Prince William and Kate Middleton brought Prince George to his first royal holiday tradition, Queen Elizabeth II's pre-Christmas lunch, at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a festive red coat as she sat next to the Duke of Cambridge, who was driving, while George rested in a car seat in the back alongside the family's nanny. Other members of the royal family were also spotted arriving at the annual event, including Princess Beatrice; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles; and Lord Freddie Windsor and his wife, actress Sophie Winkleman, who recently christened their daughter, Maud, in the same royal christening gown that Prince George wore in November. Notable absences included Princess Eugenie, who is currently working in NYC, and Prince Harry, who is still on a journey back from the South Pole after completing his trek with Walking With the Wounded last week.
The queen and senior members of the royal family will leave for her Sandringham estate later this week ahead of the annual Christmas celebrations. William, Kate, and George will reportedly spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at court in Sandringham before possibly heading off to Kate's parents' home in Bucklebury. They are also expected to make a stop by Balmoral to spend time with Charles and Camilla. While the public doesn't get much insight into the Christmas traditions at Sandringham, Princess Diana's former chef, Darren McGrady, recently revealed a bit about the three-day feast, including that Prince Charles would regularly bring in produce from his organic garden at Highgrove House. The family then extends "joke gifts," which tend to be inexpensive items that have some funny meaning. Apparently, when Diana first started spending her Christmases in Sandringham, she didn't know about the joke gift rule and bought everyone cashmere sweaters, which seemed out of place.