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Princess Kate's royal booze rule she can't even break at Christmas

King Charles and Queen Camilla are set to host a festive feast at Sandringham

Kate Middleton wearing red dress raises a glass of champagne during The Queen's Birthday Party at the British Ambassadorial Residenceduring an official visit to Poland and Germany on July 19, 2017 i
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
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The royal family gathers at Sandringham every year for their annual visit to St Mary Magdalene Church, followed by a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. But have you ever wondered about royal dinner party etiquette?

This year, King Charles and Queen Camilla will host the family for a festive feast, with Princess Kate, Prince William and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis being guests of honour, of course. While wine will be free-flowing on Christmas Day, there's one thing the royals definitely won't be doing – getting drunk.

ritain's King Charles III (R) flanked by Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort (L) waves to members of the public as he arrives for the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk© DANIEL LEAL
The royals have an action-packed Christmas day filled with food and drink at Sandringham

HELLO! spoke to former royal butler Grant Harrold, who told us "hand on heart" that the royals never get drunk at family gatherings, even at Christmas.

"I can hand on heart say I have never ever seen a member of the royal family drunk. If we're talking about staff members, that's different ball game!," he said during a festive etiquette event hosted by Press Box PR.

Royal etiquette expert Grant worked for King Charles from 2004 to 2011 when he was Prince of Wales and has spent time with Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry over the years.

He added: "We used to go to Christmas parties which was hysterical really good fun, getting to sit at a table with Prince William and have a lunch was quite unusual, but good fun.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup at Guards Polo Club, Flemish Farm o© Max Mumby/Indigo
Princess Kate and other senior royals must never get drunk

"But again, you never saw them drunk, even dare I say Harry, never in person. I’ve never seen any of them drunk."

The royals' favourite Christmas tipples

That doesn't mean the royals don't enjoy a few wines with their roast turkey, stuffing and pigs in blankets, however. In fact, they have quite the selection of booze on offer on 25 December, the preference being Royal Warrant holder brands, such as Laurent-Perrier champagne, which is sold in the shop at Highgrove House.

Prince of Wales And Duchess of Cornwall Visit Three Counties Show© Matt Cardy/Getty
King Charles and Queen Camilla will ensure the wine is flowing at Christmas, however

"They always offered the white wines traditionally with the starter, then the red wines," Grant told us. "With the pudding course, what I also remember is that sometimes there would be a dessert wine or a rose or pink champagne."

It's a fact that the royals love a cheeky beverage – even if they do consume alcohol in moderation. The late Queen Elizabeth II was known to enjoy a gin and Dubonnet.

Royal Christmas food schedule

  • Breakfast – Fry up for the men, lighter options for the women
  • 11 AM – Tea and coffee served with biscuits
  • 12.30 – Pre-lunch drinks
  • 1-3 PM – Christmas lunch – roast turkey with all the trimmings
  • 4-6 PM – Afternoon tea
  • 6.30-7 PM – Pre-evening drinks
  • 7-8 PM – Pre-dinner drinks
  • 8-10 PM – Dinner
  • 10-midnight - Optional supper

Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously debunked rumours that Her Late Majesty drank four cocktails a day. He told CNN: "She'd be pickled if she drank that much. All I said was she likes a gin and Dubonnet. That's her favourite drink… She doesn't wake up in the morning and have a large gin and tonic."

As for Princess Kate, the royal mum and her husband Prince William are both known to love a pint, whether it's Guinness or lager on tap during official engagements. However, Kate has kept her drink of choice at home under wraps.

Prince Harry departs Public nightclub on September 24, 2011 in London, © Mark R. Milan
Former royal butler Grant Harrold has never even seen a young Prince Harry (pictured in 2011) drunk at a family dinner

If you're looking to recreate the go-to royal cocktail this Christmas, we have the recipe for you – and it turns out Gordon's gin will do just fine.

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