The Royal Family have started to arrive for the Queen’s annual
Prince Andrew and Princess Anne were among the first guests seen driving through the gates for the festive feast on Wednesday.
A cherished royal tradition, the lunch at the palace provides the monarch with the opportunity to spend time with those relatives who don’t join her at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk over the festive season, as well as close members of the family who will be there on the day itself.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all expected to attend. It will also mark the first Christmas lunch for Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank.
Annual gathering: Prince Philip, 97, was smart in a patterned blue tie as he made the journey to Buckingham Palace
Mother-daughter time: Lady Louise Windsor, 15, rode in the front seat of the car with Sophie Wessex as the family arrived
Co-ordinated: Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence dressed in dark coats and red scarves as they arrived for the Queen’s traditional Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace
Lunch at Mum’s! Prince Andrew, pictured, was among the first members of the Royal Family seen arriving for the festive feast
Staff have been busy giving Buckingham Palace a festive makeover, with impressive fir trees have erected in the Marble Hall earlier this month.
The trees, which were grown in Windsor, were adorned with royal-themed hangings, while a traditional garland decorated with baubles has been put up along the grand staircase.
The Queen no doubt has ensured that Buckingham Palace looks the part as she hosts members of the royal family as part of her annual pre-Christmas lunch.
The traditional lunch at the Palace usually takes place mid-week, shortly before the royal family head to Sandringham for the 25th.
Big smiles! Sophie Wessex beamed as she drove daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 15, to the family meal on Wednesday
Royal tradition: Princess Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence, pictured, looked dapper in a red scarf
The annual event provides the monarch with the opportunity to spend time with members of the extended family who will not be joining her at her Norfolk estate, as well as senior royals.
The Queen and her family usually wait until the day before Christmas to decorate their tree at Sandringham House in Norfolk, gathering in the White Drawing Room on Christmas Eve to put the finishing touches to a 20ft tree cut from the estate.
This year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with George, Charlotte, and Louis, will be celebrating Christmas this year in Norfolk, despite previous reports that they would be spending the day with the Middletons.
It comes amid rumours of a rift between the Cambridges and Sussexes, following the announcement Meghan and Harry will be moving away from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor next year.