Members of the British Royal family have been sending Christmas cards to well-wishers for the past 95 years, making this an annual festive tradition. The Queen was just three years old when she took part in one of her first card givings with her parents the Duke and Duchess of York (who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) - the royal couple could be seen posing with their eldest daughter, who was then known as Princess Elizabeth of York. The signed card simply read: "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year."
The picture used for one of the Queen's first Christmas cards
Now, the Queen and Prince Philip send around 750 Christmas Cards, which will usually feature a family photo. The card is signed 'Elizabeth R' and 'Philip'. The Royal Christmas Card are tend to be given to close family, friends, and Members of the Royal Household. British and Commonwealth Prime Ministers, Governor-General and High Commissions are also likely to be sent one. Philip, 97, has a further 200 cards sent out at Christmas to different regiments and organisations close to him.
Earlier this year, the Queen have royal fans an insight into how she spends her Christmas in the ITV documentary entitled The Queen's Green Planet. The 92-year-old monarch revealed that her great-grandchildren help decorate the Christmas tree, but they tend to have the habit of knocking off the decorations. Speaking to Mr Neil Turner, a senior castle attendant, the Queen commented on her Christmas tree, saying: "Well my great-grandchildren do, anyway they enjoy themselves. And the great thing is to make them decorate it and they're a bit more careful."
It's a well-known tradition for the Queen to spend the festive period at Sandringham House in Norfolk, where she is joined by other members of the royal family. Speaking with her former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, he recently revealed to HELLO!: "Traditionally the family has always gone to Sandringham at Christmas. It's close to London where she does occasions almost right up to Christmas. She wants to be at Sandringham for the beginning of February, which is the anniversary of the death of her father. So Sandringham has always been the traditional place to go for Christmas until New Year."
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