Kate and Williams very different Christmas which broke royal traditions

The Royal Family's Christmas is full of traditions which are enjoyed every year – from opening their presents on Christmas Eve to going to a festive morning service near to Sandringham House in Norfolk.

But as the late Queen’s grandchildren have grown older and started families of their own, there have been times where they have opted to spend the big day with their in-laws instead of with the rest of the Royal Family.

And in 2016, the Wales family opted to do just this as they joined the Middletons for a Berkshire family Christmas in the picturesque village of Bucklebury.

Seven years ago, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte broke with royal tradition and spent Christmas Day in Berkshire with the Middleton family.

The royals were pictured arriving at St. Mark's Church in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury to attend a Christmas morning service.

They were pictured walking up the church path with Carole and Michael Middleton, as well as Pippa and James Matthews and James Middleton.

The family would normally have joined the monarch and several other senior royals for a service at St Mary Magdalene’s Church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

A source at the time said: "The [Prince and Princess of Wales] and their children will have a private Christmas day with the Middleton family." The family spent the day with the Middletons and are said to have seen the royals on Boxing Day.

Talking on the spending the main day with Catherine's parents, a family friend told The Sun: “Christmas at the Middletons is always a riotous affair.

"It’s very informal — Michael puts on fancy dress and everyone has to wear Christmas jumpers. They buy silly presents and it’s a lot of fun with great food and games.”

As for how Christmas will be spent at Sandringham, there are many traditions which stretch back to the Royal Family's German roots. For decades, they have continued to follow the festive tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve – but that isn't the only way members of the family honour their historic ties.

Speaking ahead of Queen Elizabeth II's death, royal expert Robert Jobson told The Express: “On Christmas Eve when all the clan are together, the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren put the finishing touches to the 20ft Christmas tree in the White Drawing Room.

“Presents will be opened that day at tea time as the royals still keep to the German practise of opening their gifts on Christmas Eve.”

He continued: “Gifts are laid out in the Red Drawing Room on a white linen-covered trestle table, with cards marking exactly where the piles of gifts should be put. Once everyone has arrived, the royal guests enjoy a traditional Christmas that includes putting the finishing touches on the Christmas tree and the giving of cheap and humorous gifts.”

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