The Queen Asks Guests Including Prince William and Kate Middleton to Weigh Themselves at Christmas

Oh, the royal family.

The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day
(Image credit: Getty/Chris Jackson)

The royal family never disappoints when it comes to bizarre traditions. The latest to come right back to people's attention is an apparently compulsory weigh-in at Sandringham Estate during Christmas festivities each year, which was portrayed in new Princess Diana biopic Spencer.

According to the Mirror, the movie shows the late royal, played by Kristen Stewart, being weighed as she arrives at Sandringham—something that is apparently all too real.

Several outlets have since digged out a 2018 Grazia article, in which royal expert Ingrid Seward proves that—while Spencer isn't meant to be entirely true to life—stepping onto weighing scales at Sandringham very much is.

Guests to the Estate, where the Queen hosts a grand Christmas, are asked to "weigh themselves" both on arrival and on departure. But as strange and, like, kind of humiliating as it sounds, the tradition is actually based on a pretty nice sentiment: Edward VII started it to make sure his guests were well fed throughout the festivities.

Although the Mirror points out that we don't know for sure if this tradition will be observed this year, Seward seemed fairly certain that Meghan Markle and her mom Doria Ragland would be subjected to it back in 2018.

Seward also explained that the presents would be given out on Christmas Eve, after which drinks and dinner would be served. "Then it will be time for some lethal martinis and a black-tie dinner," she said. "There’s a really careful old-fashioned placement, which the Queen does herself. It’s always boy-girl-boy-girl."

Christmas lunch happens after the morning church service. "Guests are expected to enter the dining room in order of seniority," Seward said. 'Then the head chef carves the turkey and, after lunch, the crackers are pulled. Paper hats are donned, but not by the Queen."

Then the whole fam goes for a walk before afternoon tea, then sleeps before dinner. That's... a lot of eating.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.