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Mike Tindall reveals what really happens during Christmas at Sandringham with the royal family

Zara Tindall's husband has spilled the beans!

Hanna Fillingham

Mike and Zara Tindall are among the royals who will be spending the festive period with the Queen and Prince Philip in Sandringham, and despite being members of one of the most famous families in the world, when it comes to celebrating Christmas, they really are just like every other family! In December 2018, Mike gave a rare insight into the royal's festivities while appearing on Houe of Rugby alongside I'm a Celebrity star James Haskell. Asked whether Christmas is good at the castle, Mike replied: "Yeah it is good. So 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." Mike also explained that the family all sit around to watch the Queen's speech together "with a little glass of something." Last year, the Downton Abbey Christmas special was a popular choice with many other family members when it came to television choices. "I don’t watch it, but there's a lot of people who do," he said.

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Mike and Zara Tindall arriving to church on Christmas Day

Opening up about the Queen's close relationship with her staff, Mike added that the monarch made sure that as many of them could have the day off as possible. Despite that, there were still "a lot of meals" on offer throughout the day, as well as plenty of gifts. Praising Zara's "incredible" present buying skills, Mike revealed: "My wife is incredible at present buying. It’s unbelievable. There will probably be - each year at Sandringham - this year, I think there was 27, and she takes presents for each and every one of them. But then before, so, what is it? The 26th, so two weeks ago we had the family Christmas lunch which is ALL extended family members … Maybe 50, 55 - and she buys them all presents."

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The Queen hosts the royal family in Sandringham every Christmas

Following the German tradition, the royals exchange presents on Christmas Eve. The Duchess of Cambridge was seen buying last-minute gifts a few days before the 24 December last year at discount high street store The Range close to Sandringham, and was thought to also be stocking up on gifts for the royal family's Christmas present exchange. Marlene Koenig, royal historian and founder of Royal Musings, told HELLO!: "The British royals still follow the German tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve. The members of the family who are present at Sandringham exchange gifts, usually not expensive. The gifts are put out on a trestle table after tea time." Marlene added that it is most likely that the royal children will also open presents on Christmas morning at Anmer Hall, which will be from Santa.

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Christmas will be extra-special for Mike and Zara this year, as their baby daughter Lena, who was born in June 2018, will have more of an understanding of the special day. Last year, the young royal experienced her first Christmas but was only six months old, but now she is a little older, she will be able to enjoy it a lot more. Mia, meanwhile, will no doubt be excited to spend time with her cousins, including Savannah and Isla Phillips, and Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who will also be spending the big day at Sandringham with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

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