per Omid Scobie’s Harry and Meghan biography Finding Freedom, Harry once got the late Queen Elizabeth a shower cap that said “Ain’t Life a Bitch” on it, while he also bought her an electronic singing fish.

Queen Elizabeth looking at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, both smiling

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And in keeping with the singing animal theme, Meghan is reported to have once bought the Queen a singing toy hamster. Meanwhile, in 2021, Harry told James Corden that the Queen sent Archie a waffle-maker for Christmas.

But before they could even think about presents this year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took Archie and Lilibet on a secret pre-Christmas getaway with ‘immaculate sand’ and almost went unnoticed – the perfect break for some winter sun!

In other royal news, Meghan Markle reveals what Prince Archie wants for Christmas and why he WON'T be getting it and Kate Middleton shares a previously unseen family snap of her as a child at Christmas and fans are obsessed with this unexpected detail.

Freelance writer

Adam is an experienced writer who regularly covers the royal family and celebrity news for the likes of Goodto, The List, The Metro, and Entertainment Daily. However, you can also find Adam covering relationships, mental health, pet care, and contributing to titles such as Creative Bloq.