The special reason the Queen eats her Christmas dinner COLD

The Queen Christmas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The special reason the Queen and the royal family eat a cold dinner on Christmas Day has been revealed by Mike Tindall.

Mike Tindall is married to the Queen's eldest granddaughter, Zara Tindall, and has spent many Christmases celebrating at Sandringham with the royal family.

The rugby star has revealed some insider info on what it's like to spend the festive period with Her Majesty, including some key details about what's on the Christmas menu.

While most of us enjoy tucking into a steaming hot plate of turkey, gravy and all the trimmings, the Queen and the royal family actually eat a cold Christmas feast - and for a lovely reason.

royal Christmas Sandringham

Credit: Getty

Speaking on his rugby podcast, Mike, explained that the Queen gives the Sandringham staff the day off on Christmas Day now, meaning the hungry royals dig into a cold buffet instead of a warming roast - but enjoy a more classic festive dinner on Christmas Eve.

"Christmas Day is a little more quiet because it's actually a cold buffet because they give everyone the day off, and their big day is Christmas Eve," he said.

But this hasn't always been the way and in previous years Her Majesty and the family have gathered for turkey with all the trimmings plus much more on Christmas Day itself.

Christmas Sandringham

Credit: Getty

Former royal kitchen worker Darren McGrady once said, "After church, that's when they have a big lunch that includes a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert."

Things will certainly be different this year, with the Queen and Prince Philip spending Christmas quietly at Windsor Castle, cancelling the Sandringham celebrations in line with coronavirus restrictions.

It's believed the royal pair will bubble up with other family members - perhaps Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla or Princess Anne.

Meanwhile it's thought that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will spend the festivities with Michael and Carole Middleton, with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and baby Archie remaining in America.

Caitlin Elliott
Junior News Editor

Caitlin is a Junior News Editor for, covering all things royal, celeb, lifestyle, food, and family. Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry).