This Is What Queen Elizabeth II Gives Her Staff for Christmas

All palace employees receive a little something special from the Queen herself.

In many ways, it’s safe to say that Queen Elizabeth II is not like us common folk. Not only does she own a lot of swans and dolphins (seriously!), nearly 50 places around the world are named after her, too. But Her Majesty does have one quality that many of us can relate to: She enjoys Christmas just as much as we do.

The Queen’s holiday season isn’t exclusively reserved for her family, though. In addition to her annual Christmas speech that’s broadcast throughout the world, she also makes time to celebrate with her royal staff members.

Each December, Queen Elizabeth gives each member of her staff around 1,500 Christmas puddings to share between them, according to the official royal website. Every gift comes with a little extra something: a greeting card from the Queen herself. According to royal biographer Brian Hoey in his book Christmas with the Queen, staff members also get a gift or book voucher, each loaded with a dollar amount that varies depending on how long they have worked in her service.

Like many other procedures in the British monarchy, however, there is a strict protocol regarding how the employees receive their gifts, according to Christmas with the Queen. A senior officer calls out each person’s name according to their rank, starting with the most senior household staff. The staff are dressed in their best getups for their brief interactions with Her Majesty. Then, the Queen personally hands each staff member their gift. She’s participated in this tradition since she took the throne in 1952.

The palace staff aren’t the only ones receiving some Christmas joy from the Queen. Her Majesty also donates money to charities in Windsor, plus offers Christmas trees to churches and schools around the United Kingdom. Now that’s what we call the Christmas spirit! Next, check out these pictures of a young Queen Elizabeth before she took the throne.

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for RD.com.