Buying gifts for your family over the holiday season is difficult at the best of times, but what the heck do you wrap up for them to place under the tree when they’re in line to the actual British throne? When your grandmother is the proud owner of the crown jewels themselves, worth an estimated four billion dollars, a selection of soaps and a house coat probably aren’t going to make the cut.
So that explains why the royal family have reportedly adopted a pretty great tradition for their own, private Christmas celebrations. William, Harry, Kate and now Meghan, too, amongst the rest of the royals, are known to gift each other with super random, joke ‘gag’ gifts’ every year, to avoid the awkward fact that um, they don’t really need a whole lot back at the palace.
It’s thought that the family share their hilarious, bargain presents (the cheaper, the better) at 6pm in Sandringham’s red drawing room every Christmas Eve. The tradition goes that they must each creep down to the room in the afternoon to “secretly place” their mystery presents on tables marked for each family member. Prince Philip then gives everyone the go ahead to start the unwrapping on the ultimate Secret Santa set-up.
If you’re wondering how lowbrow these gifts really get, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Perfect Presents, reportedly once bought Prince Harry a ‘Grow Your Own Girlfriend Kit’ back during his bachelor days. And hey, it worked!
The Mirror reports that, as well as Kate’s excellent effort for her brother-in-law in recent years, a white leather toilet seat was once given by Princess Anne to Prince Charles, and the leopard-print bath mat from Princess Diana to Fergie also sounds like a classic. Harry also made the shortlist with one of the most memorable gifts ever exchanged amongst the family when, one year, he presented Queen Elizabeth with an ‘Ain’t Life A bitch’ bath hat. I would maybe sell my own grandmother for in exchange for a photograph of Her Majesty wearing that.
I hope someone warns Meghan's mother Doria, who’s thought to be joining the royal family for the holidays this year, about this tradition in advance—otherwise she's probably going to be left wondering what on Earth is going on with British people.